Website snags slow Obamacare's first day

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Website snags slow Obamacare's first day

By Craig Smith. CREATED Oct 1, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Obamacare triggered the dispute that brought on the government shutdown, but the website to sign up for that program opened Tuesday anyway.
A lot of people are interested in the plans---so many--the website's been choking.

For a lot of people, health insurance is an aggravating, eye-glazing issue.  But when the Obamacare website opened Tuesday so many people jumped on it the site clogged up and slowed down.  That means people who want to explore their options will need to be patient.

The website said there could be a wait.  It took 15 minutes to even give us a sign on. 
Nate Ritchie has insurance from work, but still wanted to see what Obamacare might offer.

KGUN9 reporter Craig Smith asked him: "We're hearing about website hangups.  Did you encounter those?" 

"I did.  Multiple times.  I tried it on my laptop at home without success.  Didn't get very far.  Then I tried it on my cellphone.  Same thing.  Didn't have success." 

Smith: "So still trying to get those questions answered right now?" 

Ritchie: "Still trying to get them answered, that's right."
As Jesse Haro serves lunch from his food cart downtown he knows he has insurance on his wife's plan but feels he should see if he can get better coverage.

"I don't know what it consists of and how it's gonna affect me and my family so it's something we should all have to do, should do, rather."
Some of Jesse's customers are in just the situations Obamacare's intended to help.

Raquel Mogollon said, "I'm a school teacher and currently am not under contract so I don't have any benefits at all. So I'm very happy to see there are alternatives for me now."
Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild pulled together agencies preparing to help.  St. Elizabeth's Health Center is one of them.  It's specialty is people who can't afford insurance but make too much to get Medicaid.

Jane Bakos, St. Elizabeth's Executive Director says, "Maybe they're working in an organization health care isn't provided for them. So they're a group that could benefit greatly."

Some of the agencies the Mayor highlighted are what the Affordable Care Act calls Navigators.  They are available to help you understand your options and sign up if you decide that's what you want. Here's how to reach them:
El Rio Community Health Center
Multiple locations--please call

Pima County Health Department
3950 S. Country Club Road
Ste. 100
Tucson, AZ 85714
(520) 243-7770

St. Elizabeth’s Health Center
140 W. Speedway Blvd. #100
Tucson, Arizona 85705
(520) 628-7871

Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

823 E Speedway Blvd  Tucson, AZ 85719
(520) 620-0005

Tucson Urban League
2305 S Park Ave  Tucson, AZ 85713
(520) 791-9522

United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona
330 N. Commerce Park Loop, Suite 200
Tucson, Arizona 85745

Craig Smith

Craig Smith

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Craig enjoys using innovative writing and visuals to make difficult stories easier to understand. As a newsroom manager at KGUN 9, Craig was part of the team that won three best newscast awards from Arizona Associated Press