Adventures in Obamacare

With the October 1 rollout of the portal for Obamacare, the fun is just beginning. Readers are sampling and experimenting. One of them writes:

As you say, the technical issues of Obamacare rollout do not go to the root of the evil. Even so, I decided to have a peek at the site and try to sign on. I gave it up after the first little hiccup, which I found astounding.

You must first create an account with your real name, username, password, and email. Here is a paste of the instructions for creating a username:


The username is case sensitive. Choose a username that is 6-74 characters long and must contain a lowercase or capital letter, a number, or one of these symbols [email protected]/-


I was not trying to screw with them, but I struggled to create an acceptable user name based on that logically incoherent instruction. To me, it reads OR OR OR OR. Technically, a user name of aaaaaa should work, although I was not cute about it: I tried my real name as one word and then my email since they allow the @ symbol and it is a common way to create a username.

What worked — after numerous tries — was (mixed case letters) AND (a symbol). I made no effort to fully explore what truly are the exact rules. No remotely competent IT person could have composed that logically incoherent statement of the requirement for a username.

I’m afraid this falls into the category of News You Can Use.


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