Ready or Not, Here We Come!

Well, it wasn’t ready. The Affordable Care Act website, that is. Commonly known as Obamacare by critics, the program officially launched October 1, 2013 and attempts to allow each American the opportunity to have affordable health care. The program was signed into law in 2010, but only just now became part of daily American life. The website experienced technical errors last week, and again this past Tuesday. However, this was unrelated to the government shutdown. Instead, the system experienced a major overload due to mass traffic to the site, claimed those who run it. An estimated 8 million visitors forced the site to send a response of “Please Wait and Be Patient,” CNBC reports. Run by the Department of Health and Human Services, the process to acquire a health care quote is actually quite simple. I myself did it and, just shy of giving my contact information, I was inches from an affordable quote in less than two minutes.

Page that loads with technical issues, courtesy of MSNBC

Page that loads with technical issues, courtesy of MSNBC

Fox News said that the 93 million dollar website was the victim of poor Java Script coding, to the point where, simply put, the site freezes up. It doesn’t know where to go or in which direction to proceed. Yet MSNBC follows the path of the HHS, saying it was simply a matter of visitor overload to the site. MSNBC did not report, as of posting, that there were Java Script coding issues.

So. Which to believe? It is common knowledge that news stations lean differently towards their side, whether it be right or left. Even CNN, a major world news outlet, leans toward one side. This post is neither liberal nor conservative, and it neither promotes nor discourages the Affordable Care Act. However, it does encourage that American citizens not rely solely on one news outlet for information. Rather, gather your news from a multitude of sources. Otherwise a viewer faces the possibility of being a victim of “Spiral of Silence.” The Spiral of Silence is an instance where an individual, with one opinion differing from that of the majority, is unable to voice said opinion for fear of judgment. For instance, if I believe Theory X, but my neighborhood only watches one news channel that reports solely on Theory Y, the neighborhood will only be educated on Theory Y. If the entirety of the neighborhood, apart from myself, believes in Theory Y, I would be uncomfortable in expressing my opinions and differences. I am lost in the Spiral of Silence. If you support a cause that one news station does not, you are only educated on their belief. In the land of the free, is our free speech being suppressed by the media?

-Hilary Hall