While HealthCare.gov has been plagued with tech problems since its Oct. 1 launch, the Spanish-language version hasn’t even worked a single day.
The enrollment entry page at HealthCare.gov tells users to “Enroll now in a plan that covers essential benefits, pre-existing conditions, and more. Open enrollment continues until March 31, 2014.”
The same page on CuidadoDeSalud.gov, with the same smiling faces, says, “To apply now, call 1-800-318-2596 and a customer service representative will help in Spanish. The online application will be available soon.”
Yet Spanish-speakers are still subject to the same individual mandate penalties.
“Hispanics have among the highest uninsured rates in the nation. Yet despite hundreds of millions of dollars devoted to a Spanish-language propaganda campaign, the Spanish-language ObamaCare website hasn’t even been launched,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said in a statement issued in both Spanish and English.
Administration officials had previously estimated the Spanish site would be up and running by mid-October. The Department of Health and Human Services is being mum about the delay on top of the already admitted delay.
HHS does estimate, though, that it’s received about 41,000 Spanish-language calls. More than 10 million Latinos in the country lack health insurance.
Next week when the Senate is back in session, Rubio will introduce a bill to delay the individual mandate until six months after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) certifies the websites and all other sign-up options — phone lines that have been reported as sometimes down, mail and fax — are fully functional.