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CBS: 'Unusable' ObamaCare Website's Glitches 'Troubling', 'Pervasive'

Friday's CBS This Morning zeroed in on a HealthCare.gov glitch that is jeopardizing the privacy of millions of Americans. Jan Crawford noted how the "glitches have, in fact, made the website unusable for most," but also pointed out that "the problems go beyond the enrollment process. Most troubling...insurance companies report receiving duplicate sign-up...and records of people enrolling, un-enrolling, and then, re-enrolling. Those forms contain highly personal information."

Crawford also underlined that these "duplicate and incomplete enrollment forms" are indications that the "problems are pervasive" with the ObamaCare website. [MP3 audio available here; video below]

The correspondent led the segment by spotlighting how "White House Press Secretary Jay Carney deflected questions Thursday over who, if anyone, should held accountable." However, unlike her Wednesday report, Crawford didn't focus on the calls for someone to be fired for the boondoggle. Instead, she continued by reporting that "as the administration scrambles, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who helped pass ObamaCare, pressed for a quick resolution."

Crawford then detailed the beyond problematic technical difficulties with HealthCare.gov, particularly in the privacy area:

JAN CRAWFORD: The so-called glitches have, in fact, made the website unusable for most. Out of 17 million visitors, a top industry analyst estimates just 20,000 people have actually enrolled. The White House is refusing to release official enrollment numbers until next month.

However, CBS News has learned the problems go beyond the enrollment process. Most troubling, analysts say – insurance companies report receiving duplicate sign-up forms from the government; and records of people enrolling, un-enrolling, and then, re-enrolling. Those forms contain highly personal information.

Later, the CBS journalist played two clips from eHealth CEO Gary Lauer, whose company "has a contract with the federal government to help enroll people in ObamaCare...Lauer says problems with the government's website has slowed their efforts." Lauer revealed that eHealth "received the data and some other things that we needed two days before the actual implementation – so, very late September. We needed it weeks before."

Near the end of her report, Crawford found a small silver lining for the ObamaCare website, but ended by underscoring the extent of the overall problem:

CRAWFORD: Now, insurance industry experts say there's one good thing about these low enrollment numbers. I means for now, they can, kind of, manage the problems that they're seeing with the duplicate and incomplete forms. They can actually, kind of, check them one by one. But the concern...is what happens once more people eventually start registering. Remember, the target number in the first six months is seven million people.

The full transcript of Jan Crawford's report from Friday's CBS This Morning:

NORAH O'DONNELL: This morning, new revelations of more problems with the ObamaCare website, HealthCare.gov – they go well beyond basic enrollment glitches. A House committee plans hearings to learn why millions still can't sign up.

Jan Crawford is in Washington with new reporting. Jan, good morning.

JAN CRAWFORD: Well, good morning, Norah. CBS News has learned these problems are more than just people trying to sign up. Insurance companies now are reporting problems once people manage to complete their applications. They say the website is generating duplicate and incomplete enrollment forms, suggesting the problems are pervasive.

[CBS News Graphic: "ObamaCare Overload: Health Care Site Problems Reach Beyond Enrollment"]

CRAWFORD (voice-over): White House Press Secretary Jay Carney deflected questions Thursday over who, if anyone, should held accountable.

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY (from press briefing): The accountability the President seeks right now is the accountability that comes from making the system better.

CRAWFORD: As the administration scrambles, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who helped pass ObamaCare, pressed for a quick resolution.

REP. NANCY PELOSI, (D), MINORITY LEADER (from press conference): I hope that we would have answers soon and that the answer will be – okay, we've – we – found the glitch or whatever it is. It's been corrected.

CRAWFORD: The so-called glitches have, in fact, made the website unusable for most. Out of 17 million visitors, a top industry analyst estimates just 20,000 people have actually enrolled. The White House is refusing to release official enrollment numbers until next month.

However, CBS News has learned the problems go beyond the enrollment process. Most troubling, analysts say – insurance companies report receiving duplicate sign-up forms from the government; and records of people enrolling, un-enrolling, and then, re-enrolling. Those forms contain highly personal information.

GARY LAUER, EHEALTH CEO: You're talking about weight, height, age, Social Security number, health history. And, you know, I think that individuals who are coming onto these sites just basically want to trust that all of this is going to be handled properly and accurately and securely.

CRAWFORD: Gary Lauer is CEO of eHealth, the country's largest online seller of health insurance. The company has a contract with the federal government to help enroll people in ObamaCare. But Lauer says problems with the government's website has slowed their efforts.

LAUER: We received the data and some other things that we needed two days before the actual implementation – so, very late September. We needed it weeks before.

CRAWFORD: In a statement responding to some of the concerns, a government spokeswoman said, 'As individual problems are raised by insurers, we work aggressively to address them.'

CRAWFORD (on-camera): Now, insurance industry experts say there's one good thing about these low enrollment numbers. I means for now, they can, kind of, manage the problems that they're seeing with the duplicate and incomplete forms. They can actually, kind of, check them one by one. But the concern, Charlie and Norah, is what happens once more people eventually start registering. Remember, the target number in the first six months is seven million people.

ROSE: Thanks, Jan.

— Matthew Balan is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Matthew Balan on Twitter.