President signs the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, 2010.

Not everything is going to be ready as planned on October 1st when the health care exchanges are scheduled to open. More significant glitches and problems have emerged.

According to the AP, small businesses will not be able to sign up online right away. Instead they will need to use mail or fax. And the Spanish language version of website will not be ready for at least a few more weeks.

These new problems are in addition to the year-long delays for the employer mandate, a key aspect of the small business exchanges, and the proper income verification process for exchange subsidies.

While in general people can start signing up on October 1st, the coverage doesn’t start until January 1st so there is little reason for anyone to sign up so early. That means if the administration can fix these new problems in the next month or two, they probably won’t cause a significant inconvenience for too many people.

On the other hand, the administration has had four years to work on implementation. The fact they couldn’t work out all these problems during that incredibly long lead time is not a reassuring sign.

Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy

Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at