The long-promised small-business portal at HealthCare.gov will be launching in November—November 2014, that is. The Obama administration had promised that the site, which was originally slated to open back in October, would launch by the end of this month, but Health and Human Services officials today confirmed for the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal that it wouldn't be ready for a full year.
Small businesses will still be able to get coverage and apply for tax credits, and they'll be able to at least see rates on the site starting on Dec. 1. But to actually buy what they see, they'll have to buy it off-line the old fashioned way. It's the latest embarrassing digital setback for the health care rollout, and Republicans were quick to pounce. "If small firms failed to provide services this frequently, they would be fired," says one House Republican.