Is this really a surprise, considering who is in charge?

Via AP, Questionable design blamed for health website woes:

A decision by the Obama administration to require that consumers create online accounts before they can browse health overhaul insurance plans appears to have led to many of the glitches that have frustrated customers, independent experts say.

Most e-commerce websites — as well as medicare.gov — are not designed to require those merely browsing to set up accounts. But it’s one of the first steps on healthcare.gov….

Allowing consumers to browse anonymously was one of the recommendations of Enroll UX 2014, a $3 million, 14-month project to design an optimal user experience for the insurance marketplaces. The well-known San Francisco design firm IDEO led the project and undertook extensive consumer interviews to create an easy-to-use site….

Health and Human Services spokeswoman Joanne Peters said Tuesday the government omitted a window-shopping function because officials first wanted consumers to know the amount of the subsidy they might be eligible for. Those income-based tax credits can dramatically reduce premiums for people with modest incomes, and personal financial information is needed to calculate the subsidies.

“Our process allows us to show consumers plans with prices that reflect what they will pay with the tax credit they may be eligible for,” Peters said. “Window shopping would not allow for this.”

The result seemed strange to Maureen Bardusk of Galena, Ill., who’s hesitant about giving her personal information before she can shop.

You have to give up your contact information before you can browse — just like all those White House petitions.

What’s the worry?

Obamacare info can be shared