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Obamacare website's Spanish: No bueno

The ACA's Spanish-language portal is suffering some of the same woes its English counterpart did, with an additional twist -- bad translations.

By Money Staff Jan 14, 2014 3:35PM

This post comes from Brianna Ehley at partner site The Fiscal Times.

The Fiscal Times on MSN MoneyObamacare's rocky rollout continues, this time with the Spanish-version of, which went live two months behind schedule because of technical problems, is still plagued with glitches and translation issues that have prevented many Spanish-speaking Americans from signing up for health insurance.

This screenshot made Nov. 26, 2013, shows the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' web page for the Spanish language version © U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/APThe Associated Press first reported that the website's translations are clunky, inaccurate and full of grammatical errors. For example, the word "premium" is translated into "prima," which typically means a female cousin.

The errors have created major confusion and headaches for Spanish-speaking consumers as well as navigators, who must re-translate the website's broken Spanish.

"When you get into the details of the plans, it's not all written in Spanish. It's written in Spanglish, so we end up having to translate it for them," Adrian Madriz, a health care navigator in Miami, told The Associated Press.

That's not all.'s Spanish-language counterpart is experiencing glitches similar to those that plagued the main website in the first months of its launch. People are reporting that the website is freezing, kicking them off or sending them back to

This time, however, the White House isn't likely to encourage people to use call centers as much as it did when people experienced problems on, since many call centers don't have translators.

That's a big problem, since the Hispanic population is a key group to the law's success. One important factor according to the Washington Post's Ezra Klein is that the median age of Hispanics in the U.S. is 27 -- which is much younger than the rest of the population and part of the "young invincible" group the White House desperately needs to sign up in order to offset the cost of premiums for older and sicker Americans.

This is just the latest major issue with the Obamacare site, which has been plagued with problems since its launch on Oct 1. The White House announced Monday that it had tapped Accenture to replace CGI, the embattled contractor that built the troubled website.

More from The Fiscal Times

Jan 14, 2014 4:02PM
Teach them to understand English and there should be no problem.
Jan 14, 2014 4:28PM
Why would any real American need Spanish?
Jan 14, 2014 7:20PM
I thought you had to be able to read and write English to be a legal resident.
Jan 14, 2014 7:18PM
thats the only way obama can get his 20 million sign ups.
Jan 14, 2014 7:20PM
Only in America do we provide alternate language for people to get something for nothing. We cater to the problem.............. Nothing worse than having to press two to hear it in ENGLISH........ Shouldn't even be a choice. I have noticed that illegal's wont learn english for us. But hey, why would they, we will provide web sites in spanish. What has this country been reduced too? Our forefathers would cringe.
Jan 14, 2014 7:23PM

So how many million illegals will get free Medicaid? 

Jan 14, 2014 7:24PM
What an irony. The very people Obama wants to help the most - the illegal aliens that voted for him.
Jan 14, 2014 7:29PM
Why would we even have a Spanish website for the ACA or any other Federal, State or Local government program?  The problem is these immigrants have no respect for this country and are too lazy to learn  English.  They simply don't deserve to be here if they are so lacking in respect and initiative.  There are many waiting in line to immigrate to the U.S. that have the will to learn the language and assimilate into our society.  Those are the people we want in America!  
Jan 14, 2014 7:28PM
They won't buy insurance - most of them get it free paid for by you and me. And if they don't, they will just go and not pay. How you going to put a lien on cash wages?  Face it, they have beat the system.
Jan 14, 2014 7:24PM
I haven't seen anything remotely this nauseating in a long time.
Jan 14, 2014 7:29PM
Why would you want to live in a country and not know or learn the language??? Oh I's America we cater to all. Pretty soon everybody will be required to know Spanish. How pathetic our country is becoming!!
Jan 14, 2014 7:31PM

GOOD! Why should we be the only ones having to put up with this piece of SH!t.

How about learn English or press 2 to be deported. I mean no offense to those here LEGALLY!

Jan 14, 2014 7:48PM
Learn English, better yet, come back when you become a LEGAL citizen.
Jan 14, 2014 7:47PM
This is all part of the government plan to put the final nail in the "middle class" coffin. The only people that don't benefit from the "benefits" of America are the middle class themselves. We get to pay for it. I've voted on both sides of the aisle, and it makes no difference at all. Red and Blue are really just one color.
Jan 14, 2014 7:43PM

spanish, you gotta be kiddin' me!

oh well, another taxpayer funded subsidy for

the non english speaking, illegal immigrant



Jan 14, 2014 7:38PM

We are catering to illegal immigrants.  To become a naturalized citizen one of the requirements is that they should learn simple English.  If they fail to understand a website written in that language the vast majority of them are most likely illegal immigrants.                                                                               To whoever does wish to be an American, more power to you!  However, come here legally and adopt American way of life, specifically English. 

 Diversity is a good thing, however there is no strength in it.  Strength comes from the LORD who loves you whoever you are!  That's why He paid for our sin's so we could go to heaven by our personal acceptance of JESUS CHRIST!

Jan 14, 2014 7:45PM
Too bad.  If they cannot read and write English then they have no business in this country or having the health care that we are all going to end up paying.  Ship them back to Mexico.  Send Obama with them.  He can make it a side trip when he is impeached and sent back to Kenya.
Jan 14, 2014 7:42PM
Everything Obama is connected with is BAD!  Don't go on any Obama website!
Jan 14, 2014 7:34PM
It is embarrassing to see the "experts" in Spanish clearly not know the terminology for insurance.
Jan 14, 2014 8:56PM
Press 1 to hear this in English.  Press 2 to hang up until you learn English.
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