August 16, 2009

Congress Sees Flood Of Emails About Healthcare Reform

During a lively debate over healthcare restructuring, people sent members of Congress on Thursday so many emails that they clogged the House's main Web site.

Technical support released a notice to congressional staff that the site might be sluggish due to the considerable amount of email being sent.

Jeff Ventura, a spokesman for the House, which runs the Web site, stated that traffic statistics could not be accessed and or made public without the lawmakers' permission.

"It is clearly healthcare reform," Ventura said. "There's no doubt about it."

Lawmakers were at home for the August recess, when a large backlash began to surface in some regions against President Barack Obama's attempt to redo the US's healthcare.

A spokesman for Rep. Joe Barton, a Texas Republican, noted that emails associated to healthcare had increased recently.

Sean Brown said that they have been written 2,761 emails on the subject recently. In the five weeks prior to the debate heating up, the office sent only 368 healthcare-connected emails.

Democrats are working to gather power in the debate, with the White House unveiling a new Web site constructed to dismiss the "the misinformation and baseless smears that are cropping up daily."

Ventura said that the last time when this kind of Internet slowdown in the system occurred was in January, before the House approved the $819 billion stimulus bill.

Ventura noted that technology, known as "load balancing," is being set up to manage spikes in quantity. Thus far, the House Web site is open to the public.

Specifically, people are clicking on a link called "Write Your Representative," which helps people find their representative by typing in their zip code.