WH web video makes HealthCare.gov issues seem simple
October 23rd, 2013
04:21 PM ET
10 months ago

WH web video makes HealthCare.gov issues seem simple

(CNN) - If you watch a new web video released by the White House called "We Got Covered," you might think the technical issues on HealthCare.gov are nothing but simple, easily overcome glitches.

The video features three people who signed up for Obamacare or registered for online accounts this month. They also stood behind the president Monday with nine others as he sternly warned there's "no sugarcoating" the rocky rollout of the federal website.

"The website has been too slow, people are getting stuck during the application process," he said. "And I think it's fair to say that nobody is more frustrated by that than I am."

The technical debacle has been so problematic that House Republicans are holding congressional hearings and calling on Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to testify, which she has agreed to do next week. Some even want her to step down.

Just 12% of people questioned in a CBS News poll released Tuesday said they think the process is going well, with nearly half saying it's not going well and nearly four in 10 saying they can't evaluate the signup process at HealthCare.gov.

But the new web video released Wednesday on WhiteHouse.gov seemed to be nothing but "sugar coating" the fiasco that could take weeks or even months to fix.

"Don't worry, you will get in. It's really easy," Zohre Abolfazli, a small business owner from outside of Nashville, said in the video.

According to information released by the White House, Abolfazli had registered on the website and hadn't applied for a plan yet, as of Monday.

Another person in the video made it sound like the web issues were a cinch to fix.

"Down at the bottom of the page, there was a bar that said 'Having trouble logging in?' It told me to clear my browsing history, clear my cache, clear my cookies–whatever those were," Janice Baker said. "It gave me the instructions on how to do it, and once I did that, I went back onto the computer and sailed right straight through, no problems at all.

Baker, who introduced the president before his remarks on Monday, was the first woman to enroll in the Delaware state exchange. She says she's saving $150 a month on her new insurance plan.

"Have patience with the system," she said in the video. "Take your time. Read the whole screen that you're on and make sure you're following everything you can possibly follow. But just don't give up because as time goes along, things are definitely going to get better."

David Hall, a self-employed IT consultant and web designer, said he signed up for a plan within 15-20 minutes. A resident of Washington, D.C., however, Hall would have had to use dchealthlink.com, rather than HealthCare.gov, to sign up. The state-run marketplace websites have reported having far less technical issues than the federal website.

It's unclear exactly how long it will take to untangle the HealthCare.gov mess. Some experts suggest starting from scratch may be a faster option than trying to sort through the existing code.

In an interview with CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta, Sebelius said a team of high-tech experts from within the government and from Silicon Valley will tackle the issues. Jeff Zients, acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, will lead the team.

Despite all the problems, the White House has said nearly half a million people so far have started the application process.

A Democratic Senator joined the growing ranks of Republicans Tuesday who called on the administration to push back or remove the March 31 deadline to obtain health insurance or else face a penalty from the Internal Revenue Service.

A poll released Monday by ABC News/Washington Post showed that a majority of respondents think the website's problems are an indicator of problems with the program itself. Fifty-six percent of those questioned in the survey said the website failures are a sign of broader problems to come, with four in 10 saying they are an isolated incident.

– CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.


Filed under: Health care
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Lynda
    I can only say that I have learned more from you these past few days than ever I would have learned from our "esteemed" journalists had they had the decency to do their homework. One assumes they were taught to do so. Perhaps I've been mistaken about journalism being a forum for seeking truth
    -------------------------------------------------
    Right!!
    Journalistic integrity: there is none.
    We must depend on each other to learn and pas it on.
    I'm taking up you banner Lynda about calling out these so-called journalists that for too long now have been more concerned with adopting the right-wing's method of misinforming than in actually reporting the truth.
    Yes still a moderate but if anyone fails to see that there is something dreadfully wrong with the Republican Party of today there's nothing that anyone can do for you.

    October 23, 2013 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  2. Ol' Yeller

    @tom I
    So you managed to find 6 pro Obama stories over a 5 month period. Bully for you, tom!
    There were seven negative stories on the Obama website alone just yesterday. Look at the posts... Data was keeping count and they were coming one after the other. Look at the negative stories today.
    I know you righties live on that lie and this is one of your HUGE talking points that you blather on and on and on and on and on about incessantly like some 5 year old (are we there yet?are we there yet?are we there yet?are we there yet?are we there yet?are we there yet?are we there yet?).
    Yes, we ALL know about your poll you found showing that more journalists in DC vote for Dems than they do republicants.... but have you ever stopped and thought about this way. What if there were only two kinds of automobiles in America. What if, of those two kinds of automobiles, the mechanics, car dealers, and/or people who worked around these autos day in and day out overwhelmingly chose one of the automobiles to purchase, own, and drive their loved ones around in? By your reasoning, they would be a bunch of biased bums who couldn't be trusted and you'd buy the Pinto.
    Think about it, tom... but please, please, shut up about it.

    October 23, 2013 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "I could go on and on"

    Indeed you could and none of it qualifies as news. Hint: criticizing it in one instance does not mean I don't consider it equally negative in another instance. The ENTIRE he-said-she-said false equivalence paradigm that has replaced actual journalism is absurd and societally damaging.

    October 23, 2013 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  4. Gurgyl

    Inexorable attempt by GOP teatroll cult is very pathetic. ACA IS A LAW. It will not go.

    October 23, 2013 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    "You touted the ACA as a success and how in a few months the repubs will all be voted out "

    Arguing that you weren't putting words in my mouth by putting more words in my mouth? Cute. You also just changed your original accusations...that I called the website a success....to accusing me of calling the ACA a success...which is just dishonest. The two are different things. The website is not the equivalent of the ACA, nor is it the only aspect of it that matters, etc. It is just a part. An important part, but just a part.

    "And I am starting to think that you are absolutely a paid advocate posting here from OFA. Why else show the phone number? What does that have to do with anything? What a joke. And you, being the govt lackey that you are, seem to think all will be just fine."

    Haha...boy are you a silly little ad hominem troll. It will be just fine. Why else show he phone number? Because CNN wasn't and the MSM's tunnel-vision coverage is burying that there are other methods to sign up. That's all. You're just mad that someone bothered to try to thwart that. Your accusation that I'm paid to do this shows the depths of your desperation.

    October 23, 2013 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  6. Nameobama theclown

    Isnt it amazing how everything obama touches is a disaster and they always seem to blame it on somebody else, i mean isnt the weirdo that loves to say im the commander in cheif, i mean benghazi they blame hillary, irs scandel they blame louis lerner now obamajokecare they blame sobellius, nsa obama new nothing, biladen killed oh that was all obama, this guy is obnoxious embarrasing such a weirdo can be president comical really hehehehalol

    October 23, 2013 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  7. Nameobama theclown

    2016 cant come soon enough, anybody but obama i mean anybody democrat independent republican anybody but this obnoxious dividing idiot of a man

    October 23, 2013 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
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