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

    "There is no doubt this system doesn't work well. I remember very well how much you and every other liberal was touting the success of the site because 3 million went on in day one. "

    You remember wrong then. Pointing out that the massive traffic indicated high interest is a very different thing than claiming the website wasn't having problems and was a "success." Grow up and stop mischaracterizing things just to make your counterarguments more convenient.

    As for the system not working well: duh. I'm certainly not denying it's having problems. Once again you are conflating what I'm really doing with what you'd rather argue against. I'm pointing out the errant focus of the reporting on it, the deliberate paucity of accurate information, the pretend-expertise the MSM is widely engaged in, and the very real and significant contributions the GOP/Teatrolls have made to causing these problems in the first place, which the MSM is deliberately ignoring because they need to fluff the critics' credibility in order to inflate the controversy.

    Nuance. Get some.

    October 23, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  2. just saying

    only thing they are good at.... lies and propaganda. wake up america.

    October 23, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  3. Gurgyl

    This computer glitch is a technical issue, can be fixable. GOP drama. Ted Cruz needs to go away.

    October 23, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    "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."

    Citing House GOP/Teatrolls' calling for hearings as evidence of the size/scope of a problem is absurd. They'd hold hearings on whether the WH should be stuck with Scott instead of having the benefit of Quilted Northern. Your wording and phraseology is deliberately chosen to lend legitimacy and credibility to the House GOP/Teatrolls instead of objectively reporting that we have a problem and the GOP/Teatrolls are predictably jumping all over it and trying to inflate it for partisan advantage and further their wish of trying to delay/defund/destroy the ACA. And yes, that is an objective observation....just like it's an objective observation that Obama and the administration have every reason to try to downplay the problems, including but not limited to protecting the ACA from GOP/Teatroll attacks but also protecting the American people from fearmongering and the MSM/GOP symbiote's efforts to demagogue the entire thing for profit. Perhaps if you spent more time reporting objectively instead of slapping together articles that sound like you're gleefully reveling in the website's problems, you'd get less criticism for being a gaggle of biased hacks.

    October 23, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  5. don in albuquerque

    Are there problems??? You bet. Will they them??? You bet. But what I find interesting here are that the same posters who are so condemning of the President today were the very same people who last week were more then willing to destroy not only ours, but the world economy as well. And its always the same group of names who apparently do not have jobs because they post here from dawn to dusk, or they have extremely understanding employers. CNN, got a contract with Freedom Works?

    October 23, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  6. Lynda/Minnesota

    #1. We know that the website isn't functioning 100%
    #2. We know that the President has already publicly addressed this issue.
    #3. We know that Kathleen Seibulius will be testifying before Congress.
    #4. We know that tech's are frantically trying to correct the problems.
    #5. We know that we can apply over the phone or in person until such time as the corrections are made.
    #6. We know that the GOP is absolutely against Obamacare ... enough so that they shut down the government.
    #7. We know that this has become nothing more than a Right Wing witchhunt ... (again).
    #8. We know that CNN has internal issues: i.e. trust
    #6. See All Above.

    October 23, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "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."

    Anyone want to cite examples of this type of statement EVER EVER EVER coming out of CNN's "mouth" with respect to GOP/Teatroll demagoguery and misinformation campaigns that are demonstrably false (and no, polite fact checks that call blatant falsehoods 'misleading' do not count). You want to call this "sugarcoating," CNN? Well, at least he's admitting there's a problem. Is it "sugarcoating" or something even more dishonest when the MSM and the GOP/Teatrolls ignore and pretend that the GOP/Teatrolls have not deliberately contributed to problems the ACA might have?

    October 23, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  8. just asking

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

    i wonder... is obama using the state exchange numbers to inflate these numbers and con people into thinking the federal exchange wasn't a total disaster?

    October 23, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  9. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    clear my cookies–whatever those were," Janice Baker said
    -------------------------------------------------
    You don't know what your "cookies" are Janice?!
    ROFLMAO!!!
    Thank you Janice Baker for making my day!

    October 23, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  10. don in albuquerque

    Should have been a "fix" in the third sentence. My computer also has a glitch.

    October 23, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  11. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Well al I can say is that it behooves the WH to roll out as much information as they can to educate people on what's being done to fix the website and ways that they themselves can troubleshoot it because it has become more than obvious that those that are in a position to help -i.e. the media- will not.
    Exactly when did it occur that it is more important for those entrusted with reporting news and educating the masses in regards to current events have instead traded in that duty for sensationalism in order to increase their advertising revenue?
    "Reality" journalism. Totally scripted to get the biggest buck for the bang.

    October 23, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    "i wonder... is obama using the state exchange numbers to inflate these numbers and con people into thinking the federal exchange wasn't a total disaster?

    I wonder...are you just going to fabricate and blather whatever conspiracy theories pop into your head in order to service your confirmation bias as though your tinfoil hatted assumptions serve as proof despite there being no evidence to back them up?

    October 23, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  13. O'drama ya Mama

    Sniffit

    "There is no doubt this system doesn't work well. I remember very well how much you and every other liberal was touting the success of the site because 3 million went on in day one. "

    You remember wrong then. Pointing out that the massive traffic indicated high interest is a very different thing than claiming the website wasn't having problems and was a "success." Grow up and stop mischaracterizing things just to make your counterarguments more convenient.

    As for the system not working well: duh. I'm certainly not denying it's having problems. Once again you are conflating what I'm really doing with what you'd rather argue against. I'm pointing out the errant focus of the reporting on it, the deliberate paucity of accurate information, the pretend-expertise the MSM is widely engaged in, and the very real and significant contributions the GOP/Teatrolls have made to causing these problems in the first place, which the MSM is deliberately ignoring because they need to fluff the critics' credibility in order to inflate the controversy.

    Nuance. Get some.
    October 23, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________
    This is the most perfect response I have ever seen.

    October 23, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    "clear my cookies–whatever those were," Janice Baker said
    -----------------
    You don't know what your "cookies" are Janice?!
    ROFLMAO!!!
    Thank you Janice Baker for making my day!"

    Hehe. This whole thing has been reminding me of a commercial from a while back...I think the Simpsons even did a parody of it...that involved a bunch of chimpanzees trying to figure out how to use a television (or maybe it was cavemen). While it's obvious there are actual problems with the website itself, there's an element of the old joke here too..."your problem seems to be somewhere between your keyboard and your chair." That phenomenon may not be precisely what's causing the problems people are experiencing, but it's certainly causing the MSM, which is desperately trying to pretend it understands these issues, to report a ton of misinformation in breathless, pearl-clutching fashion AND it's certainly contributing to the overreaction from some in the public. They haven't the slightest clue and nothing's more frustrating, fear inducing or angering than stuff you don't understand and can't get to work.

    October 23, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  15. don in albuquerque

    All I can say for the GOTP is, 24 and edging closer to 30 Billion dollars. The health care computer issue was human error. What you did to our economy and world standing was intentional. You own it. You cannot delegate responsibility for it. We will not forget it. You will soon be history.

    October 23, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  16. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Lynda Minnesota
    Couldn't respond under the other story.
    I have taken up "24 BILLION DOLLARS recklessly wasted by the GOPeeing Teatards when they shut down the government" as our battle cry.
    If the usual rwnj supects can milk the living daylights out of their Benghazi nontroversy we should be able to keep in the forefront the fact that when they talk about being fiscally responsible, and trying to reign in out of control government spending they're lying.
    @ Data
    Thank you for your kind words. I hold you/your posts in high esteem so I do appreciate your comment.

    October 23, 2013 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  17. Wake up People!

    Yet people actually have the mitigated gall to call this site, liberal. GMAFB.

    Great responses as usual Sniffit, Dominican Mama, Lynda, Data and Tom Paine!!

    October 23, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  18. tom l

    Ok Mr. Sniffit,
    "As for the system not working well: duh. I'm certainly not denying it's having problems. Once again you are conflating what I'm really doing with what you'd rather argue against. I'm pointing out the errant focus of the reporting on it, the deliberate paucity of accurate information, the pretend-expertise the MSM is widely engaged in, and the very real and significant contributions the GOP/Teatrolls have made to causing these problems in the first place, which the MSM is deliberately ignoring because they need to fluff the critics' credibility in order to inflate the controversy."

    So, I am arguing for what I want to argue, not what you want to argue. You touted the ACA as a success and how in a few months the repubs will all be voted out (except, of course, for the gerrymandered districts – as if dems don't do the exact same thing but that's a discussion for another day). You talked about the traffic as an early sign of success and that's what I'm calling you on. If you are allowed to use that "traffic" as an indication, that I certainly have the right to point out several problems that cannot and should not be overlooked except if you're a LWNJ.

    I notice how you have conveniently decided to overlook the following and "move on" to what you want to discuss. However, here are issues that are real and have nothing to do with the MSM as they were caused by this rollout. You can complain all you want but the issues are serious.
    1. Site will not be up in Spanish for weeks, if not months – do you not care about that segment of the population? This is a major, major deal yet you just brush it aside.
    2. Hundreds of millions of dollars to build a website. If you can't agree with the fact that this is indicative of govt waste and overspending then you're just too far gone. If this was your business, and you had to pay, there is no way you would ever allow this – and don't use World of Warcraft as an example. As you would say, that is an analogy fail.
    3. Obama didn't know about this? How is that possible? This is his signature achievement. How did he not know about the test failure just days before launch? Inexcusable or incompetence – take your pick.
    4. Sebilus said they needed 5 years to build this. If that's the case, then why did they do it in 3? It's. All. Political. This demonstrates that they don't care about the product or care, but they care about the politics of it.
    5. So what if states didn't sign up. Shouldn't they have planned for that? You can try to pin this on repubs but this has nothing to do with them. They didn't vote for it. They funds were available when they built the site so you can't blame the shutdown for this mess.
    6. Virtually a no-bid contract? Really?? Cheney would be proud.

    All of this proves, as Rudy has said, that the govt is indeed inept, rife with fraud and there is no accountability. There is no "errant focus" by the MSM. This is exactly what they should be talking about. The biggest story is that dems and repubs can finally agree on something. This is Obama's signature achievement. The ACA affects all of us and the healthcare we will receive. While it will be private insurance companies that handle this, it is still run through the govt and you can't say it doesn't no matter how many big words you use. Of course the site will eventually be fixed but that doesn't really matter any more. The lack of any quality control and the fact that you can't be the least bit critical demonstrates all anyone needs to know.

    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.

    October 23, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  19. Lynda/Minnesota

    @Sniffit:

    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.

    October 23, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  20. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    They haven't the slightest clue and nothing's more frustrating, fear inducing or angering than stuff you don't understand and can't get to work
    -------------------------------------------------
    They've mastered the GOP's method of communicating to the masses: confuse, anger, and scare the living daylights out of them. All in the name of the mighty revenue dollar.
    And yet where does that leave the WH's efforts at educating the very people that need access to ACA and information as to what other options they have until the website is fully operational? The media should be instrumental in helping to disseminate this vital information. My goodness an 800#, what would be wrong with letting folks know that at least?
    It is morbid what's going on with the media....and dangerous.
    I see now why you're so hellbent on putting out information under the guise of debating rwnj that can barely string a hateful sentence together. It falls on people like you, the Rudys, the Data's, The Real Tom Paines and many other well-informed folks on this site to do the job of the media: educate and inform.
    Again, my thanks.
    Shameful.

    October 23, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  21. Thomas

    @Sniffit
    "i wonder..

    ========

    Yes you do , you figure out the moral of the story Green Eggs An Ham yet ?

    October 23, 2013 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  22. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right vs. Wrong"

    Don't call the Tea Party for web development issues.
    Don't call the Republicans fseeor web development issues
    And definatly don't call anybody in the private sector for web development issues.
    Last but not least, don't call me or anyone in my family for web development issues.
    "FIGURE IT OUT YOURSELF"

    October 23, 2013 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  23. tom l

    @Sniffit
    ""Anti-Obamacare group launching new series of ads on members of Congress"

    MSM gleefully providing anti-Obamacare groups with free broadcasting of their talking points and demagoguery.

    FIFY"

    As seen right here on the CNN Political Ticker headlines :
    October 7 – First on CNN, Pro Obama Group keeps up Shutdown Pressure on GOP
    October 7 – Pro-Obama Group Slams GOP in new Shutdown Ad
    August 15 – First on CNN – OFA releases new ad promoting Obamacare
    July 26 – Obama Group backs economic speech with ad
    July 12 – Obama grassroots group doubles fundraising goal
    June 17 – OFA launches health care ads

    I could go on and on. This is just a small list of news stories found right here that you seem to have forgotten about. I am not sure why only the LWNJ's feel this isn't a big story. LWNJ's have incredibly thin skin and cannot take any criticism. Ever.

    October 23, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  24. Fair is fair

    Nobody cares about the liberal agenda

    October 23, 2013 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  25. Rick McDaniel

    The WH is the biggest liar in Washington.

    October 23, 2013 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
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