October 27th, 2013
10:57 PM ET
1 year ago

HealthCare.gov homepage gets makeover

Washington (CNN) - An image of a young woman who became known as the "Obamacare girl" is no longer on the homepage of the federal government's health care site.

In the process of changing the homepage of HealthCare.gov to highlight the different enrollment options now being offered, the image of the woman, who has become a symbol of the online federal exchange, was set aside, said an official with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, or CMS.


CMS is the agency responsible for operating the website.

The picture drew much news coverage and online discussion with people wanting to know her identity. A small company that originally worked on the homepage told CNN's Jeanne Moos that the woman was part of the original design mock-up of the website.

HealthCare.gov's quiet makeover is the latest attempt by the administration to draw attention away from the website's problematic launch. When enrollment began October 1, just the website option was highlighted, punctuated by "Obamacare girl." Now, when visiting the site, new imagery emphasizes multiple ways to register for a new health insurance plan, such as enrollment by phone.

Republicans are already seizing on the site's overhaul. NRCC spokesman Matt Gorman wrote in a blog post that the redesign is symptomatic of the Obama administration's misplaced focus - "worrying about what is gracing the front page" instead of repairing the site's serious technical flaws.

"They can keep changing the photos, but what they cannot change is the fact that the site is nothing short of a debacle," Gorman said.

Online updates will continue in response to feedback from website users and social media, according to the official.

The individuals in the images that were initially used for the launch of the website signed standard release forms and understood how their images would be used, said the official, who was not authorized to speak for publication and declined to be identified.

CNN's Jason Seher contributed to this report.


Filed under: Health care • Kathleen Sebelius • Obamacare • President Obama
soundoff (158 Responses)
  1. mike

    she no longer wished to be affiiliated with this fiasco

    October 28, 2013 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  2. tv22

    The phrase "putting lipstick on a pig" comes to mind.

    October 28, 2013 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  3. Anonymous

    i like how this article is longer than some of the articles that are actually about Obamacare

    October 28, 2013 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  4. Tampa Tim

    Until Obamacare allows right wingnuts to sign up using the GOP technology,telegraph and smoke signals, the baggers are going to continue to fight their losing battle against affordable care.

    October 28, 2013 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  5. bill

    They should've have just made an app. Most younger people don't waste time on computers.

    October 28, 2013 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  6. Mark

    Look how poorly designed the new face of the website is: it is filled with redundancies making it confusing. What is different about the "apply by phone" text as compared to the picture of the phone? Do they point to the same link–only one way to find out, you have to click on both. What is the difference between "See Plans in your area" as opposed to "See plans now?" Does that mean, you can not see plans in your area now? Why not, don't hey know how to cull geographical data from your computer? What does "Market Coverage" mean? These people don't even use the term market correctly. This website is still a joke and its because the top-down policy makers don't understand the bottom up free market principles that (previously) made the US great. They will never understand because their arrogance and self worship blinds them to reality.

    October 28, 2013 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  7. Seriously

    Why does anybody care who or where SHE is? Are we hunting mass media clip art now?

    October 28, 2013 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  8. Shy

    Well, let's remember that one from campaign: pig with lipstick is still a pig. How in the world, broken web site can cost 688 mil. Should not somebody loose job over this. Whoever approved expense this big, and amateurs who designed the web site.

    October 28, 2013 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  9. tafugate

    in the immortal words of hillary clinton, what difference does it make? this is sort of like the siri lady. why does anyone care who it is? she didn't cure cancer. some people are going a little nuts inventing deities to genuflect to.

    October 28, 2013 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  10. ed

    So why has no one ask the big question here. Why did obama hire a CANADIAN company instead of and American one to do the farce of a web site? They were fired by a Canadian Health care company for incompetence. That should have been a clue!

    October 28, 2013 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  11. Granite Sentry

    Come on, it's just a stock photo. She has nothing to do with Obamacare except that she'll have to pay for its useless and damaging details like the rest of us.

    October 28, 2013 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  12. Zedlok

    Goodbye, cute Obamacare girl. Call me!

    October 28, 2013 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  13. Tampa Tim

    Right wingnuts just cannot deal with change. They watch Glenn Beck, and he promises to fire any employee caught using fluorescent lights, Limbaugh tells his listeners that football players should not wear pink for feminazi health issues, and Hannity hires people to read made up anti Obamacare scripts. Who can baggers trust when their big three are nuts?

    October 28, 2013 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  14. dnokc

    Would you really like to have your face associated with this debacle?

    October 28, 2013 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  15. Jetranger

    They should just use Looney Tune Characters !

    October 28, 2013 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  16. Jake

    Nobody wants too be the face of a failure.

    October 28, 2013 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  17. Mark

    Look how poorly designed the new face of the website is: it is filled with redundancies making it confusing. What is different about the "apply by phone" text as compared to the picture of the phone? Do they point to the same link–only one way to find out, you have to click on both. What is the difference between "See Plans in your area" as opposed to "See plans now?" Does that mean, you can not see plans in your area now? Why not, don't hey know how to cull geographical data from your computer? What does "Market Coverage" mean? These people don't even use the term market correctly. This website is still a joke and its because the top-down policy makers don't understand the bottom up free market principles that (previously) made the US great. They will never understand because their arrogance and self worship blinds them to reality.

    October 28, 2013 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  18. Anonymous

    Instead of trying to fix the issues with the website they chose to change the picture and get rid of the Obamacare girl. They need to focus on getting the website up and running instead of changing things that have nothing to do with the operation and use of the site. Get it together people!!

    October 28, 2013 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  19. Harley1909

    Really!! Instead of trying to fix the issues inundated with this website, they decide to remove the Obamacare girl from the site. Let's focus on what's causing the issues and worry about cosmetic things later. Get it together people!!

    October 28, 2013 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  20. Rudy NYC

    What difference does it make who the models were in the images?

    October 28, 2013 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  21. d0gy7704

    I think she looked too healthy. They need more wrinkles next time.

    October 28, 2013 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  22. minnie mouse

    Maybe it would have worked better if there was an "Obamacare boy" also. Click 1 for a girl or 2 for a boy.

    October 28, 2013 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  23. Catherine

    She was probably a Canadian. wink, wink.

    October 28, 2013 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  24. Name

    I hope all you obamanites get obamacare so you can see just what its like to not be cared for.

    October 28, 2013 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  25. timmeister

    ...and this is important how?

    October 28, 2013 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
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