October 27th, 2013
10:57 PM ET
11 months 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. SB

    Criminal waste of media.. time

    October 28, 2013 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  2. Sarah H

    It was just a model paid for her image.

    October 28, 2013 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  3. Gravytrain

    Typical and superficial coverage as always. Forget the underlying problems with the site itself and Obamacare overall, but we have to find out who this woman is! While you do that I'm going to try to find out where to get the money to pay for my family's increased healthcare costs. I went to Target to pick up a medication I used to pay $10 for 3 months. but this drug is no longer in this program and now I have to pay $53 for it. Thanks for nothing Obama and you lousy corrupt dems. We also got our health policy rates for next year. Guess what? They are up substantially with less options. Thanks Obamacare girl.

    October 28, 2013 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  4. copperhead

    I guess there is no limit to how much taxpayers dollars are going to be put into Obamacare fixes.

    October 28, 2013 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  5. SheLeftWhenSheCouldntCompleteHerApplication

    Her plan was canceled, and when she saw the ACA Plan costs, she had a massive heart attack.

    October 28, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  6. NClaw441

    Any word on whether the website works, or does it just look pretty? How many have signed up, and what percentage of those are Medicaid applicants? Waiting for the landslide of young, healthy applicants....

    October 28, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  7. Data Driven

    @David M,

    "She is out trying to find a web site that works where she can get insurance that does not have a ridiculous deductable."

    Obamacare is not a health plan, guy. However, under the law, insurers have caps on premiums imposed upon them, so Obamacare Girl will be able to find affordable health insurance, if she needs it. From CNN: "The national average premium for the benchmark plan will be $328 a month before subsidies, 16% less than projected by the Congressional Budget Office. The benchmark is the second-lowest cost "silver" policy for 48 states, upon which federal subsidies are based."

    Next!

    October 28, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  8. Z_nips

    This is news, huh?

    October 28, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  9. Data Driven

    @minnie mouse,

    "Maybe it would have worked better if there was an "Obamacare boy" also"

    There should have been pictures of men, I agree. I love how the general thinking on healthcare is that it's only a woman's concern - hence Obamacare Girl and those smiling Chinese ladies.

    October 28, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  10. Anonymous

    @Mark:

    Thanks for your interpretation of the web site. How decent of you to miss the point that some may not read
    English very well, and the pictures help them go to the proper "signing" in area that will help them the most.
    I always thought commerce was also a marketplace. Insurance companies are certainly "in the market" for
    business.
    Lastly, "see plans in your area" or "see plans" just might mean see plans in States that are participating
    or plans available for people living in non-participating States.

    But thanks anyway, for showing us how "smart" aleck you are.

    October 28, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  11. wombattesting

    The costs for website development/repair (although sizable), pale in comparison to the costs associated with the government shutdown which we just went through.

    October 28, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  12. Dave

    Who cares? Is this really news? If it is perhaps you could announce that I've misplaced my car keys again.

    October 28, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  13. Ken Knerr

    Put the Swedish Chef up there. Bork! Bork! Bork!

    October 28, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  14. Gunderson

    Money run out for license. Or, lady not happy they use her picture. Who Care. Putting Lipstick on a Pig won't help Obama Care. You would think the Proponents, Obama Care know time to dump and start over. But They ram head against Brick Wall until out of Brains. Murphy's Law alive and well. Late Nite Comedians have plenty material for next century.Ya all take care now.

    October 28, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  15. David

    Obamacare is illegal, too expensive, and hurts the middle class. The majority never wanted it and if we were a free country today, we could have voted it down. Pure Socialism/Marxism at hand here.

    October 28, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  16. Hogan's Goat

    I love how they've changed from "nobody wants Obamacare" to "why can't we get our Obamacare any faster?" That's some real leadership there, waiting for Obama to act and then following after him going yap yap yap.

    October 28, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  17. Data Driven

    @simplyput,

    "Change the website all you want, it's still a horrible product."

    The website is not a "product" that you buy. Also, Obamacare is not a "product" - it's a Federal law. It offers a Marketplace that facilitates the process of buying the actual product - which is a private health insurance plan.

    Looks like we'll spending another day correcting conservatives' misconceptions about Obamacare. I'm thinking we need to get paid for this.

    October 28, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  18. Huh

    What a complletely useless story

    October 28, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  19. tiffinS

    Data Driven

    @David M,

    "She is out trying to find a web site that works where she can get insurance that does not have a ridiculous deductable."

    Obamacare is not a health plan, guy. However, under the law, insurers have caps on premiums imposed upon them, so Obamacare Girl will be able to find affordable health insurance, if she needs it. From CNN: "The national average premium for the benchmark plan will be $328 a month before subsidies, 16% less than projected by the Congressional Budget Office. The benchmark is the second-lowest cost "silver" policy for 48 states, upon which federal subsidies are based."

    Next!
    ========================================================
    You think $328 is affordable for folks who aren't currently insured even with subsidies (tax credit)??? That is a $25K car payment. Just let Obunglecare continue it's eventual demise to the graveyard of other liberal failures...

    October 28, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  20. enzo

    We found out she was illegal TOO

    October 28, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  21. Ol' Yeller

    @copperhead

    "I guess there is no limit to how much taxpayers dollars are going to be put into Obamacare fixes."

    I guess there is no limit to how much taxpayers dollars are going to be wasted by te abagg ers in their misguided efforts to defund, delay, and destroy the LAW of the Land. Because so far they have wasted billions more than has been spent on the webiste. That is Billions... BILLIONS.

    October 28, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  22. mike

    If she is smart she asked to have her photo taken off because the whole web site is an embarrassment.

    October 28, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  23. tom l

    @Data
    Since you are in the industry can you honestly tell me with 100% comfort that your information is safe? With this site having all of the issues it clearly has, do you really feel that your private information is protected? I can't imagine that you do and, if so, please tell me why you feel that way.

    October 28, 2013 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  24. Data Driven

    @tiffin S,

    "You think $328 is affordable for folks who aren't currently insured even with subsidies (tax credit)???"

    Better than the $500 or $600 most are paying. And what is a person in such dire financial circumstances doing with a $25K car? Buy a used car for $10-15K. Bootstraps, amirite, conservatives?

    October 28, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  25. bankshotter

    We can always depend on CNN to bring us the most breathtaking stories and news!

    what is the real story? HIGHER premiums, copays and deductibles.....cover that CNN.

    October 28, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
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