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. are122

    Obama care is unfortunately turning into the same joke Hillary care did.

    October 28, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  2. livingston

    Sounds more and more that the gop/teaparty are rooting for it to fail and by doing so they want millions to have no healthcare at all. Instead of working to make it better and help all American people, they only want failure. Gee, how very American of them. Or at least how very republican. They would rather see Americans suffer then help make it work for the good of everyone. I bet they won't understand why when they get voted out either..

    October 28, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  3. c

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

    ---------

    Misconceptions? At this point, intentional ignorance is a better description.
    And, yes, you should get paid.

    October 28, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  4. pedro bundol

    Probably the girl felt embarrassed being linked to an abomination. Obama should take the hint and withdraw his name too. But the Idiot is probably beyond shame now.

    October 28, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  5. Scott

    are122: The website is not Obamacare. It is just one of several venues to buy insurance in the free market. As for Hillarycare, that was never implemented, so there's no way to consider it a "joke." You're just showing you don't actually know anything about that policy proposal other than what the right wing told you about it. The similarity between Obamacare and Hillarycare is that the right wing generated massive disinformation campaigns about both.

    October 28, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  6. Data Driven

    @tom l,

    "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."

    Answer: encryption. Hacked in the movies; in real life, never.

    October 28, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  7. GEORGE HAMILTON

    $300 million and counting, and counting, and counting. How much will this website system really cost. More hired guns to fix the problems of the first hired guns. I would venture to say there are no penalty clauses in the contracts being issued. If this were a corporation, the would be a fast housecleaning to get someone in there who knows what they are doing. Not a political hack or appointee by either party. Our tax dollars wasted again.
    When elections come up next year and then the Presidential election after that, please, voters, change them all. You need not switch from Dem or Rep party. Look seriously at independent candidates with no party affiliation.
    President Lincoln was right, that our country will fall from within rather than from without. We will tax ourself to bankruptcy to pay for programs that do not work, give money lavishly to countries that do not like us, be the world's policemen for every uprising or war, and in the end the world will still dislike us.
    I love my country, I served for 24 years defending it, including my tour in Vietnam. I hate the politics that is driving this country into debt, conflicts, and taxation without end.
    We voters can change that. Stop voting for your incumbent next time around. 90% plus of them get re-elected because of your failure to change politicians. Your vote is more important than PAC money, and talking heads. You, and only you have the vote. PACS do not vote, talking heads do not vote, and if less than 10% of our politicians have an approval rating, why are we re-electing them? Think about it.

    October 28, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  8. ST

    It is so sad to watch the media especially those who are sitting on tables like: Morning Joe, Our friends at Fox, the Unbalanced News in the whole entire world, are there to make their daily bread. You hear at all times the rubbish (please forgive me my language but am just talking the truth) they are saying about Obamacare that it needs young ones in order to survive. For god's sake thats totally nonsense. They fail to educate the young ones and the entire nation, that when you buy insurance you do NOT do it in order to make the Insurance Company survive, you do it for your own benefit. No one knows he/she will be hit tomorrow by the car and needs car insurance applied. So does the ACA. No one knows when he can be hit by any sickness today or the day after even if they are young. Instead of making clear the purpose of getting insured, they just only talk nonsense. Why should anyone employ such kind of people who are there just to pass a day and get paid only for doing nothing? This is not what has been done in the past by reputable, intelligent, and committed workers who were there for all people who depended on media .

    October 28, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  9. tom l

    @Data
    "Answer: encryption. Hacked in the movies; in real life, never."

    So you're perfectly comfortable with an inept company that couldn't build the website properly being able to properly protect your private information? "Encryption"? That's your answer. If they can't competently build the site, how on earth could they competently protect personal information?

    I'm also curious how many of you have actually signed up. Have you signed up (you might not need it because you are already covered through work)? What about Sniffit? rs? Wake Up? DMFO? Lynda? Rudy? Ol Yeller? I'd love to know how many of them have signed up for healthcare through the website or made the call...

    October 28, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  10. straighttalk

    It is no longer Obama Care it is now called "Obama I don't Care".

    October 28, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  11. wendel

    instead of working to make the affordable care act better so millions of people can get health coverage the repos are doing everything they can to undermine it. Why not work to help people and see what needs to be changed . They keep hollering about the cost and seem to forget the 24 billion they caused when they shut down the government. Sick of these trolls who want to tear down everything but have nothing to replace it with. Forward not back to the 50's with their sorry ideas on women and the working poor. Their policies on voter registration has set back racism in America 60 years. Vote these crazies out . Who wants this country run by the likes of cruz and palin or paul. ????

    October 28, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  12. raul c.

    Scott you are correct. Anyone who has who has worked in a massive IT project such as under the ACA knows very well that network glitches are always present no matter how much tests were done. The GOP seems to think that there should of been zero IT issues which is a myth and a joke. As I recall that crazy Cowboy from Texas (G.W.) who lied to the Nation had IT fits with the Part D of the Medicare program. Now, don't tell this to any GOP since they think they are perfect.

    October 28, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  13. Rudy NYC

    tom l. wrote:

    ... So you're perfectly comfortable with an inept company that couldn't build the website properly being able to properly protect your private information? "Encryption"? That's your answer. If they can't competently build the site, how on earth could they competently protect personal information? .... ...
    -------------------------
    A different, outside company was brought in to oversee the web site fix. As far as encruption goes, if you listened to someone who actually knows something about computers, then you would better understand encryption.

    October 28, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  14. Lord Toronaga

    Now the Obamacare lefties are blaming the conservatives in advance because they realize their idiotic calculus does not work. Let's also see if the system generates the BILLIONS in hospital fines to make this work...

    October 28, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  15. Free Man in the Republic of Texas

    HealthCare.gov homepage gets makeover !!!

    Mr. President ! Mr. President !!!
    WE
    Can re-arrange the deck chairs on the Titanic
    They will NEVER EVER know....

    October 28, 2013 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  16. Manuel J.

    Wait!!!.... the highly announced fix. Change the website's background on the intro page. That will fix it!!! LAMAOL

    October 28, 2013 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  17. Aaron Poscovsky

    Obama care and its website, is just a evil plan by the both parties to get money from people. Make everyone buy insurance, the people in government get more from these companies and the big losers are the American taxer.
    The website is just a yellow network so that you can buy insurance from companies across the country. But, you to say these companies aren't come China, and just have American websites.

    October 28, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  18. SamT

    Although I don't buy into the left/right/Repub/Demo/conservative/liberal false paradigm, at least America is finally seeing what unconstitutional, socialized healthcare is all about: if they can't get a website right, you think your healthcare will be better? Welcome to Soviet Russia.

    October 28, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  19. NeoConsAreMorons

    Yes, changing the image displayed on one of the pages is such a big deal. I mean, hell it probably took one or two changes to the css file to do. How can they possibly fix the site's problems AND change a couple of lines in the style sheet. Internet illiterate fools

    October 28, 2013 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  20. Hal

    Always thought the glitch girl was kind of cute.

    October 28, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  21. Dixie Independent voter

    Being a smug Republican seems to be more important than providing health care for folks who need it. A true christian attitude? Be happy I don't vote in your district.

    October 28, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  22. Know Your Subject

    It is a sad reflection on so-called journalists that they obsess about whose picture was on the Obamacare website rather than focusing on what the website's problem are and when, or if, the problems can be fixed.

    October 28, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  23. Data Driven

    Tom L,

    I'm covered by my employer, so I don't need to sign up.

    As to your concerns about the incompetent build: everything I've been reading about how the site has been managed demonstrates that actual programming shares equal blame with the complicated nature of what the site is trying to accomplish. I was expecting to get tech dirt, and have instead reading about state politics and how the Supreme Court decision delayed work while it was pending. On the programming side, assumptions that everyone uses IE has proven disastrous. But the massive structural difficulties exacerbated by different rules for each state, as insisted upon by Republicans, have played at least an equal part. I grant you that there probably would have been problems with such an unwieldy structure, no matter what. All the more reason to support single-payer. One program, one set of code.

    As for privacy? Look man, the health insurers already disseminate your health information; that horse lefto the barn a decade ago. Your concern, while duly noted, is kinda made of straw.

    October 28, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  24. ST

    @SamT
    I do not know how old you are, BUT whatever your age, I would like to refer you to the major national programme which was ever implemented by the nation, and what the backlash it faced at the beginning of it. It was the very, very good programme, and it faced much hurdle when it started. Am talking about the programme of: "PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEERS AROUND THE WORLD", which was initiated in early 1960s. If you can go to any library and read about it, then you will come to understand that ACA "Obamacare" has no difference on hurdles it is facing now, with that major programme in the early 60s.

    October 28, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  25. ImvotingforHillary

    Hmmm...Wasn't there trouble with Bush's implementation of his Medicare benefits plan? Also why can't you just call an insurance company and get insurance? I did and don't have to deal with that website.

    October 28, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
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