Source: November deadline for healthcare.gov possible
November 13th, 2013
02:11 PM ET
1 year ago

Source: November deadline for healthcare.gov possible

Washington (CNN) - A source with knowledge of the technical operations for fixing the Obamacare website pushed back Wednesday on a report in the Washington Post that said software problems with the troubled healthcare website are unlikely to be resolved by the end of the month.

The Obama administration's Chief Information Officer, Todd Park, told a congressional committee Wednesday that healthcare.gov can currently handle barely half of its intended capacity.

But a source told CNN that tech experts working on the site still think the November 30 deadline for making the website widely available is doable.

"I have not heard anyone in a position of authority and knowledge freak out" that the deadline is not possible to meet, the source said.

Obama administration: Website won't be perfect on November 30

President Barack Obama and members of the administration have repeatedly said the website will work for a "vast majority" of Americans by the end of November, almost two months after the flawed initial roll-out.

However, the same source cautioned that from a software perspective, websites are never "done." The source said it is expected that the administration will be able to point to significant progress by November 30, even if it is not a flawless operation.

According to the Post, CGI Federal, the site's main contractor, has repaired about six of every 10 defects identified so far. A source told CNN that metric does not mean much because the administration has not divulged the issues on the list, adding that some fixes are critical and others are not.

Software fixes, two industry sources say, are not a linear process, so the site does not necessarily get better each day. That's a reality that is frustrating to administration officials who are promising as much.

Teams of tech experts in a McLean, Virginia hub are currently working in crowded conference rooms to fix the troubled website, according to two sources familiar with the facility. Each day the professionals discuss progress and outstanding issues from the website during two formal calls, one in the morning and one in the evening.

The so-called "war room calls" are led from a designated healthcare.gov war room in nearby Herndon, Virginia, another Washington suburb. Employees working to fix the website at various DC area locations are linked by videoconference. Participants stand to deliver their assessments.

There are also a lot of informal meetings throughout the day at the QSSI location, according to one source.

"It's crowded. There's a lot of energy. It's what you would expect from a bunch of programmers crashing really hard," one source who has seen the operation said, adding that the atmosphere is very similar to that of a political campaign in the closing days of an election. Teams of tech experts are working extremely long hours.

"It's a lot of work, but people are committed to it. I haven't heard anyone say it's not a doable job," the source said of the November 30 deadline.


Filed under: Health care • Obamacare
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Data Driven

    The whole deadline is stupid. Enrollment is one thing; script-fixes are forever.

    November 13, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  2. much thunder..little rain

    the only way this aca will work if its a single payer..everyone knows it...

    November 13, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  3. Fair is Fair

    My husband is in IT... he always said not to set a deadline if it's only "possible". You set a deadline only if it's highly probable.

    November 13, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  4. Long

    Hooray!!! Now thousands will be able to find policies with extraordinarily high rates and huge deductibles, even though the deadline for the website way over due, over budget, and required millions more to fix.
    Clearly an outstanding victory for our glorious leader! Forward! Forward my comrades! Forward!!!

    November 13, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  5. jinx9to88

    Stay the course Obama. We all know the GOP and the healthcare industry are butt buddies why do you think the GOP never wanted to fix it in the first place. People will be better off and the GOP know it's on the wrong side of the issue.

    November 13, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  6. tom l

    @Data
    I agree that the "deadline" is silly. However, this just appears to be yet another issue that the govt is not being honest with us about.

    Since you are the only liberal on here that actually appears to be happy with life and not angry at the world I'm wondering if I can get your opinion on what Bill Clinton said yesterday. I would be very interested to hear it.

    November 13, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  7. jinx9to88

    @ fair is fair – My husband is in IT... he always said not to set a deadline if it's only "possible". You set a deadline only if it's highly probable.
    ---------

    I agree with you but this committee ran by Issa wanted a deadline so the admin gave him one.

    November 13, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  8. Gurgyl

    Hire google, they fix this. It is not a big mess than WMD, wars.

    November 13, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    Get signed up people with real health insurance and not the junk policies being cancelled.

    November 13, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  10. Donna

    Fair is Fair
    My husband is in IT... he always said not to set a deadline if it's only "possible". You set a deadline only if it's highly probable.
    ---–

    I'm in IT. The only people that set deadlines are the people that know very little or nothing and do NONE of the actual work and know nothing about the work that needs to be done. People that know what they are doing give estimates that are then cut in half and published. Then they are blamed when they miss the deadline. Yeah, IT is a lot of fun at times.

    But seriously, 3 years to roll out a website??? I think they got an estimate and doubled it, and then still missed it. You have to be pretty clueless and incompetent to have something fail this badly. Two weeks of testing? A sure sign of total incompetence.

    November 13, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  11. just asking

    jinx9to88
    I agree with you but this committee ran by Issa wanted a deadline so the admin gave him one.
    -–

    nice try but obama and his merry band of incompetents through the november deadline out long ago. and the october roll out date? entirely up to the incompetent sebelius. she could have delayed it but rolled it out for purely political reasons.

    November 13, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  12. The Real Tom Paine

    -tom l

    @Data
    I agree that the "deadline" is silly. However, this just appears to be yet another issue that the govt is not being honest with us about.

    Since you are the only liberal on here that actually appears to be happy with life and not angry at the world I'm wondering if I can get your opinion on what Bill Clinton said yesterday. I would be very interested to hear it.
    **********************************
    Angry at the world? I would have thought after your asinine comments on Veteran's Day you would have backed off of those kinds of remarks, especially after you got ripped to shreds over it. By the way, there is no way your statements could have been interpreted any other way. Feeble utterances paying lip-service to being even-handed when sandwiched in between conservative posters whom you NEVER take to task is indicative of your agreement with their toxic comments and outlook. Angry at the world? You tilt at windmills every day.

    November 13, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  13. The Real Tom Paine

    -Donna

    Fair is Fair
    My husband is in IT... he always said not to set a deadline if it's only "possible". You set a deadline only if it's highly probable.
    -–

    I'm in IT. The only people that set deadlines are the people that know very little or nothing and do NONE of the actual work and know nothing about the work that needs to be done. People that know what they are doing give estimates that are then cut in half and published. Then they are blamed when they miss the deadline. Yeah, IT is a lot of fun at times.

    But seriously, 3 years to roll out a website??? I think they got an estimate and doubled it, and then still missed it. You have to be pretty clueless and incompetent to have something fail this badly. Two weeks of testing? A sure sign of total incompetence.
    **************************************
    You may recall there was a real question as to whether or not the ACA would survice the court challenges, whci took over 18 months: there was also the question of wheterh or not Obama would win re-election, which chewed up several more months. If you are in IT in a company of any real size, you know that factors way beyond the logistics of setting the site up come into play. While there is no excuse for the lack of testing and the absence of any communication between the contractors and Sibelius' department, a lot of this is due to factors that were beyond the department's control. That being said, the product was clearly rushed and untested, and Issa and his committee are compounding the problem with pulling people away who need to be solving the problem, rather than sitting in front of Issa's Grand Inquisition.

    November 13, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  14. tom l

    @The Real TP,

    Hey man, I made a mistake and apologized for it. I'm not sure that I said the worst thing in the world but jeez; it wasn't that bad but was certainly not the right thing to say and so I apologized. What more would you have liked me to do? Why would I take conservative posters to task when I agree with much of what they say? I really don't understand the other part of your comment, though. What remark did I say that was wrong? It's my observation based on the comments by the liberal posters here that they are an angry and hostile bunch and if you don't agree with them they will mock you and make you out to be an awful human being. You can't tell me that I'm wrong about that. Just use some perspective and re-read your comment that you made to me. I'm not sure how much more hostile it could be.

    As far as taking the conservative posters to task, why would I do that when I agree with many of the things they say? I am a libertarian which means that I have conservative positions (mainly financial) and some liberal positions (mainly on social issues). The key difference is that I don't think someone hates gay people because they are against gay marriage. I don't think someone hates women because they are pro life. Those are a couple of examples but I could go on and on since the rule of thumb for liberals is that if you don't believe what they believe than that makes you a racist, hater or a bigot.

    And, yes, people like Sniffit, rs, Ol Yeller, Rudy, Mallory, Wake Up, Marie and many more are bitter, angry people. They are rude, snide, arrogant beyond all reason and downright mean. They think they are better than me and that they know more than me. They have made absolutlely false accusations about me on countless occasions. Why haven't you taken Rudy to task for saying that I'm a few years out of high school? (I ask that rhetorically because I don't care if you do but it's a perfect example of how you will not take those to task). It's cool. I'm a big boy. But those are the facts.

    As far as "tilt at windmills" comment, I really don't know what that means. I do know, however, that I couldn't tilt at a windmill on Cape Cod because Ted Kennedy fought their construction. ;)

    Lighten up, dude. Stop taking life so damn seriously. You're gonna give yourself a heart attack.

    November 13, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  15. just saying

    The Real Tom Paine
    -tom l
    @Data
    I agree that the "deadline" is silly. However, this just appears to be yet another issue that the govt is not being honest with us about.
    Since you are the only liberal on here that actually appears to be happy with life and not angry at the world I'm wondering if I can get your opinion on what Bill Clinton said yesterday. I would be very interested to hear it.
    **********************************
    Angry at the world? I would have thought after your asinine comments on Veteran's Day you would have backed off of those kinds of remarks, especially after you got ripped to shreds over it. By the way, there is no way your statements could have been interpreted any other way. Feeble utterances paying lip-service to being even-handed when sandwiched in between conservative posters whom you NEVER take to task is indicative of your agreement with their toxic comments and outlook. Angry at the world? You tilt at windmills every day.
    --

    i think we can safely call this vicious personal attack a non-answer to the question asked. can't you just answer the question? or is it too painfull for you? or do you not have a good set of lies to post in response? whatever, what difference does it make, blather on.

    November 13, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  16. Data Driven

    Tom,

    Real quick: I thought Clinton sounded dumb. He's apparently confused, like conservatives on this issue.

    Blame the insurers, not the government. They're the ones dropping people. Clinton seems to think Obama can FORCE insurers to cover people.

    Like so much of the coverage on this topic, that's wrong. But everyone wants to call the President a liar over something he can't control. I say, go ahead, blame him. If people can't take care of their personal business, but would rather blame Obama for everything, then who am I to stop them. Freeeeee country, babe.

    November 13, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |