Obama administration: Website won't be perfect on November 30
November 13th, 2013
07:56 AM ET
5 months ago

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

Updated 8:30 a.m. ET, 11/13/2013

(CNN) - With a little more than two weeks to go before the Obama administration’s deadline for repairing the problem-plagued HealthCare.gov, a close parsing of White House officials’ words shows a completely functioning website isn’t likely to materialize.

Instead, the White House and other agencies are predicting the website will work for a “vast majority” of Americans - while admitting the repair job is uncovering even more problems with the failed digital property than were previously known.

The administration’s technology chief, Todd Park, was set to be peppered with questions about those problems Wednesday during an appearance before the House Oversight and Government Reform panel.

Source: November deadline for healthcare.gov possible

On Friday, the man tasked with the digital fixes said the site “remains a long way from where it needs to be” as more and more problems emerge.

“As we put new fixes in, volume is increasing, exposing new storage capacity and software application issues,” Jeff Zients told reporters on a conference call.

And at Tuesday’s White House Press Briefing, Press Secretary Jay Carney again said there was “more work to be done” on repairing HealthCare.gov.

Carney, along with Zients and other administration officials, have repeatedly said the November 30 deadline is to get the health care website working for a “vast majority” of Americans looking to enroll in the Obamacare exchanges.

On October 25, when Zients first mentioned the end-of-the-month deadline, he said the “vast majority” of Americans would be able to use all elements of the website by November 30.

President Obama, speaking in Dallas last week, said his technology team was “working overtime to get this fixed,” and again spelled out the end-of-the-month deadline.

“The website is already better than it was at the beginning of October, and by the end of this month, we anticipate that it is going to be working the way it is supposed to,” he said in Texas. But note the use of the word "anticipate."

Speaking to NBC last week, Obama appeared to hedge his bets, saying he was “confident that (HealthCare.gov) will be even better by November 30th and that the majority of people are going to be able to get on there.”

The November 30 deadline allows just 15 days for enrollees to sign up for a health plan that kicks in January 1. In order to avoid a penalty for not having insurance, Americans must enroll by March 31.

HHS spokeswoman Joanne Peters said "the challenges we are addressing today are a snapshot of November 12, not November 30."

"We are working 24/7 to make improvements so that by the end of the month so that the site is working smoothly for the vast majority of users," Peters continued. "We are making progress, including fixes to reduce error rates and get the site moving faster."


Filed under: Obamacare
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. aNOY

    No patience in this country. Everyone wants everything handed to them on a platter. Pick up the phone and call if you need insurance. Everyone dont use compuiters for everything. I have insurance and I am healthy. I did what I had to do for my family. I assume others will do the same ACA or not?

    November 13, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  2. Patrick

    I live in Virginia and have to use the Healthcare.gov site for my healthcare exchange. I had no problem getting on the other night and checking out my options. I picked a great plan that is only $10 more than I'm already paying and it has better benefits that what I was getting. Strange thing was that it was through the same insurance company I'm already buying my insurance through.

    November 13, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  3. rashby

    “The website is already better than it was at the beginning of October"...umm well yeah because working at all is better than not working.

    November 13, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  4. MikeY

    I have been trying since October 1 to sign up for coverage. Have hit over a dozen bugs, the latest of which has me dead stopped for 3 weeks. Site will not allow a family to have different plans for different family members. Which I need.

    I am a loyal democrat, but this is a cluster of the highest magnitude. I have spent over 50 hours, over 10 calls to the call center, 3 escalations to the ARC, 5 live chats. So far the site is a waste of time and a huge impact to the Obama legacy.

    USA should have hired IBM to start with...

    November 13, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  5. DaveYoung

    Impeach and get over it.

    November 13, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  6. mediafail.2012

    LOL, I love it. More lawyer responses to basic questions. It's like Clinton asking about which definition of "is" is. Define working..hilarious. Next it will be "define safe" or "define secure" or even "define better".

    November 13, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  7. spike

    They spent only 600 million dollars on the web site. You need to spend at least twice that amount to get a decent web site today. Web sites am hard.

    November 13, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  8. king

    when will the American people open their eyes and see beyond the seen. lesson folks, we need a program to stop the insurance companies from racking up our insurance rates and send us into bankruptcy. all those state that are refusing to expand medicare in the south and allow rated to keep going up because of folks flooding into hospitals without insurance is stupid. the federal government is fitting the bill for crying out loud. lesson folks you either do it the old way of paying for someone else health insurance bill or you do it the obamacare way of everyone has to stand up on their own feet, and help out, its amazing but i sound like a conservative just then. this why i cannot understand the repubs adamant stand against obamacare. if we would have just did the single payment plan that the dems wanted and just expand medicare and medicaid, i wonder what the repubs would be saying right now. Obama adopted their plan and they are going buck wild by trying to destroy obamacare 42 times in congress. this is unbelievable. if the American people would stop this day to day repubs crisis the repubs love to feed them, and open their eyes to the future they will see that this plan is a god sent from heaven for this country's advancement, because nothing good is free.

    November 13, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  9. FidyCents

    This administration hasn't been working in 5 years. Of course they've done a good job at blaming Bush for everything and for most Americans that seem to work until now.

    November 13, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  10. EricAZ

    When will the CNN website be working perfectly? I have been a reader for a number of years. Often it is pretty good, occasionally a few glitches, particularly the stock quotes are sometimes slow. Most websites are works in progress. Many of the reporters covering this story know little about technology and are attempting to hold HealthCare.gov to standards of perfection that do not exist on the web.

    November 13, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
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