Obama administration: Website won't be perfect on November 30
November 13th, 2013
07:56 AM ET
5 years 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. Rudy NYC

    It almost sounds like they would have been better re-writing a new site from scratch. Bad software architecture cannot be repaired. It needs to be torn down and rebuilt properly.

    November 13, 2013 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  2. tom l

    Lol. Just another over promise by the administration. I think they should take the motto "Over promise and Under deliver...hey we're the government!"

    November 13, 2013 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Are we still on the website issues? It worked fine for me. Roll outs have never go as smooth as possible. Medicare Part D roll out is a prime example of that.

    November 13, 2013 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  4. Rick McDaniel

    There is NOTHING about ObamaCare that will EVER be acceptable, much less perfect.

    November 13, 2013 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  5. originalwill

    it depends on what the definition of "is" is.

    November 13, 2013 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  6. Data Driven

    "completely functioning website"

    There is no such thing, at least not on a massive national scale. But I'm sure it will mostly work. It mostly works now, according to reports not shown on CNN.

    Not even the wingers care anymore, guys. Write about something different. Here's an idea: Marco Rubio's support of gay-conversion therapy. Extra credit: analyze how this affects his Presidential hopes in 2016.

    November 13, 2013 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  7. Gurgyl

    Google will fix it.

    November 13, 2013 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  8. uncdig

    Unfortunately politicians live by a different set of definitions. Working isn't really working, sex really isn't sex, keep really isn't keep, protest isn't really protest, targeting isn't really targeting, gun running really isn't gun running, and on and on.

    It's time that politicians be held to the same level of accountability and honesty as the rest of society.

    November 13, 2013 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  9. vic , nashville ,tn

    I am waiting to enroll , how long we have to wait

    November 13, 2013 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  10. Ken

    ….. and the Secretary of Heath and Human Services keeps her job! In private industry she would have been out the door. Only the federal government tolerates incompetence.

    November 13, 2013 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  11. Hector Slagg

    No kidding Dick Tracey. What gave you your first clue?

    November 13, 2013 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  12. tv22

    I can hardly wait to see what happens when on December 1 the system is overrun by people who need insurance by 12/15. Given that once you are approved it takes some time to get you the information and then you need time to make a decision, I would imagine that most people will be rushing to get this done – will the system handle this new pent-up demand?

    November 13, 2013 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  13. Relictus

    It's unsettling to me that the number one superpower is unable to establish and maintain a website after spending $300 million dollars. There is a whole group of people that clearly are not doing their jobs. I was pro-Obama, but he needs to fix this debacle and it's not happening.

    November 13, 2013 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  14. A True Conservative

    But trust us.....even though we totally screwed up the website, we are going to have a great health care program......trust us...no....really....trust us.......

    November 13, 2013 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  15. Mark

    Many people will be left without health insurance on Jan 1. People will die because of this botched website.

    November 13, 2013 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  16. Joseph Tessaro

    I went to the website and filled out the application. Our family is eligible. The problem is, and has been for 11 days not, that when I go to the "continue to enrollment' to view plans, and costs, there is absolutely nothing to view. It is basically a blank page, no plans, no costs, nothing. I supposedly have until March to enroll, time is ticking and it isn't in my control.

    The lack of support from the online chat and from the customer service reps when you call the 800 number is incredible. Canned responses every time on the online chat, I ask a question and get the same response that doesn't answer my question. I ask the question two more times and get the same two canned responses. Then, the keyboard warrior tells me to get help through the 800 number. I call the 800 number and give them my information and guess what they tell me? THE WEBSITE IS DOWN AND THEY CANNOT ACCESS THE PLANS OR COSTS. They keep telling me to turn off pop up blocker and clear cookies and try back in 30 minutes.

    Then, they tell me I can fill out an application (which I have already done and am eligible) over the phone but that will slow the process if I have already done an application online.

    The funny part about all of this is that I lose money EVERY TIME I deal with this because I am self employed. Not only are we Americans hosed by the ridiculous high cost of health care, we lose money when we are trying to save money by dealing with Obamacare. What a joke.

    We pay $700 a month for healthcare that I rarely use, plus we have a $7500 deductible to meet every year. What a joke.

    November 13, 2013 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  17. Anonymous

    What's the plan on getting some of our monet back from the companies that created this turkey?

    November 13, 2013 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  18. RIchard Long

    Why wasn't the website ready on October 1st?
    Why did they fail on the promised November 30th deadline?

    November 13, 2013 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  19. enzo

    SURPRISE SURPRISE in obamaland

    November 13, 2013 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  20. VoteForPedro

    Quit the whining. You still have your current insurance HC for almost 2 more months. Relax, it will all be fine.

    November 13, 2013 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  21. Adi

    Should not be entire repair cost is recovered from contractors, after all it was tax payer money which was given to them.

    November 13, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  22. sonny chapman

    This IS bad for those who think that Govt. can be a vehicle for improving the lot of the masses from Man-Made Problems. But, Obamacare COULD actually work if the Repubs. wanted it to. This would even be proof that a combo Govt./Free Market Approach can work. If ALL the States would operate the Exchanges that would be a big help. If the message was that PENALTIES are really a small stick to encourage people to get on board. If Repubs. would preach their usual Message of Personal Responsibility to the Young Folks. But alas, Repubs. HATE Obama more than their Self-Professed Love fo Country.

    November 13, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  23. PortOurTroops

    Do you know why they call it Windows 9? Because Microsoft couldn't get it right the first 8 times.

    The website will have flaws–it will always have flaws and that is simply the nature of human design. Could it be better? Yes. but give it time. I still used Windows 3.0. in the 1980s. We have become an impatient society, probably fueled by the press and advertising.

    November 13, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  24. jpmichigan

    We, the people of the USA, vote for individuals to represent us , not make decisions and choices for us and state " the choices made are for the best interest of the American people". Just maybe is those who pass the ACA law, would have read the law and the same applies to the Supreme court, one would have seen that the law stipulated that the regulations deemed what is best for all Americans, takes away the Americans ability to make choices as to what is deemed by them, what they needed. Not everyone needs to keep kids on till 26, if they don't have kids to meet that requirement, same is for maternity coverage. The government wants to cover mediaide then propose a payroll tax of 1% just for mediaide. Leave healthcare alone for those who understand healthcare coverage. ACA is nothing more than a re-distribution of wealth by middle class and rich who work.

    November 13, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  25. Tony

    You can keep your plan, but no one guaranteed that the premiums on your plan would not rise. There was a reason why insurance companies offered the cheaper plans in the first place. These cheaper plans were designed to pay out minimal benefits. They were a nice source of profits for insurance companies. They allowed insurance companies to lower premiums for people who actually need insurance. It accomplished the same purpose as the individual mandate: getting the young and healthy to contribute to the insurance pool, so that people who actually need insurance can afford it.

    If Obama and Democrats feel that they need to do something, they should introduce a legislation so that for the same premiums that people were paying insurance companies, the government would guarantee the same benefits they would have gotten from the canceled plans. This would be a nice way to raise revenue for the government.

    November 13, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
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