December 1st, 2013
09:00 AM ET
11 months ago

Administration: HealthCare.gov working smoothly

Washington (CNN) – Two months after coming online, the beleaguered HealthCare.gov website works "smoothly for the vast majority of users," the Obama administration claimed Sunday, the self-imposed deadline for getting the website up and running.

In a report and speaking to reporters, officials with the Department of Health and Human Services said more than 400 individual repairs have helped the health site increase its capacity to 50,000 users at a time, while lowering response times to less than a second. That amounts to what the administration calls “dramatic progress” in repairing the site.


“HealthCare.gov on December 1 is night and day from where it was on October 1,” Jeff Zients, the management guru tasked with leading the website repair, told reporters on a conference call Sunday.

Charts included in the HHS document indicate the majority of the website fixes came over the past month, when a group of tech experts huddled to find ways of making the digital property usable for the bulk of Americans. President Obama, along with top deputies and staff, vowed the site would work for the "vast majority" of Americans by the end of November.

Julie Bataille, the communications director for the agency heading the website repairs, said the site was now allowing “in the zone of 80%” of users to successfully complete a health care enrollment.

The health agency said users now spend an average of 20 to 30 minutes on HealthCare.gov, and that usage trends show the site will be able to handle more than 800,000 visits a day.

“In effect, we’ve widened the system’s onramp. It now has four lanes, instead of one or two,” Zients said Sunday.

That’s a far cry from the site’s launch, when Americans looking to enroll in health insurance exchanges were unable to create accounts and log on. The technical problems, combined with groups of people having their insurance plans canceled, have caused a crisis for the White House and Obama, who has seen his approval ratings drop to new lows.

Officials cautioned Sunday that users could still face error messages and slow performance times, though they stressed the website was vastly improved from its launch.

“As with any website, the team will continue to address bugs and glitches,” Zients said.

soundoff (238 Responses)
  1. ThinkAgain

    It's a very complex site, but it's just software. If our country can figure out how to put a man on the moon, it can figure out how to verify eligibility, serve up possible healthcare plan options and calculate subsidy benefits (if applicable).

    December 1, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  2. rick

    Funny the Tea Party people keep bring up 53% do not like Obamacare.
    16% of the 53% They think Obamacare isn't liberal enough.
    I thought the Republicans were the watch dogs on all things that do with numbers.
    so if they are fabricating these numbers just what else are they putting their right wing spin on?
    Maybe this is why Mitt lost so badly, have they been using their special spin math so long that they have forgot how to do real math ?

    December 1, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  3. Fair is fair

    Good now we just have to give the poor laptops and Internet lol

    December 1, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  4. ThinkAgain

    @Lori: "and the security of your data? none. so, the front end works for most users (the only part you see), the middleware who knows? and the backend is nonexistent."

    And the source of your information? The parts of the backend that aren't yet complete include accounting and payment systems such as the delivery of federal subsidies. According to CMS Deputy CIO Henry Chao, the federal marketplace had met all security standards and that there were measures in place to continually identify and eliminate potential threats.

    And what does any of this have to do with the basic premise of the law itself? These are software concerns that can be addressed.

    Follow-up question: When Medicare Part D had a rocky launch, why is it that repubs then worked together with Dems to fix the situation – as opposed to now, when all the repubs want to do is scrap the whole thing?

    Only one answer: The GOP is willing to hurt our people and hurt our country in their efforts to deny President Obama nay legislative victories. In my book, that's treason.

    December 1, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  5. Bobby's Girl

    Working smoothly.
    You can keep your doctor.
    You can keep your plan.
    Tell me another.... Obama had three years and plenty of our hard-earned tax dollars to get this monstrosity off the ground. If any online retailer had orchestrated such a comedy of errors getting their website right, they would not have my business. Period.

    December 1, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  6. ThinkAgain

    @Lori: "and the security of your data? none."

    Completely untrue. You are proof that folks who get their information from Fox are dumber than those who don't watch TV at all.

    December 1, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  7. daveugber

    i find it interesting and a sad reality amongst the ACA supporters that they are clinging to the hope that 2-months into their President's signature legislation roll-out, a WEBSITE will function...it is sad, because the website itself is inconsequential in the greater scheme of WHY this law is bad news...the leftist sycophants continue to prance and insult opponents to this law as if they are all republicans or they are all Barack Obama haters...so, by definition (in their minds) anyone opposed to a trillion-dollar law enacted by ONE PARTY with no support at all from the other side of the isle is a hater, a racist and/or a red-neck, gun nut... it is especially sad, because the TRUTH will come out over the next 6 months that this whole law was predicated on a series of lies, where a vast majority of the citizens of this country will be NEGATIVELY AFFECTED by the ACA...it is going to be almost uncomfortable to watch all of my left-leaning friends eat crow when the final nail is put into the coffin of this legislative "we have to pass the bill to find out what's in it" disaster...how can ANYONE support a group of politicians that would pass a thousand-page bill into law through reconciliation? please folks...once the dust settles, have the decency to admit you were hoodwinked so that you can start to grow up and learn from the mistake of letting the leftist media play CYA with a terrible president...

    December 1, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  8. Tea :Party Thomas

    Obama care will bankrupt this country. Wake up people.

    December 1, 2013 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  9. Liz the First

    Sorry, haters. guess the American people are going to get health care after all.

    December 1, 2013 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  10. Gurgyl

    ACA is a Law. It is working just great. In fact it is much cheaper than insurance company offers and with less deductions too. GOP thugs better rant on other stuff now. GOP is gone to dogs for fifty years or so.

    December 1, 2013 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  11. norma jean

    BOBBY'S GIRL........... Yes, and look at all the help the president has had along the way.....Every word from the other side has been negative...and anything they could do to prolong the procedure they happily threw in!!!!...just imagie what would have happened if they had run WITH Obama instead of constantly working against him ...these little people and Fox news with little minds ripping at the program every way they could from day one to discourage the people from getting involved....Where have you been ?????Wake up "girl"...........NOT ONY THAT...BUT THE PLAN IS NOW WORKING!!!!
    !!.

    December 1, 2013 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  12. ThinkAgain

    @daveugber: The bill has not been fully implemented, and yet you and your ilk say it will fail. The ACA is making insurance companies actually compete for business; work towards efficiency and lower costs; put money into preventive care which is cheaper than treating illnesses that have progressed. Better outcomes, fewer preventable illnesses, less utilization of emergency services for primary care: all of these are good and lead to greater productivity.

    Insurance companies know this – which is why they are all investing in creating healthcare shopping for their customers.

    And contrary to your RWNJ fantasy, the ACA was NOT predicated on a series of lies and the vast majority of citizens will NOT be negatively affected.

    Speaking of reconciliation, both Bush tax cuts were passed using that method – and yet the GOP stands firm in the fantasy that tax cuts for the wealthy help our economy, all evidence to the contrary. If you're looking for folks who need to start dealing with reality, it's the GOP, Bub.

    December 2, 2013 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  13. stars

    My god why so much hate for this president. But than they hated jesus christ without a cause. Now that I think about it he was from the eastern country. So that mean he was black to. Oh now I get it.

    December 2, 2013 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
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