December 1st, 2013
09:00 AM ET
5 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. EdRet

    II never doubted Obama would get it fixed. He can do anything. Take that you doubters.

    December 1, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  2. Tampa Tim

    I am more inclined to believe the administration, than the lying right wingnuts.

    December 1, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  3. Rachel

    As they say, you can't un-ring that bell. The damage is already done.

    December 1, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  4. Alan

    Haven't heard from ol' Ted Cruz for at least a week now. What's up with that? Has his "spin" finally spun out?

    December 1, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  5. Diane Turner

    Sorry, I have been trying to complete a new application (after deleting the old application that hasn't been processed since Oct 1) for the last 45 minutes. The screens definitely DO move quicker, and I get all the way to the end to "Save and Continue," BUT the final screen DOES NOT PROCESS. I've been staring at it for 30 minutes waiting for it to do something. Just got off the phone with a CSR who told me the website is not working at this time. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA – big surprise! I told HER she needs to call CNN to tell them their article claiming the website is functioning smoothly is a LIE! She didn't have too much to say to me after that.

    December 1, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  6. tony

    did they fix you can keep you doctor if you like them ? or the $ 2500 saving ? or you can keep you plans If you like them ? Obamacare is a total failure.. all they did was get people to sign up for Medicaid.. and forced millions of people to lose their healthcare they paid with their own money..

    December 1, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  7. Tampa Tim

    Did it cost $24 billion? That is what the republican shut down cost. Right wingnuts have reported that the website cost $700 million, yet that figure is ten times reality. Republicans do have vivid imaginations.

    December 1, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  8. john

    The deductibles still suck.

    December 1, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  9. cfd

    That may be all well and good but it doesn't change the fact that the program itself is bad, really bad

    December 1, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  10. Obumbo

    Thought it was fixed just tried to log on and nothing.

    December 1, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  11. Robert T

    I see they were able to sign up all ten of them.

    December 1, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  12. RealityCheck

    Nonsense. This is a bunch of incompetent sociopaths "DEFINING SUCCESS". $394+ million spent on a crap PLAN A web site and ZERO terminations IS NOT ACCEPTABLE GOVERNANCE. Shame on you all. This was a failure of management and leadership. This was NOT a technical failure. Who is sheltering these nitwits? Who? Terminate everyone. This is obscene.

    December 1, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  13. Mike

    Those supporting Obama will find every way they can to make excuses for him. Even when the facts of the failed program, not just the web site, are starring them in the face. EXPECT your taxes to go up to support this disaster. All those other countries with country run healthcare are paying higher taxes, like Canada over 50%. Then I want to hear what all you Obama lovers have to say.

    December 1, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  14. Bmike

    Nothing but a bunch of haters..right wingnuts...you losers knew eventually it would be fixed...thanks Mr. President at least you had the guts to have a plan..the republicans never have an idea for anything for this country..oh yeah you did shutting it down...Losers

    December 1, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  15. Tampa Tim

    I do not believe there has ever been a bigger group in history, than the lying incompetent trash that comprise the GOP.

    December 1, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  16. Parker

    If Social Security becomes law, the USA will be a Socialist State. If Medicare becomes law the USA will become a Socialist State. If Medicaid becomes law, the USA will become a Socialist State. If unemployment insurance is enacted, the USA will become a Socialist State. If the ACA is enacted, the USA will become a Socialist State. Sound familiar?

    Let's everyone take a deep breath and calm down. The roll out of any, and I mean any, new government program is always rough. The ACA is the most complicated online system ever developed. If we spent 700 million and this is the result, it's most likely because it was built by the lowest bidder. We got just that, the low bid solution. And, yes, it did not work. We probably should have spent the high bid solution, which is unknown to me but let's call it 1 Billion, and we would have gotten a system that worked.

    Funny thing, when Republicans want to spend untold billions (that's untold because, as good Republicans, we keep cost war off the books – See George Bush) on two unnecessary wars, it's all good. When common sense says we should spent money on health care, it's all bad. So, in summary,any help for the people of this county is going to result in a Socialist State and any money taken from the the people for war is going to result in the trickle down of economic benefit for all. Really? Who are these tea bag nut jobs that continue to run this country? Oops, sorry I didn't mean to toss any logic into the discussion. Feel free to carry on in your own world of delusion where man once roamed freely with dinosaurs. Nothing to see hear.

    December 1, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  17. mjs56

    Worked great for me. No problems at all. Signed up this morning for a silver plan, $106 a month. First time in 15 years I'll have health insurance. Although I would have preferred Medicare for all, this beats nothing at all. Thanks Mitt Romney and the Heritage Foundation (Republicans) fpr this health care concept!!!

    December 1, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  18. Kent Mills

    That's what you do when something is broke – you fix it. You don't trow away your car just because you have a fly tire. By the same token, the truly important success/fail criteria have yet to be honestly evaluated. In a couple of years, we will know, and act according. Perhaps, if it really has failed (very unlikely), the GOP will have something ready to take its place (even more unlikely).

    December 1, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  19. Diane Turner

    The website moves much more quickly from screen to screen, but when you get to the final "Save and Continue," it just sits there. I have been trying for the last hour to complete a new application after deleting my old application that never processed through. A call to the CSR about 15 minutes ago confirmed the website is not working at this time.

    December 1, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  20. Mr lh

    Hey folks aca is not a website.. Aca is healthcare . Now what you no know nothings. How about learning who is for you and stop voting for thr repubs who don't give a penny about you. These idiots took this country down for a couple of months thinking that could stop the aca. Who does that ? A bunch of idiots

    December 1, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  21. Tampa Tim

    Republicans are now unhappy that it took so long to run smoothly. I swear, they complain about every thing. First they did not want the 50 million uninsured to have access to health care, then they wanted to shut down government and default so 50 million would not have health care. Then they wanted to repeal, restrict, defund anything help the 50 million would get. Now they are angry it took so long. You wingnuts know we read your posts, don't you?

    December 1, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  22. steve

    The MSM has been focused solely on the web site problems. Again we Republicans are telling you the problem is obamacare itself. The web site will eventually be fixed. Obamacare will never work because it was based on lies and deception. Obama and the dems own obamacare 100%. Now lets see if the MSM will do it's job and start reporting on every problem Obama has. Just like they did during the Bush years.

    December 1, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  23. Bob Hope's Ghost

    all propaganda. don't believe me? go try to sign up right now.

    December 1, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  24. graspopedia

    I tried to register again. Now I can get past 3 or 4 screens and then there is an error that my username and email address is already registered. In today's world where users are used to great web sties. This is not acceptable.

    December 1, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  25. Ami

    Guess I am in the "minority", still didn't work for me...

    December 1, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
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