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. Dave

    Not sure why the republicans thought the government couldn't run a website. The government runs literally thousands of websites...

    December 1, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  2. tom

    Regardless of whether the site works or not, the law is still a train wreck. Most people will find that their premiums will go up, not down, as everyone is forced to buy more insurance than they need. And no, they aren't "junk" policies. Wait until the employer mandates kick in. Obama's troubles haven't even begun. There is going to be a lot more screaming in 2014.

    December 1, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  3. ST

    Sometimes one has to ask himself: What is wrong with GOP? Few months ago, we heard their Chairman – Priebus saying: Tattooing on the forehead, campaign on Obamacare come 2014. If things will go right, of which I know they will, is he going to say this again?

    December 1, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  4. Lockerius

    Sigh, what a debacle. Of course, using a company that couldn't design a system for the province of Ontario (under ten million) to design a program for three HUNDRED MILLION. Good call on that one.

    December 1, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  5. nowhiteguilt

    Its still not working, just tried and it's skipping pages. It asked me to go back and answer a previous unanswered question that doesn't exist beccause the page isn't there.

    December 1, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  6. bob_lawbla

    Great, now we can be bombarded with lies about how many people are signing up for the train wreck that is Obamacare.

    When will the sheeple wake up and realize they only want your vote. Obama and his sycophants don't care about you.

    December 1, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  7. MakesYouThink

    Are you declaring it fix the same fix you have let this administration skate by with on;
    The economy
    The unemployment, 90,000,000 unemployed
    The shift from full-time to part-time employment
    Benghazi
    Syria
    Iran
    average American family saving $2,500.00
    Lying to the American people

    He has done nothing that everyone is just hoping one thing will work so he is not a 100% failure. Take the rose colored glasses of and see what it really is.

    December 1, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  8. Neutral Observer

    Maybe if we just keep saying it everyone will start to believe it.

    December 1, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  9. Marc

    Works? Really? How about the part where they hire convicted felons, among others, as "guides" who have access to your Social and all the info that makes ID theft a cakewalk?

    Oh, background checks! Didn't even think about that one, huh? (A bit like TSA, huh?)

    December 1, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  10. Code

    Give it a day. Annonymous will DDoS the hell out of it. If not them, somebody will.

    December 1, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  11. Nick

    We're the government and we're here to help. Hah! Having the web working will just allow people to find out that much more quickly that they were sold the Yugo of health insurance.

    December 1, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  12. Charles

    Get used to the fact that your company will not pay far more for your health insurance than they are paying now. YOU are going to pay those increases.

    December 1, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  13. Emma Morrow

    The Great and Powerful Ozbama has SPOKEN!

    December 1, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  14. bergus

    how 'smoothly' is smoothly? it's still down. great reporting CNN.

    December 1, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  15. FubarObama

    Well when only 6 people are on it of course it will work

    December 1, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  16. jerryann

    Yeaaaa! It works!! Can't wait for the media to spin this one!

    December 1, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  17. OKcmnsns

    Drink more Koolaid sheeple.

    December 1, 2013 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  18. Katelyn Sivid

    Do you just post the HHS press releases verbatim?

    December 1, 2013 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  19. mcwreiole

    EdRet; People can now access the site, doesn't mean they are completing the process to sign up for obamacare, you're getting a little ahead of yourself in declaring this a smooth functioning government access to health insurance. And, as you will come to find out, the web site is the least of the problem with this nightmarish legislation passed by a bunch of Democrats and a President who never even read it.

    December 1, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  20. Louis

    I tried again this morning and it still doesn't work. I end up in a circle where it says my application is complete but when I go to see what insurance policies are available it goes back and says my application is incomplete. This has been the situation since Oct 1st. I would recommend that everyone who wants to comment at least take some time and try out the site for themselves then they will actually truly know if the site works. It would be interesting to hear from people who actually used the site.

    December 1, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  21. S Smith

    50.000 a day is a long way from 800,000 a day. And what about the security issues? Deceptive administration. There is no victory here.

    December 1, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  22. jinx9to88

    There always going be haters towards this president. The ignorant people here in America think the Affordable Care Act and Obamacare are different.

    December 1, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  23. Ed

    Can he give me the extra $200 I don't have to pay the new monthly premium and the $5k deductible after my policy was cancelled? Now I go without coverage. Take that, EdRet.

    December 1, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  24. Guest

    Mission accomplished

    December 1, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  25. MIke

    what else would they say. Well, yea we all knew the site would get fixed how the hard part happens how many suckers cant they get? That's a whole lot harder to fix than a site the American people wont be back to this that ship has sailed.

    December 1, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10