December 1st, 2013
09:00 AM ET
8 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. T

    It worked before, people are too impatient. They would wait forever for a new phone or new gadget buy something like health insurance that is super important they want it in 5 minutes. One needs to take time to research the best deal, the best doctors, the best plan

    December 1, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  2. Sharon Mahart

    Once again, a CNN headline doesn't match reality. There's a big difference between "smoothly" and "smoothly for most". If the media was being honest, which is kinda why we have a media, we'd be hearing how ACT (Affordable Care Tax) is one of the greatest political blunders in US history. Alas, the headline will reassure the sheep that their shepherd is poised to look out for them and provide (smoothly) for all their needs.

    December 1, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  3. Old Sarge

    "Karen Ignagni, president and CEO of America's Health Insurance Plans, told the Associated Press that insurers have complained that enrollment data sent to them from the website include too much incorrect, duplicative, garbled or missing information. She said the problems must be cleared up to guarantee consumers the coverage they signed up for effective Jan. 1."
    Does that sound like it's really fixed? Next phase, "it's the insurance companies fault"!

    December 1, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  4. MakesYouThink

    By running smooth do you mean I can keep my plan and keep my doctor now? I'm glad that is fixed, huh. Liars.

    December 1, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  5. JustAnotherVoter

    This is great news!
    Now, if you can keep your doctor, keep your plan, and eliminate the employer mandate, this just might work.

    December 1, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  6. Chip

    Leave it to Crowley to spread disinformation for the Obama Administration

    December 1, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  7. don in albuquerque

    No Sharon, the biggest blunder in US History was tickle down.

    December 1, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  8. John Merritt

    50000 people at a time. Amazon did 7.7 million transactions Black Friday. This administration is a joke.

    December 1, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  9. iceload9

    So they fixed the flat on the model T. An old broken system that's still old and broken. Wild West billing continues, corporate profits will rise and turnips will pay.

    December 1, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  10. Par4theCourse

    Roughly zero of the whiners in the comments complaining that they don't get to keep their coverage are in reality affected by the changes. Normal people who lose their coverage (in almost all cases, but not all) end up with something cheaper and/or better. Normal people also don't write in the comments section. Mudslingers are just overjoyed that Obama finally said something that wasn't the truth, so they can equate lies about the deaths of Americans to lies about a bureaucratic snafu no one will remember in 5 years. Maybe it helps them sleep at night, I don't know.

    December 1, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  11. Cal

    GOP and their supporters are very negative. They have no Health care plan of their own and are jealous of Obama and the Dems who have provided one to many more millions in need. Dems want Health Insurance for all Americans the GOP do not.

    December 1, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  12. MakesYouThink

    by running smooth, does that mean the website will refund me the $2500.00 savings the average American is supposed to see?

    December 1, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  13. Par4theCourse

    Also, please let ANY of you who work for a company of any size chime in and explain how when their IT department updated their major systems they worked flawlessly. Now THAT would front-page news!

    December 1, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  14. Tampa Tim

    It has to work. How can you explain someone as dumb as Boehner getting signed up?

    December 1, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  15. Tampa Tim

    Right wingnuts should be allowed to sign up for Cruz Care.

    December 1, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  16. Chris

    If the U.S. government can’t implement our current immigration laws, what makes anyone think they can deal with the nation’s healthcare system?

    December 1, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  17. Nathan

    If they wanted to cut corners with the website, they should have issued all Americans a key code and a date range, only allowing a certain number of people on in week 1, and again in week 2, etc.

    December 1, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  18. Rachel

    Cost so far for this website flustercuck is 650 million with more to add. We could have given every single person 2 million dollars to buy their health and keep our fantastic medical industry. But, that isn't the objective now is it?. Its about Government control and nothing more.

    December 1, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  19. sandi

    I love obamacare im saving money and have an excellent plan. I was paying 600 andbnow 212. We were going to have tondropour insurance and only keep it on the kids but now we can all stay covered. THANK YOU OBAMA!!!!

    December 1, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  20. Long

    Lower expectations, provide measureless goal, make victory speech: "smoothly for the vast majority of users," (not all users like real websites)... SUCCESS!!!
    Forward!!!

    December 1, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  21. Liberal Lion

    Quit your griping Republicans. If we had waited for you slack A$$e$ to do anything, it would never have happened.

    December 1, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  22. Bobby Ray

    The ACA is like anything else in this world. If you want it to work, you can make it work. If you want it to fail, it won't work for you. And like anything else, if it is proposed or supported by the President of the USA, the right wing will hate it and vilify it with out suggesting an alternative.

    December 1, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  23. Mete Krop

    Yeah everything for this government is possible. Now every American the hateful GOPs can go online and sign in the healthcare website. No more living without healthcare insurance. Now everyone in this country should not think about his health. Okay

    December 1, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  24. SixDegrees

    Why should I believe anything this Administration says anymore?

    December 1, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  25. Tampa Tim

    Right wingnuts should be happy they get to keep their crap policies for another year.

    December 1, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
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