December 1st, 2013
09:00 AM ET
1 year 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. Roger Bridges

    I think the whole website confusion debacle whatever is smoke to keep you from seeing the insurance plans are to expensive are the deductibles as high as they are claiming .What about them doubling smokers premiums is that next year ? who is deciding who gets subsidies and for how long we do know that is hard earned tax money they are giving away right. I would go to jail before I got on this site and gave any info no matter what this government says you would have to be dumber then a normal sheeple to do this right

    December 1, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  2. Robertson

    The true American Healthcare Exchange is now working smoothly! Sign up NOW or else; our great leader mandates it! Three more years of this Obama-clown and we can FINALLY be rid of him – and not a minute too soon.

    December 1, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  3. Peace

    Good news coming at the right time. We all know its the month of celebrations, happiness and being together. Will those who have been negative let people enroll themselves at this time and come with their negativity next year if they will wish to do so.

    December 1, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  4. Anonymous

    Must be nice to walk around drunk all day and state blasphemy

    December 1, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  5. Nick

    No program is perfect at rollout. Lets not loose sight of the objective of the ACA: to get coverage for the majority of the people. Some of you people just hate Obama for the sake of it. Get over it.

    December 1, 2013 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  6. Lance Sackless

    Tampa Tim – please stop trolling. You're embarrassing the rest of the Obama sycophants.

    December 1, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  7. tom

    "There always going be haters towards this president. "

    Because he's a stone-cold liar.

    December 1, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  8. mary

    It's not working smoothly. Report A Life Change does not work.

    December 1, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  9. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Does the media spokes people care whether you have healthcare, the answer is NO because they have theirs. And of course the GOP Congress don't want you to have it either, they're too concerned about money for PORK BARRELL SPENDING to pay Corporations and Americans wealthiest individuals that they have promised your tax payoff money.

    December 1, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  10. Rachel

    So far this website has cost the taxpayers 680 million dollars. We could have given every man woman and child 2 million dollars for their care and kept our fantastic medical industry. But then, how can the Government control our lives??

    December 1, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  11. Herbal Tea

    It's very easy to be critical. It will improve over time. I'm glad all of the nay sayers were not around when Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid (Gov't programs) were started. But I'm sure that all the people that are so negative on the PP&ACA probable are turning down their Social Security checks and refusing to enroll in Medicare at 65. And what is the alternative option from the right besides the status quo of the Insurance industry raping policy holders? Let's all relax and give it a chance.

    December 1, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  12. john

    Now that its working smoothly the silence from the media begins.....wait and watch

    December 1, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  13. MakesYouThink

    By working smoothly now, does that mean that it is no longer going to mandate that every man in America has to buy birth control and maternity care?

    December 1, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  14. jr

    The site can handle more traffic but there's a lot that isn't done, including the whole payment part and accuracy of information to insurers. What about the higher costs for everyone that doesn't receive subsidies? What about those of us that will have our plans canceled after 2014 because our plans don't meet the Obamacare standards of what needs to be covered? This is a bad bill.

    December 1, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  15. Audrey

    Sharon, who cares about this supposedly the biggest political blunder. Which it is not. Sending us to war is. Be that as it may. I signed up and had no problems what so ever. T was correct, you wait forever for a phone, or how about all the wonderful crazy people who stand in line on brown Thursday or black Friday for a TV. Is a TV worth more to you then having health insurance. How about the fact that we as a nation needed a comprehensive health insurance plan so all of us are able to have some sort of coverage at a reasonable price. It may not be perfect, but please tell me what is perfect.

    December 1, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  16. thomase

    In all honesty I don't care anyway, (unless I lose my private insurance, then I'll be p#ssed!) Last month I viewed a quote from ACA and the silver plan which is comparable to my insurance is $200 more expensive with a huge deductible of $6000. My plan covers 80/20 and has a $2000 deductible for $435/month.

    December 1, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  17. ruth

    Wake up America what part did you niot get...you can not keep your plan,you will all be thrown into Medicaid and you will have to share your doctors appointment in a room with 15 other people because you will not be able to KEEP your doctor...you will not be able to AFFORD a doctor.and you will not be able to SEE a doctor unless you pay about $125.00 up front to have a consierge appointment with a DOCTOR....if you vote another Democrap into office then you get what obama is serving you....remember HE does not have to apply to the law,only his servants....meaning all other Americans....and he is laughing at each and every one of you....different when you think about it that way ,doesn't it? he is a liar and he still thinks people like him......just ask him !

    December 1, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  18. CaliforniaAc

    Chuck onr up for technology against the Tea-Turds and the Repugnants.... the only war cry now is BENGHAZI,

    December 1, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  19. michael lee

    funny how some republicans are saying "just three more years of obama"

    you do know...you will not have a repubican president after him...due to nationa demographics....it will more than likely be hilary or elizabeth warren who are beating any top republican named by 10 points right now

    and they are more than likely to veto any repeal....and even expand on the program .....the future is bleak for a conservative....there truly is no happy ending, just complaints

    heck even the courts are gonna get packed with obama nominees because of the new nuclear option.....the country is going left....you better roll with it....or get your small town butt rolled over

    December 1, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  20. Tampa Tim

    Rachel – having trouble with math? Your numbers and your facts? are wrong.

    December 1, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  21. sammy750

    I suspect thousands of Republicans and the new media will flood this site to try to make it go down. Republicans want this site to fail, so they will take any action they can to stop the site from working.

    December 1, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  22. john

    Are we supposed to believe anything these folks say ??...As the saying goes...I was born in the morning, but not yesterday morning.

    December 1, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  23. jr

    Nick, the main issue many of us reasonable folks have is this was sold to the people as something different than it is turning out to be. Besides the few good provisions, it forces insurance on young people, gives more taxpayer subsidies to lower income earners, expands fully taxpayer funded Medicaid, does not allow near 6 million people (so far) to keep their existing insurance, mandates maternity & childcare coverage for people that don't need it (raising their cost), will disrupt coverage from small business providers (the next wave of dropped plans), increases the cost and/or deductibles for many of us not qualifying for subsidies, and limits the network of doctors besides the gold plans. Those are facts.

    December 1, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  24. Audrey

    Roger, you are a dumber then the "normal sheepie" And your rhetoric makes no sense. Yes the subsidies come from tax payers but how much more do you think tax payers pay for the uninsured? People like you who feel it's okay for someone else to pay their bill for not having any insurance. You are a very selfish sheepie.

    December 1, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  25. Walter Jasniewski

    It's working, but why is it costing 10 times what they estimated? The whole reason this passed was because Obama promised people's rates would drop, preexisting conditions would be covered, it was going to save the country trillions, etc. It was all lies so far, we had about 30 million people without insurance before the healthcare law, now we have 35 million because companies are forced to drop people because of the law. The insurance industry provides a protection for a cost, we had the option to pay for it and have the protection, or not pay for it. Some people cannot afford insurance, some people make poor choices. When I cannot afford something, I can work harder, get promoted, get a second job, etc. I would like to have a Ferrari, but I cannot afford it. I would like the best insurance out there, but I cannot afford that either. I have a 2004 Toyota Corolla, and a mid level insurance policy, I made responsible choices.

    December 1, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
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