December 1st, 2013
09:00 AM ET
10 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. Dennis Freeman

    Notice how some success and progress starts dropping down in all the headlines? But, I'm sure there will be those who look for what's wrong no matter what – that's what sells these days.

    December 1, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  2. bearclaw69

    Sick of paying subsidies through my taxes for housing assistance, food stamps, Medicaid etc. Make these lazy bums work or they get nothing more than a tent to live in and food and water.

    December 1, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  3. TransparentGovt

    How's the most transparent Administration working out for masses? Oh wait, yet another lie from the king of lies

    December 1, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  4. Matt

    No matter what, even if the website was perfect in every way, there will be those that whine and complain about it. That's what get's attention these days, the whiners.

    December 1, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  5. KaPueo

    Well, if the government says so it must be true...NOT!

    December 1, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  6. Ian

    I am getting an error message when I try to Browse Health Plans. I don't call that "fixed". I cant even review my application to pick up where I left off. I am totally in favor of the ACA, but I have to say that the plans are really poor – the deductibles and out of pocket expenses plus the monthly premiums make this anything but "Affordable". The premise of the Act is sound – healthcare for all – the reality is that the insurance companies are still shafting the American public and the Administration.

    December 1, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  7. Jack

    Just checked it for business policies and it said "policies not available due to technical difficulties." Also, annual pricing for an 80% family plan is $12k? How is this affordable?

    December 1, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  8. Nick

    The hypocrisy of republicans posts on here is so amusing. If somebody clues them in one day, they're going to feel silly. For a group of people who talk about Christianity so much they sure don't act much like Jesus, the biggest liberal of all time.

    December 1, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  9. Troy

    Matt keep drinking that koolaid from Obama you and every democrap needs to get fleeced by this law I for one am not participating in it. Let you and every democrap pay for my healthcare by going to the ER and rack up 1000's of dollars so you Democraps can pay for me.

    December 1, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  10. Peg

    This is good. Since everything other than the website seems to be coming in under budget, maybe they could lower the % s of a persons income that determines the subsidy. We really do need a lot more disposable income in this economy.

    December 1, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  11. Common Cents

    ... anything that takes FIVE WEBSITE VISITS in order to get anything started is a complete sham. You iRobots wouldn't have it if that was your cell phone or iPadpod, why is it acceptable with your medical care? Oh, I get it.. your President is half black and you don't want to be a "hater". epic fail.

    December 1, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  12. Winston5

    ...and the wind going out of the sails of Fox News in 3, 2, ...

    December 1, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  13. betty

    No! Dont get it working smoothly! What will the right find to complain about then?

    December 1, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  14. Lurker

    of course they are going to say its working better, NO ONE really expects they to say it's still messed up

    December 1, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  15. Ryan

    @Bearclaw, have you ever been let go from a job or downsized? Ever suddenly been a single mother of 4, with no way to work because day care cost $300 a week per child? What is so stupid about what you said is that we pay taxes to drop bombs on people who aren't shooting at us, never theatened us, and for some humanitarian reason. I would MUCH rather help hungry Americans than to send my tax dollars to bomb another country. It sickens me that folks like you get to vote and tend to vote in numbers. God Bless American, we're going to need the blessings.

    December 1, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  16. Hank

    I don't really see the need for a government website. Private concerns run much more efficient websites to shop for insurance. There should and probably will be other options for buying health insurance, and it is in the insurance industries interest to support these sites. All health insurance has to be ACA compliant anyway, and the tax credit is just an estimation of what you will earn next year anyway. Who knows about that, anyway? Tax credits are a bigger problem in my mind, because the IRS is being used as the enforcement agency. You should probably underestimate your future earnings a little and pay a little more for insurance.

    December 1, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  17. Tom

    One lie after another

    December 1, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  18. jim

    When you can define your "goal" only after you determine how far you can get, that doesn't really make it a "goal," now does it?

    We have gone from a Democracy to a Kludgeocracy.

    December 1, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  19. Tom

    The problem isn't whether the website works or not. The problem is premiums doubling for some people because of this criminal program.

    December 1, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  20. u laby

    for those of you spiking the football defending your 'dear leader', this piece of junk cost 600 million. this money could have done a lot of good for a lot of people. stuffing the pockets of obama's friends is a disgrace.

    December 1, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  21. TexanWarrior

    So if it's working so well, why are the reports of the errors and the inability to enroll still persisting this morning?

    Hmmm?

    December 1, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  22. randall blankenship

    the republicans gave the democrats a early christmas gift the end of sept this year, by having a delayed mandate for americans for one year. the republicans wanted us to have the same mandate obama gaves business and obama harry reid and nancy peloisi wouldn't negotiate with them, now after all this fiasco the democrats and obama are putting these delayed mandate in place, they are in favor of it, if the democrats would have used their heads instead of their ass, we wouldn't had a 2 week gov, shut down, that shut down was a democrats shut down, it was all political trying to shift the blame on the republicans; people need to wake up and see obama, reid pelosi, and these othere democrats as they really are, liars, fraud and losers.

    December 1, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  23. Bookldy209

    Not surprisingly, the GOP is very quiet.

    December 1, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  24. Ctrygrl

    What do you bet FOX news has six people who couldn't get it to work on tonight.

    December 1, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  25. rosethornne

    Rachel says:
    December 1, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am
    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??

    ------

    ...and with a stunning grasp of "numbers" and "facts", another rwnj illustrates the major impediment to solving our nation's problems:  one side lives in an alternate reality where made-up nonsense IS their reality.

    P.S., for the rwnjs still going "huh?", 680 million dollars would provide 2 million dollars each, for 340 individuals.  

    As reference you can easily grasp, there are lots more people than 340 in a typical WalMart at any given time.  11 Barrett M82 .50 caliber sniper rifles weigh just a little more than a pack and a half of cigarettes less than 340 pounds (the rifles are 30.9 lbs  each and cigarette packs are about an ounce each;  30.9 ounces times 11= 339.9 pounds which leaves a tenth of a pound or 1.6 ounces.  Cigarette packs are about an ounce so that's a pack and a half, plus bum a couple of cigs from your buddy Ellray.  Of course, Ellray's trying to give up smoking because his wife Becky Sue started having asthma so you might have to ask Bobby Rick, though he's more into the racing and fishing scene.  Typical NASCAR tires weigh 25 pounds so that's 13 tires plus 15 pounds left over which is 30 10" Rage Tail Anaconda fishing worms at 14 grams, or 1/2oz each.  But the exhaust fumes still bother Becky Sue's asthma since she's a friend of Tawanda Jean (Bobby Rick's wife), see her cousin went to hairdresser school with Tawanda Jean back before Ellray's Uncle Matt passed and their graduation test was doing the hairdos at Simpkins Mortuary which is where Tawanda Jean met up with Bobby Rick before he married Becky Sue when she went to Uncle Matt's funeral to check out the hairdos, which is how they all came to be sharing the RV during NASCAR week, so maybe Bobby Rick isn't the one to ask after all.) 
    See – very simple. 

    December 1, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
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