December 1st, 2013
09:00 AM ET
11 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. Anon

    If it "works so well" why can't I log on?

    December 1, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  2. craigorie

    We as a nation are on the road to great health. Finally a President with courage got health care started for everyone.

    December 1, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  3. Bill

    " the site was now allowing “in the zone of 80%” of users to successfully complete a health care enrollment."

    You know what that's called anywhere else? Pre-Alpha software.

    December 1, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  4. Pam Skeen

    No matter what username I type into Healthcare.gov it is telling me "invalid user name". I tried a dozen or more user names this morning. Is anyone else getting this error message??

    December 1, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  5. Mare

    Has anyone followed the history? The Republicans in Congress refused to approve appropriations which were requested to hire professionals to build the website. Now they are kicking and screaming about the mess, which was created because of a lack of adequate funding. Another way to sabotage everything this administration tries to do.

    December 1, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  6. Dakar

    Doesn't do me a damn bit of good. The Hawaii site is still not working, with no indication of when it might ever be functional. Meeting the December deadline to get health insurance is looking very unlikely for me ...

    December 1, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  7. Dave

    I notice that all of the people on this site who boast about how "cheap" their coverage is under ACA are spending more than TWICE as much as I am without ACA subsidized plans. They also fail to mention what they actually get for those plans as well as whether they really NEED some of the things in the plans which they are paying for and WILL NEVER USE.

    December 1, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  8. Sandra

    Just managed to sign up at $204 for the Gold Plan. I'm a Republican, by the way. We'll see how it goes.

    December 1, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  9. XXxxMacleodxxXX

    still waiting on my return calls from the last 5 times I tried .....

    December 1, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  10. Skarphace

    Ian: "I am getting an error message when I try to Browse Health Plans. ... the plans are really poor – the deductibles and out of pocket expenses plus the monthly premiums make this anything but "Affordable"."

    You do realize that you just contradicted yourself there, right? How would you know how "poor" the plans are and what the deductables and out of pocket expenses are if you can't browse the health plans in the first place?

    December 1, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  11. Eagle0831

    Only 5.5 million need to sign up for Obamacare so there will be the same number insured since before all the cancellations. But of course the same number insured than before Obamacare will be hailed as a colossal success. The said part is the lib drones will believe them.

    December 1, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  12. ED1

    What a joke still can't get in and we continue to take what the liberals and the liberal press tells us.

    December 1, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  13. Skarphace

    CapeCod: "By the way Skarphace.....If its so great why did the president have to lie and bribe to get it passed??"

    First, the cliam about keeping your crap plan if you liked it was made after the law was passed. Second, if you have any evidence that there were bribes, then you should make your evidence known. Call Fox News, they will put you on the air for your investigative work.

    December 1, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  14. Matt

    Stop calling Republicans, Republicans. They are Fascists – pure and simple, and would complain about the color of a blue sky as long as they are out of power.

    December 1, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  15. SteveInMN

    The Republics have already started their long pre-planned pivot back to criticizing the ACA in general.

    Such. A. Sad. And. Worthless. Bunch.

    December 1, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  16. Puranappu

    SUCCESS!!!!! This is another feather in the cap for Obama and needless to say a nightmare to the GOP.

    Guys get this...GOP is mad as hell that this thing would actually work,and people would get coverage ,AND eventually it becomes POPULAR.This diminishes their chance of getting elected in 2016. GOP! get ready for another 4 years with the Democrats at the helm.Your chance will not come until 2020/2024.!!
    GOP is also mad that decades of running the country by white men,it took a black man to put Universal Medicare to the
    Americans.This hurts them most.Liive with it white America, the world is changing right under your nose.

    But you don't see it. Why?(this goes for all the races by the way) You NEVER read a newspaper,a worthwhile magazine, you are more interested in Football,basketball,Jerry springer,Oprah,stupid television stars. American Idol etc...
    So you are virtually brain dead.

    BTW ,I am a Canadian.

    December 1, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  17. fred

    I logged on today from Florida, fine, no problem. Found a good six plans to compare, premiums from $1.74 to $60 per month. Sweet.

    December 1, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  18. Skarphace

    Truck: "@ Skarphace,the GOP doesn't want socialized healthcare"

    Then they shouldn't be trying so hard to undermine the ACA. If the ACA fails, it will be replaced by a single-payer plan, which is what Canada has and is much more "socialist" than the ACA is.

    December 1, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  19. Carrie

    I personally do not trust them with my information, so no thank you for me.

    December 1, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  20. The Liberal Perspective

    It works great, until it doesn't. LOL. All they need is one more catastrophic failure and TKO.

    December 1, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  21. jinx9to88

    People write and complain about rising costs and people losing their insurance policies, however they fail to mention that costs have been going up every year and thousand of people loss their policies daily. The fact the GOP trolls do not acknowledge this is beyond me.

    December 1, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  22. Dan5404

    The same old GOP lies and negativity will continue, similar to Custer's last stand but longer, because there are more than 186 ultra-right extremists in a country that prefers Affordable Health Care (or a total one-payer system). They have been attacking and predicting the death of ACA before they knew anything about it. Then, they decided that signing up was difficult (just like Bush's drug plan, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security were at their launch, except every Democrat wasn't circling like a vulture, hoping the plans would die) They have fought the age-old GOP fight of denying health care for millions who need it most so that their fat-cat health care corporate providers could continue to reap larger and larger profits from sick Americans. All that will eventually ease considerably. The rate of increae in health care is down three years in a row already. Thanks to President Obama for the best thing to happen to healthcare in America.

    December 1, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  23. Mark

    This, despite the best efforts of right wing groups to sabotage the site via intermittent Denial-of-Service cyberattacks.

    How sick do you have to be to try to sabotage a website designed to help people get health care, just for the purpose of political gain?

    How sick do you have to be to identify with the GOP these days? They are trying like heck to hurt Americans in any way they possibly can.

    December 1, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  24. RandyNewnan23

    The biggest democratic achievement in the last 50 years is finally underway! Thank you Obama.

    December 1, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  25. anthony ta

    Because of 18million he has to turn the lives of 180million people up side down. What the disgaced govt. To me , his administstion and the damm communist not alot different.

    December 1, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
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