Obamacare website progress garners muted reaction from Congress
December 1st, 2013
03:08 PM ET
1 year ago

Obamacare website progress garners muted reaction from Congress

Washington (CNN) - News that the Obama administration met critical repair goals for HealthCare.gov brought almost no applause from Capitol Hill Sunday, with just a few members of Congress responding to the website progress report at all.

Of those who responded, most either indicated that they expect more issues or that they saw the website as the beginning of Obamacare's problems.


"Based on past performance, it would be prudent to wait before determining that the website truly is fixed," wrote Doug Heye, deputy chief of staff for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Virginia.

As in news conferences and statements in the past two weeks, Heye and other Republicans focused less on the website and more on problems they see with the Affordable Care Act itself.

"Millions of Americans being informed that the health care plans they liked are being canceled - despite the President's repeated assurances otherwise - and being forced to pay higher premiums, deductibles, or both, are a much greater priority than a broken website," the Cantor aide told CNN.

House Speaker John Boehner's office gave a similar statement to CNN Sunday.

"This isn't just about a broken website, it's about a fundamentally-flawed law," wrote Boehner spokesman Michael Steel.

"Website is least of Obamacare's problems," echoed Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, on Twitter.

"You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and the first impression here was terrible," Rep. Tom Cole, R-Oklahoma, said on ABC's “This Week.” "And I think it's going to be an unfolding disaster for the president."

Democrats offered mixed reactions.

"We're getting to a point where, yes, there are a few problems we're working through now, but we can see the end of the era," said Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minnesota, on ABC's "This Week". Ellison said Obamacare will lead to a time "where people will be able to get sick and get care and not worry about being dropped ... or going bankrupt."

"The administration has hit some big benchmarks," praised Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland, on NBC's “Meet the Press.” But he added that problems may continue. "This is going to take some time before (the website) is up and kicking in full gear ... We should be working together to fix it every day."

soundoff (138 Responses)
  1. Salty Bob

    Truly good news I am happy to see the health care law continuing to help people in need, now if the new Play Station 4 can get its act together we will be complete. Oh GoP your good at stopping things from working like Americans, the Economy, a world in a state of peace, the TRUTH, can you add that same awesome energy to stopping those robocalls their as annoying as your party.

    December 2, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  2. mike Lake Orion Michigan

    Tried the site yesterday and still waiting for the verification process?

    December 2, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  3. Norma Vessels

    flloydhowardjr ... the Democrats couldn't even come close to causing as much damage as the Republicans in Congress has in the past 5 years. And you're right in there with the Republicans. When people begin to actually use their new insurance, then what will you fuss about. I guess you could go back to one of the old scandals that the Republicans have dropped when they found their wheels were only spinning and getting them nowhere.

    December 2, 2013 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  4. rs

    tom l

    The funny thing is that the dems think this is all about a website.
    ________________________
    Naw. We think it really is about all the lies spewed by the GOP.
    Just this last week they claimed:
    * We were ending diplomatic ties with the Vatican (WAR on Christians!)
    * That President Obama was the first President since Lincolm to not attend the Gettysburg address ceremonies
    * That the Iran treaty was a cover-up for the ACA web site mess

    No, my friend it is you who mistakenly thinks the Right actually stands for anything. The ACA is the law, and bringing health insurance to 35 million Americans is good for us all. If you can actually argue why the opposite is true, you clearly have no humanity or soul.

    December 2, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  5. pbcalif

    Poor hapless, ineffective Republicans. Why won't they just do something they were elected to do? Why not just attempt to pass one noteworthy bill? Just one? The House has not done one bill, not one. They simply meet and sob and cry and vent their hatred towards Democrats. This country doesn't need them and we pray they will never have power in this country.

    December 2, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  6. Gunderson

    Well,
    If you want to Re-Invent the Soviet Union you are doing well. Not sure which will come first The Impending Depression or the Collective. They may arrive at the same time. Good Luck !!!

    December 2, 2013 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  7. ART

    If Rep Tom Cole could possibly detach himself from the tea bags he probably would make more sense

    December 2, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  8. ghostwriter

    Say conservatives....if it wasn't about the website, why did you guys spend so much time complaining about the website?

    December 2, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  9. Organic1

    In case you people haven't figured this out yet, it is not us vs. them anymore – we are in this together as a nation and if your petty rants are still about who's group or party is doing the right thing, everybody but the politicians lose.

    December 2, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  10. rs

    Gunderson

    Well,
    If you want to Re-Invent the Soviet Union you are doing well. Not sure which will come first The Impending Depression or the Collective. They may arrive at the same time. Good Luck !!!
    ___________________________
    remind me fake-o accented one- what commercial health insurance companies existed in the old Soviet Republic, eh?

    December 2, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  11. Fair is Fair

    ghostwriter

    Say conservatives....if it wasn't about the website, why did you guys spend so much time complaining about the website?
    -----–
    You see, ghost, the website was the first impression, and as the saying goes, you don't get a second chance to make a first impression. Enrollment should be a relatively simple activity, and to see it so very flawed can only leave one to wonder what the more complex aspects are going to look like. Time will tell, but the next big test will be to see if the data collected on the site can be successfully used by the various insurers. Quite honestly, I'm glad I don't need to use the site... I'd be really worried about the security aspects. We shall see.

    December 2, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  12. Patty

    Repubs will always find something to complain about with the Obama Admin. because he is black. And all they areinterested in is non governing and getting re-elected – do nothing while in Washington so you can get elected again great Party Platform. Would be nice to see them out of the majority seat so maybe something can get accomplished.

    December 2, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  13. BP

    What happened to all of Obamas promises about insurance being cheaper and keeping what insurance you had?? This is all a way for government to take more control of your life. People need to wake up and realize that we could end up like Canada where everyone gives 60-70% of there paycheck to the government to provide all of theses services (many of which people do not need)

    December 2, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
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