Obamacare website progress garners muted reaction from Congress
December 1st, 2013
03:08 PM ET
10 months 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. jinx9to88

    Do we as Americans expect nothing more from a Congress with a 9% approval rating. Whats funny is that the Congress see's the polls and their approval rating and they just don't care to try to fix it. Funny how GOP seem to have forgotten how terrible the rollout was for Medicare Part D. GOP are just plain hypocrites. GOP goes on television claiming policies are being canceled and premiums are going up but in reality these were issues before ACA thats why something needed to be done.

    December 1, 2013 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  2. GI Joe

    Boehner signed up and saved $350 per month. I thought he'd like his constituents to have the same opportunity.

    Guess not. Good for him, but not for them.

    He's such a hypocrite. I hope he does resign the end of 2014.

    December 1, 2013 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  3. jinx9to88

    "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." Is this guy talking about Bush with his 2 wars and medicare part D rollout?

    December 1, 2013 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  4. John

    The GOP bigots will always cry when the Dems accomplish something they can't/won't/haven't.

    December 1, 2013 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  5. Suemac in WA

    Glad that many of the portal's problems are resolved. Now we can begin the process of seeing how the law itself stands up to the needs of the American people.

    December 1, 2013 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  6. Rob

    Nothing like a inkling of positive news for ACA to stir the messiah worshipers from their month long slumber.

    December 1, 2013 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  7. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Another "scandal" bites the dust!

    December 1, 2013 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  8. timverba

    I guess the website is significantly better since the Republicans are on mute. Maybe in thirty years they will finally come around to singing the praises of Obamacare as they do now for Social Security and Medicare.

    December 1, 2013 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  9. CaliforniaAC

    Nothing shuts up the peanut gallery than taking away their peaNUTS.

    December 1, 2013 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  10. Rusty Krus

    Let's see what "Fox and Freaks" have to make up about this.

    December 1, 2013 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  11. Gurgyl

    I told you, ACA is a Law, is is working just GREAT. IT IS A MUD IN THE MOUTHS OF RETHUGLICANS. They better find something nonsense to cry on with Fox bull.

    December 1, 2013 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  12. Gunderson

    Obama Care isn't about getting health coverage, it is about the economy and jobs. If you have no job you can't pay for a health plan. And it isn't about Republican's or Democrats. And the ACA isn't the only problem out there. We still have a 17 Trillion Dollar Federal debt and the liberal's wanting to raise the debt limit.

    December 1, 2013 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  13. omeany

    AWWWWW! Now the GOP will have to find something else to whine about!

    Here's a thought...just for giggles...why don't they stop criticizing everything the President does and actually work to help make life for average Americans better? Maybe focus on job creation, or how employers can find ways to pay their employees more and put more money into our economy? Or find a way to lower the cost of college? All of these things would be accepted with open arms by the American public they claim to serve. AND...more people employed = less people on food stamps and welfare...Just a thought GOP.

    December 1, 2013 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  14. Bamabegone!

    Too little too late - but Liberals don't understand that - too many words!!!!!

    December 1, 2013 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  15. VALETUDO!

    It would be good if the darn thing works so we don't spend any more money fixing it. But the other problems still remain. What other surprises do we have coming with this new law? What impacts will it have on the economy and the healthcare industry? What other details were we mislead on?

    By the way – let's remember that Obama pushed this through without working with Republicans – at all. The current political environment of mistrust and non-collaboration is one he created in 2009.

    December 1, 2013 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  16. Bamabegone!

    "Obamacare website progress garners muted reaction from Congress'" - oh, my - does that mean something is not quite right in Obamaland? Of course WE will NEVER be told!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 1, 2013 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  17. VALETUDO!

    BTW – I went on a few minutes ago and tried to log in. This is what I got:
    "The system is down at the moment. We're currently performing scheduled maintenance. Please try again later.
    In a hurry? You might be able to apply faster at our Marketplace call center. Call 1-800-318-2596 to talk with one of our trained representatives about applying over the phone."

    This is why I don't trust this administration. And am not sure where CNN is getting it's info from.

    December 1, 2013 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  18. don in albuquerque

    Glad the web site is working and hope it continues too. But you realize this will really upset the GOTP apple cart. They will have to work hard to find something else to screech about.

    December 1, 2013 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  19. Greg

    When you think about the REAL amount of time they had to get this thing up and running, it's understandable there were problems.
    They couldn't really begin the way they needed to before they had all the answers from the states as to whom was going to create their own state exchange, or have the government do it, And whom was going to expand Medicaid and who wasn't.
    Of course it was conveniently to the opposing states advantage towards their objectives to withhold that info as long as possible. THAT didn't help at all while they charge the administration with doing nothing during that timeframe!!! Right? Like we don't all know better than that? If I were a Republican I would know better than to make charges like that, treated all of us as if we're stupid enough we can't figure that out and we'll all follow along with such.
    The web site should have been ready, granted! But....it was a big mistake for the administration to give the states so much time to decide when they knew what they wanted to do up front. They shot themselves in the foot trying to show good faith and cut themselves short of the needed time to do it right.
    Just the mere fact that the Right doesn't offer ANY other alternative to Obamacare as IF...IF the way it was, was fine, is enough for me to shut them out. Otherwise I'd be more than willing to listen to their ideas as to how to address healthcare. But there isn't anything other than, YOu CAN'T do THIS! well, SOMEONE has to do SOMETHING! they WERE DOING nothing period!!!!!!!And they thought that was fine and that all of us without healthcare didn't matter.
    Well.......Obama IS our President! That alone is proof of what the majority wants, and THAT is EXACTLY what this country is supposed to be about! The majority!

    December 1, 2013 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  20. Gary D

    Crybaby Boehner was trying to get his own insurance from the Obamacare site the other day, I wonder if he made it? Since tomorrow is a work day, he might let us know. The Taliban republicans are being mighty quite for some reason, what could it be I wonder?

    December 1, 2013 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  21. amazed

    Wow. It's nearly fixed. Now we can join every other industrialized nation on the planet in providing health care for our people. Man is the GOP going to be pissed off.

    December 1, 2013 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  22. tet1953

    Congress is quiet because dems are not going to say I told you so, and republicans...well, what are they gonna say, really?

    December 1, 2013 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  23. Tom Mitchell

    I don’t consider myself a Republican or a Democrat but the type of politics being played out in Washington needs to stop now! It doesn’t matter which side of the isle you sit the only way were going to accomplish this, is to vote these hardliner Republicans and Democrats alike out of office and elect more moderate candidates that will work to resolve their differences and put this country back on track for everyone instead of letting their overinflated egos and agendas get in the way. This type of political grandstanding has made us kind of a global laughing stock but what’s far worse, is that it’s like a cancer, left untreated, it will destroy the country from the inside out. In a twisted sort of way, by allowing these kinds of politics to continue, we are our in fact own worst enemy.

    December 1, 2013 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  24. Richard Long

    The website crashed during CNN's sign up demo this morning. Another failed promise to add to Obama's list of lies.
    You can keep your policy
    You can keep your doctor
    I didn't know that weapons were going to Mexican cartels
    I didn't know the IRS were targeting political groups even though the head of the IRS visited the White House multiple times
    The NSA does not spy on American citizens

    The website will be fully operational by the end of the month (Nov)

    December 1, 2013 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  25. dave

    really, really people
    again its not about the web site, my insurance has gone from 250 to 775 for the same insurance but now with a 6k deductible... I have to fire someone at my shop to pay for this... its not affordable, and you will have little coverage, and.... a question that no one can answer so far is..... how is this going to be paid for???? its 2.6 trillion over budget so far, and going deeper in the red every day.

    December 1, 2013 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6