Obamacare website progress garners muted reaction from Congress
December 1st, 2013
03:08 PM ET
5 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. John

    GOP marching orders.....no complements whether deserved or not....after all we are at war with the democrats!!!!!......please vote these partisans out of office.................

    December 2, 2013 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  2. Iamnotfooled

    Of course . They are stunned that it is actually working. They have to find a new scandal.

    December 2, 2013 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  3. ThinkAgain

    What's really sick is how happy the GOP is over the problems with the website. Gone are the days when the GOP cared about anything other than their own political power. They could care less about our country – the last 5 years are ample evidence of that.

    Pathetically ironic when you consider how they used to accuse anyone of disagreeing with Bush of being anti-American, anti-God and aiding the enemy. It all started with Limbaugh declaring he wanted President Obama to fail. That, along with the tacit support by the GOP of the birther idiots, pretty much set the tone and direction of the GOP. They ran on jobs in 2010, and haven't delivered any meaningful legislation, no new ideas, just the same-old, same-old "cut taxes for the rich" bull that is a proven failure. The GOP has perfected the art of obstruction, using the Senate filibuster a record number of times (according to the Senate's website, more than 300 times since President Obama was sworn in for the first time). They stated their number 1 priority in 2009 was to make President Obama a one-term president; not work for our country. Even with the help of Citizens United and the millions poured into the 2012 election, the GOP lost and yet, they still continue to thwart the will of the people.

    It makes me sick.

    December 2, 2013 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  4. kelly

    No plans are being cancelled. no one us losing coverage. Repiyblicans are big liars. They are denying millions poor people heathcare. They want to strip health care from millions if children with preconditions. Thyey want to take civera away from millions if yioung people.We are not going back to preconditions. We are not goimg back to having coverage droped it we get sick. We are not going back to limits on care Over our dead bodies they will take affordable heath care away from us

    December 2, 2013 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  5. Dan W

    Why are they mute? Why don't they each do a run through and give their opinions on it, have their interns play with it to break it some more, rinse, repeat. Technology breaks in predictable ways, and sometimes in unpredictable ways. The best thing to focus on is the quality of care does ObamaCare cover enough people, are the doctors that are accepting Obama Care being reviewed and their facilities inspected?

    December 2, 2013 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  6. simplefaith

    I wish the Republicans would spend more time on the budget and immigration as they spend trying to ruin President Obama's accomplishments. The Republicans are so vindictive and it is so obvious that they probably won't find an acceptable candidate for President for the 2016 elections.

    December 2, 2013 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  7. Skarphace

    Any good news is bad news as far as Republicans are concerned. They are petrified that Democrats will swallow up 45 million more lifetime votes as the working poor will now have access to preventive health care.

    Republicans are praying to their gods that the ACA fails and millions of Americans are left either without health coverage or with very expensive health insurance. The only way they win seats in 2014 is if Americans suffer and they can blame it on the ACA.

    December 2, 2013 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  8. OnlySaneVoice

    Sorry..is fixing a website that was over way over budget and stalled supposed to receive a standing ovation when its fixed? Lol Opening paragraph of this article is embarrassing. And lets not lose site of the fact that the ACA dropped coverage for an insane number of citizens who were insured with no issues. A lot of insurers nearly doubled their premiums for good plans. A year extension of forcing companies to let some of these people keep their plans is not the same as letting people keep their plans. This whole thing is a joke really. America is a shell of itself. No free educated country would witness the failure of a governmental Medicaid program and then allow the buffed up version of it to take root in Obamacare. Its impossible for this thing to succeed long term. Thats not a political opinion thats a fiscal fact.

    December 2, 2013 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  9. Skarphace

    Republicans have shown that they are very good at getting the message out. The problem is that the message they are getting out is flawed in a very fundamental way, and this is how:

    Republicans have put themselves in a position this election cycle where they only win with bad news. Democrats, on the other hand, only win with good news. On every single issue that we are concerned with lately, from immigration reform to the economy to the deficit to the debt to jobs to unemployment to gas prices to the war in Syria to the war on terror to nukes in Iran to the stock market, and yes, even the ACA, Democrats win with good news and Republicans win with bad news.

    As this positioning is becomming more and more apparent to Americans, it is becoming more and more difficult for Republicans to seem outraged when bad news happens. When half of your party is celebrating and the other half is screaming that the world is ending it isn't too difficult to smell the hypocricy.

    December 2, 2013 02:10 am at 2:10 am |
  10. Corinne

    Americans have gone from dumb to dumber , this is the conclusion one can draw from these comments.
    Your country has become a monarchy without a crown and your constant juvenile drivel and name calling makes you look stupid to the rest of the world.
    I do hope that your AHCA will be successful and give you the coverage every citizen deserves , however it is troubling that your President told blatant lies and kept repeating those lies , it exposed him as lacking in character and trustworthiness .

    December 2, 2013 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
  11. Vence

    Republicans will go back to the birth certificate thing!

    December 2, 2013 02:22 am at 2:22 am |
  12. just me

    Now if only we could keep them muted. That would be a nice Christmas gift to the nation.

    December 2, 2013 02:22 am at 2:22 am |
  13. bryanbeus

    This is my experience trying to file my application on November 30th, the supposed deadline.

    • Create an account

    • Receive a message from the website 'Please Wait'

    • Wait for five minutes

    • Quit browser

    • Open browser

    • Try again

    • Successful

    • Navigate fairly easily through initial instructions

    • Create security questions

    • Start application

    • Fill out some fifteen/twenty pages or so of information

    • Realize that the website is making me skip pages for no apparent reason

    • Go back and fill in those pages

    • Get to the end and click 'Submit'

    • Website redirects me to a random page somewhere else in the system

    • Decide to be persistent and check to see if everything is okay

    • Find my way back to application

    • Create security questions a SECOND time

    • Get to my application page

    • The website has MYSTERIOUSLY DELETED THREE-FOURTHS of it

    • Check to see if there was some warning in my email that things failed

    • Find no warning, no indication that the process failed

    • Go through website to fill out application again

    • Click 'Submit'

    • Receive confirmation that all supposedly went well

    • Search through website to make sure everything was okay

    • Can't figure it out for sure

    Take away: It's not ready for prime time, no matter what the Obama Administration may say.

    December 2, 2013 02:22 am at 2:22 am |
  14. Zondar

    Tell me how this solves the fact that 5 million this year received cancellation letters, and the administration's own estimates say 75+ million will receive cancellation letters next year?

    December 2, 2013 02:53 am at 2:53 am |
  15. simplyput

    No, morons, now you get to go bankrupt BEFORE you get sick. If you like everything your family has worked for and saved for years, you can keep everything your family has worked for and saved for years....after the IRS redistributes it, PERIOD.

    December 2, 2013 03:17 am at 3:17 am |
  16. Jim

    A quiet congress? Can it be so? Wow the GOP are really running scared now that the site is up and running. Guess they'll have to go back to their little play book and see what kind of obstruction they can come up with now. It's really pathetic to see these clowns still trying so hard and putting so much resource and energy to discredit something not one republican has the guts to do and that's give affordable health care to their own people. Talk about an irrelevant party on the way of the dodo bird.

    December 2, 2013 03:23 am at 3:23 am |
  17. Name Uche Agonsi

    Is Thanksgiving period, Obama needs lots of prayers and gratitudes to God equally.

    December 2, 2013 03:32 am at 3:32 am |
  18. Faux Scandals

    The party of negativity will come up with something else ot whine about, no solutions will come from them.

    December 2, 2013 03:53 am at 3:53 am |
  19. san

    Oh those Republican's will find something else to whine about no doubt about that..after all its the Republican Way. Want to see most of our problems disappear with Government..vote out every last one of these Republican's Nation Wide, State Wide and it would happen. Republican's have no policies of their own that work for the American people, only radical right wing politic's. Games, obstruction, meanness, selfishness, just down right contrary..that's the Republican Way. They've only gotten worse over the years, its time to clean house and bring back the moderate Republican party of yesteryear if that's possible..The American people have had Enough of these amoral republican fools in office now.

    December 2, 2013 04:15 am at 4:15 am |
  20. JS

    Rarely, if ever, does a Republican have a positive thing to say. Don't believe me, listen/record the news on a daily basis. Somebody should compile a sound reel that runs for 24 hours straight of all Republican statements and loop it for a week so they can hear themselves whine/complain. They complained about the law for years, voted more than 40 times to repeal/defund it (instead of submitting 40 bills to improve it), complained bitterly that the website wasn't working and people couldn't access it (which I'm sure they secretly hoped for to begin with) and now...since it may be working...they no longer care about it and are finding the next negative thing to grasp and rant about. Really? Ask yourself, why do people idolize such negativity/destructive behavior? Don't get me wrong, I don't agree with the policies of either party but you would think a healthy dose of positive attitude, competition and working together to find some compromise to fix this countries issues would move us forward by leaps and bounds. The destructive nature of all the negativity for the sake of personal/political gain is childish and will destroy us.

    December 2, 2013 04:40 am at 4:40 am |
  21. MrManhattan

    I'm not surprised the American Taliban isn't pleased with any progress.

    December 2, 2013 05:20 am at 5:20 am |
  22. WKNDTHG

    Now what rethuglicans?

    December 2, 2013 05:27 am at 5:27 am |
  23. tonyb

    Anything positive from the Republicans ? Deafening silence……until the next packet of lies and distortions when they next open their mouths….

    December 2, 2013 05:51 am at 5:51 am |
  24. Mikie

    It could work perfectly and could cure cancer and solve the energy crisis and republicans would still have nothing good to say about it because Obama came up with it. If Obama announced that the government came up with a cure for HIV the republicans would find only negative things to say about it. When we got Bin Laden a lot of republicans came out against it saying that it was wrong for Obama to have done it until mass outrage from the public shut them up.

    December 2, 2013 06:05 am at 6:05 am |
  25. gary baroni

    its still going to hurt people , repeal the law .

    December 2, 2013 06:05 am at 6:05 am |
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