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. Sane Person

    But, but, 974 million americans will have their insurance cancelled and Obama is selling Florida to Pakistan and he put god in jail! omgbirtherkenyanmuslimbenghazi!!1111!one

    December 2, 2013 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  2. J. D. Hunter

    § "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.

    To Representative Cantor any good news is terrible news. The republicans WANT it to fail.

    If the CDC issued a cautionary notice -during the Obama administration- warning against eating yellow snow or blue ice the next day there would be "experts" on fox news explaining how good yellow snow and blue ice are to eat.

    December 2, 2013 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  3. @RI_Roger

    All the sleeping dogs that laid silent since October 1st are now coming to the defense of the of a flawed website. Yes, a few more visitors can sign-up more quickly today than on October 1st. However, when it comes to having to pay for what you signed up for, let's see what that conversion rate will be. Have we been given assurance that our personal information will be secure? Would you provide your personal information if you weren't 100% sure of privacy security?

    December 2, 2013 06:35 am at 6:35 am |
  4. Dee

    The media has nothing else to do the site is working now they will find something else to accuse him of Joe Scarborough {msnbc} spent only a few minutes talking about Obamacare this morning because they want it to fail.

    Thanks God people will have health insurance and I pray that the President will continue to do well. The polls mean nothing because no one asked me how I felt and many of the people where I am from support this President but not the no working Congress,

    THE POPE SAID IT ALL

    December 2, 2013 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  5. Minnie Mouse

    The ACA isn't a flawed law because it's the only law that's ever been put into place. No one has anything to compare it to. It's going to work or it's not going to work. The law has already been working in some areas and once the website is 100% successfully running smoothly at all times the law is going to be successful. It's going to take time. Regardless to the computer glitches from the roll out and the fact that my insurance has gone up $100 a month, I am glad this law has been put into place.

    The ACA is allowing everyone to receive better benefits and makes the health care providers provide good quality coverage and they also don't get to deny people coverage anymore.

    Everyone needs to be responsible for taking care of his or her own healthcare. The costs don't need to be shifted upon everyone else and we don't need to be handing out free charity either. With this ACA in place makes everyone is responsible for his or her own action. This is the way it needs to be. No one knows if you will be in any type of accident or diagnosed with an illness, so it's good for everyone to have health care insurance coverage if something unexpected were to happen god forbid.

    December 2, 2013 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  6. RomneyWho

    Speak up, we can't hear you! You say, you are looking for things, anything, that would discredit the ACA . . . A hiccup or a runny nose, maybe a dry cough, or maybe, more dead in the water dummy insurance policy cancellations. The republican leadership, desperately looking for a monkey wrench to throw into the mechanics of America. :(

    December 2, 2013 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  7. A True Conservative

    @basedonfact – you do realize that the website was simply an example of what is wrong with Obamacare, right? The government couldn't even get a wesite running with three years notice and God knows how much money. I can't wait to see how the whole Obamacare program runs! BTW – I've been watching the news about the terrible care being provided in the VA hospitals – is that what we have to look forward to? How about the hospitals in Britain where patients lie in their own filth? Another shining example of government health care?

    December 2, 2013 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  8. BDR

    Republican's are on a steady diet of crow and sour grapes.
    At this stage the more republican's continue to resist obamacare the more they seem like just a bunch of spoiled brats.
    A trip to the woodshed is in order.

    December 2, 2013 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  9. Lars

    Mid-term and 2016 voters need to remember just how fanatical Republicans have been when attacking those issues intended to make the lives of the less-fortunate and poor in this country better.

    The thought that the GOP would actually shutdown the entire Federal Government in their heartless desire to deny or keep healthcare from the millions who have been without it for so long...and such liars they have been in the process.

    December 2, 2013 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  10. Logictox

    They now say the website will work for 80% of the people. Knowing this administration that really means 50% and when was the last time 50% was passing at anything? The real problem is the law, not the website. We now have more uninsured than ever before because of the law. But just wait until the employee mandates kick in and watch how few people have insurance in the country.

    December 2, 2013 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  11. Tampa Tim

    Remember, Boehner was able to sign up, so you don't have to be smart. The flaws of ACA appear to be in the mind of the brain dead republicans.

    December 2, 2013 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  12. Gurgyl

    Eye drops costs 600/ dollars with 40 pharmacy coupons? Nonsense, nab, bust these train wreck thugs first.

    December 2, 2013 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  13. TONE

    Republicans are angry about this i listened to a Gop congress man last night on cnn making his comments about the ACA of course everything against Obamacare, and you can see the anger in his face, they have nothing more to complain about all the glee when the rollout was a problem is gone 2014,2016 bye bye see ya.

    December 2, 2013 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  14. Cal

    GOP do not care about providing Healthcare for millions more Americans. GOP have sabotaged the affordable act every step of the way. Obama and the Dems have gone alone from a party that no longer cares about its fellow citizens.

    December 2, 2013 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  15. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    While the website has improved, you still see no effort whatsoever on behalf of the GOTP on making the law better. I even heard one GOTP congressman get asked has he helped any of his constituents who want to enroll get signed up & he avoided answering that question at every turn.

    December 2, 2013 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  16. Rudy NYC

    The pink elephant in the room is the absence of a alternative health care solution from Republicans. All that the Republicans have to offer is the usual euphimistic nonsense.. "We can cut the capital gains tax rates, which will drive teh cost down health care."

    December 2, 2013 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  17. mfh

    Good job Obama. You only had to pay close to 1 billion dollars for a website that should have costed about 5 million. Hahahahah

    December 2, 2013 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  18. abnguy

    If everything is working well then they can reschedule the 2014 sign ups for October 1st again. When the 80 million loose their current policies next year in the employer sponsored market and have to pay astronomically higher premiums then it will be a election nightmare for the Dems who supported this mess.

    December 2, 2013 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  19. Fair is Fair

    Excellent. Let the "unintended consequences" rear their ugly head.

    December 2, 2013 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  20. floydhowardjr

    OBAMACARE! “Too Profitable To Fail”? America If you lose your coverage, your doctor, your insurance BLAME a Democrat. Next time you go and vote...remember WHO did this to YOU! DEMOCRATS!

    December 2, 2013 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  21. rs

    Congress- primarily owing to Republican obstructionism is utterly irrelevant in this discussion. The not-so-loyal opposition has no counter-plan, and a rabid hatred for the American worker, and the poor (the former they gleefully turn into the latter).
    Bottom line: the GOP proves each and every day that they do not care to lead- by their inaction, and by their commentary. At some point a majority of Americans will simply relieve them of that chore altogether.

    December 2, 2013 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  22. rs

    A True Conservative

    @basedonfact – you do realize that the website was simply an example of what is wrong with Obamacare, right? The government couldn't even get a wesite running with three years notice and God knows how much money.
    _________________________________
    And you realize that work could not and would not go forward on that web site until the GOP's lawsuits were finally tossed by the Supreme Court, right?

    December 2, 2013 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  23. tom l

    The funny thing is that the dems think this is all about a website.

    December 2, 2013 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  24. Jay

    Even if the website works, it's a matter of how many people sign up, and actually pay for the federal healthcare. Not people who signup and expect it to be almost free to them.

    December 2, 2013 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  25. rs

    BTW – I've been watching the news about the terrible care being provided in the VA hospitals – is that what we have to look forward to?
    ______________________________
    You don't understand what the ACA is clearly. The VA is America's socialist medicne for veterans. It is completely run by the government, with all staff working for the agency (it is also America's highest rated by its patients). The health care you receive as a result of the ACA will depend upon the COMMERCIAL plan you buy and the doctors you elect to see. You stay in the private sector, not in the realm of government provided health care.
    Read, learn, then comment.

    December 2, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
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