October 27th, 2013
10:57 PM ET
8 years ago

HealthCare.gov homepage gets makeover

Washington (CNN) - An image of a young woman who became known as the "Obamacare girl" is no longer on the homepage of the federal government's health care site.

In the process of changing the homepage of HealthCare.gov to highlight the different enrollment options now being offered, the image of the woman, who has become a symbol of the online federal exchange, was set aside, said an official with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, or CMS.

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CMS is the agency responsible for operating the website.

The picture drew much news coverage and online discussion with people wanting to know her identity. A small company that originally worked on the homepage told CNN's Jeanne Moos that the woman was part of the original design mock-up of the website.

HealthCare.gov's quiet makeover is the latest attempt by the administration to draw attention away from the website's problematic launch. When enrollment began October 1, just the website option was highlighted, punctuated by "Obamacare girl." Now, when visiting the site, new imagery emphasizes multiple ways to register for a new health insurance plan, such as enrollment by phone.

Republicans are already seizing on the site's overhaul. NRCC spokesman Matt Gorman wrote in a blog post that the redesign is symptomatic of the Obama administration's misplaced focus - "worrying about what is gracing the front page" instead of repairing the site's serious technical flaws.

"They can keep changing the photos, but what they cannot change is the fact that the site is nothing short of a debacle," Gorman said.

Online updates will continue in response to feedback from website users and social media, according to the official.

The individuals in the images that were initially used for the launch of the website signed standard release forms and understood how their images would be used, said the official, who was not authorized to speak for publication and declined to be identified.

CNN's Jason Seher contributed to this report.

Filed under: Health care • Kathleen Sebelius • Obamacare • President Obama
soundoff (158 Responses)
  1. mark hensley

    Aren't there more important issues than this?

    October 28, 2013 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  2. jaberwocky

    Could have saved 300 million bucks by telling people where to mail a letter

    October 28, 2013 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  3. David M

    Where is she? She is out trying to find a web site that works where she can get insurance that does not have a ridiculous deductable. Good luck with that.

    October 28, 2013 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  4. DC

    Where'd she go? Prolly witness protection program

    October 28, 2013 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  5. Anon

    This is news worthy?

    October 28, 2013 02:30 am at 2:30 am |
  6. SixDegrees

    Let the burying begin.

    October 28, 2013 02:41 am at 2:41 am |
  7. Sofia

    Whew. I was worried we weren't focusing on relevant topics or important things, but thank goodness the legions are working to identify a woman from a stock photo and ponder its disappearance. I'll sleep better once we get to the bottom of this. Keep up the good work. Vive la revolution!

    October 28, 2013 02:53 am at 2:53 am |
  8. Oh Brother...

    CNN: First try to make a story from nothing. Second, try to keep the story going when it's a slow week... Puuhhleease.

    October 28, 2013 02:58 am at 2:58 am |
  9. donny

    Slow day in the newsroom suppose...

    October 28, 2013 03:11 am at 3:11 am |
  10. What in the world

    She was released because she was in the $20 to $50k group that has been deemed ineligible......

    October 28, 2013 04:54 am at 4:54 am |
  11. sweeper111

    Who cares about the girl? Get the site working. This is the stupidest headline I have ever seen.

    October 28, 2013 05:00 am at 5:00 am |
  12. VVVVV

    The model no longer supports it.

    October 28, 2013 05:27 am at 5:27 am |
  13. Harold Richards

    Wonder how many million the Canadian consulting group was paid to make the change. They'll be rolling in the dough as they'll be allowed to milk the contract until late November.

    October 28, 2013 05:38 am at 5:38 am |
  14. J.V.Hodgson

    What's with all this who was the bird ( female face )in the original web page. it makes a difference to the web sites usefulness, or otherwise or the law and its enforcement??
    One part of a 4 point set of ways to enroll etc has a problem... that parts computer glitches do not invalidate the law as such.
    What does not get mentioned is insurance companies help to existing policy holders ( ala Florida) where said policies do not cover pre-existing conditions or otherwise are not law compliance. On company in Florida has 300,000 policy holders needing help to maintain cover with additional benefits. policy holders have a choice is the extra cover cost for no precondition exclusions a cost benefit remembering the 20% profit for insurers restriction under the law.
    On balance overall medical costs to the nation will be lower under PPACA will some people have to pay more for better/ more realistic cover yes.... but those people can afford it, those that cannot afford, the act provides safe guards.

    October 28, 2013 05:44 am at 5:44 am |
  15. Thomas Nichols

    She didn't have healthcare insurance and couldn't afford Obamartanic.

    October 28, 2013 05:45 am at 5:45 am |
  16. Whome

    I guess they got all the play out of using her photo and then cast her aside.

    October 28, 2013 06:15 am at 6:15 am |
  17. Marie MD

    As Consumer Reports said (not what insanity claimed they said on faux news) just wait a month until they take out all the kinks out then go for it.

    October 28, 2013 06:22 am at 6:22 am |
  18. visitor222

    So I went to the new page, clicked on the mysterious 3 person icon, entered a NY zipcode, and the system responded with "If you live in Connecticut........."

    How pathetic is that?

    October 28, 2013 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  19. A True Conservative

    Had to take her off the site – she is no longer smiling.....could replace it with millions of citizens carrying burning torches and pitchforks! Very fitting for this time of year.

    October 28, 2013 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  20. Michael

    OMG stop making isues and conspiracies out of NOTHING. Websites change thier designs all the time. Nothing to see here. This is getting utterly ridiculous.

    October 28, 2013 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  21. liberal disease

    best way to change this sight is to remove it, the longer it remains, the worse Obama looks

    October 28, 2013 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  22. jay

    She shot herself in disgrace.

    October 28, 2013 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  23. Gurgyl

    Nothing wrong with ACA law. It will be fixed, computer glitch, watch All Hospitals not to overcharge, double charge.

    October 28, 2013 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  24. chuck stewart

    I think giving people a list of a ll their
    enrollment options is only appropriate!
    Something that should have been done
    to begin with. It doesnt hurt to combine
    common sense with pleasurable viewing
    either! Bring back the OBAMAGIRL!!!

    October 28, 2013 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  25. simplyput

    Change the website all you want, it's still a horrible product. Seniors are expected to buy insurance that covers maternity!!!! Gotta pass that law to see what's in it. I'm not guessing either, I've been victimized by the Unaffordable Care Act for over three years now. Time to pay the man, and do what Buffet says: don't lost money. Thanks Warren.

    October 28, 2013 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
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