Administration offers more details on month-end website goal
November 18th, 2013
03:57 PM ET
9 years ago

Administration offers more details on month-end website goal

Washington (CNN) – A pool of Americans who attempt to obtain new health insurance through will never be able to complete their transaction online, even after the November 30 deadline for repairing the faulty website, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Monday.

That group – amounting to 20% of the site's users – could have health or financial situations too complex for the website to handle, and would need to instead enroll in the health exchanges over the phone or in person.

"It has always been the case that we need to make sure that there are other avenues for people, either with complex situations or people who would rather not perform this kind of purchase online," Carney said.

On Sunday, CNN reported the Obama administration was aiming for an 80% success rate on the beleaguered, which tech experts have been hurriedly attempting to repair after its disastrous launch October 1.

Carney explained the 20% of users unable to complete their enrollment online fell into three groups: those who are uncomfortable entering the necessary information to sign up, Americans with complex family or health situations, and those stymied by the site's technical problems.

"It was never going to be - even with an error-free, perfectly functioning website - that suddenly every American or potential purchaser of insurance in the marketplace would make that purchase online," Carney said. "And that's why there are call in centers, that's why there are in-person navigators to assist Americans who prefer to do it, if you will, the old fashioned way."

On Tuesday, a top administration tech official will testify before a House panel that the health website will be "greatly improved for the vast majority of users by November 30," a vow that President Obama and his deputies have made consistently over the past several weeks.

Henry Chao, the deputy chief information officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, will tell the House Energy and Commerce Committee Tuesday that adjustments have already improved the site's performance.

"This has increased performance across the site, but in particular the viewing and filtering of health plans during the online shopping process now responds in just seconds. It was taking minutes," Chao will say, according to prepared testimony posted online by the committee.

Chao will also detail an expanded cost estimation tool on that will provide a greater range of estimates than is currently available.

When the estimate tool launched more than a month ago, it only sorted users into two age categories, meaning the cost estimates had a broad range of error. The tools "functionality will be expanded to accommodate additional scenarios to better fit consumer shopping profiles," according to Chao's testimony.

Filed under: Healthcare • Obama administration
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    "those who are uncomfortable entering the necessary information to sign up"

    Unsolvable problem. Can't please everyone, particularly those who are not willing. Perhaps some of these folks would benefit from the help of a "navigator" if it's really just a matter of them not being sure how to use the site, but for the segment who is simply adamantly opposed to the ACA, doesn't want it, doesn't want to do it, doesn't like or trust the intertubez, etc., there was never any fixing anything.

    "Americans with complex family or health situations"

    In other words, the portion for whom the website option would never really have worked and who would benefit most from the services of a "navigator."

    "and those stymied by the site's technical problems."

    The portion indicative of the site not being "fixed" and "perfect." This last category is the only category you can continue to complain about in terms of the site "being broken" and blah blah blah he promised it would be working perfectly yadda yadda. Have at it.

    November 18, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    BTW, you ever going to report on the directed DDoS attacks that have been proven to come from right wing activists, CNN? Or is whitewashing the attempts to break the website via things like the "Break Obama Care!" application totally off limits because of the damage it would do to the GOP/Teatrolls? IOKIYAR

    November 18, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    How is it that the same companies that worked on both state sites and the federal site were able to get it so right at the state level, but got it so thoroughly wrong at the federal site? The same companies! It's a question that needs answering.

    November 18, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  4. Gurgyl

    Hire Google, it will fix. ACA is a Law.

    November 18, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  5. just saying

    yet more broken promises and lies, more failure, from the obamacare train wreck and the incompetents running it and desgining it. the disaster that just keeps on failing. and all of this was the easy stuff!

    November 18, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  6. bill

    gee sniffer. did you make that up all by yourself, or did some of the staff at the home help you?

    November 18, 2013 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  7. Me

    LOL, and liberals complain about voter suppression, which was proved to be a strawman argument in the most recent elections, voter turnout actually improved (and significant improvement I might add) in Texas compared to the previous off year election even though they passed voter ID laws!! 20 percent of you can't sign up the easy way, you have to spend hours on the phone or worse! Hypocrites!!! LMFAO!

    November 18, 2013 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  8. Tampa Tim

    Really think baggers should be allowed to keep their worthless junk policies, even after the insurance companies have to show them how bad the junk is in comparison to those policies that follow the ACA law.

    November 18, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  9. Tampa Tim

    Voter suppression by republicans, has had an effect on lower races, but leave it to the GOP to try to fix a problem that does not exist, and ignore those problems that affect the majority of Americans.

    November 18, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  10. just asking

    but other stories have said that calling and manual sign ups eventually had to be entered via the web? so if the wbe doesn't work, are these people maintaining a building full of paperwork and files? i am smelling more lies, smoke and mirrors people.

    the fact is that these clowns had 3 years and a billion dollars and still can't fix their fiasco. end this nightmare, insane laws like obamacare need to be repealed. to continue on down the road with this insanity is completely idiotic. sooner or later the democrats in congress are going to have to admit that they too were lied to and conned by obama. if they ever want to get re-lected, they better start supporting repeal of this nightmare called obamacare. if they don't then democrat house reps will probably be closer to 100 after the 2014 elections, truly the minority party.

    November 18, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    "voter turnout actually improved (and significant improvement I might add) in Texas compared to the previous off year election even though they passed voter ID laws!! "

    LOL. You can't compare turnout in mid-term years to turnout during a presidential election year. Apples and oranges. Your "gotcha" is fundamentally broken.

    November 18, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |

    Wait a minute. We were told they were bringing in the A Team, the gurus, the kings of silicon valley, the Master Web Mechanics to fix this mess and that it was going to be fully functional at the end of November. You mean to tell me two months later the best of the best still can't fix this joke of a web site? If that is the case then it obviouslt needs to be scrapped all together and started from scratch.

    November 18, 2013 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  13. Jonathon Powelly

    The 80/20 rule should have been the criteria to begin with.

    November 18, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  14. Tampa Tim

    I hate to say this, but repeal ACA is the republican plan to keep insurance costs increasing. 4.5 million uninsured Floridians are getting more and more angry with Scott and the rest of the baggers. In 6 months, the right wingnuts will be wishing they had helped improve ACA, instead of hurting citizens.

    November 18, 2013 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    "i am smelling more lies, smoke and mirrors people. "

    People frequently smell things that aren't there when they're having an embolic stroke. You should probably call 911.

    November 18, 2013 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  16. Silence DoGood

    GOP – trying to break it (blocking public outreach, DDOS attacks, angry sound bites, etc.)
    DEM – trying to fix it

    November 18, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  17. Silence DoGood

    conservatives on immigration: "It's a LAW – just follow the LAW – deport people"
    conservatives on gun control: "there are LAWS to punish irresponsible gun owners – what about the LAW"
    conservatives on ACA (a LAW): "fight it, sabotage it, sink it, ignore it"

    November 18, 2013 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |

    At this point there are over 5 MILLION people that have had their healthcare insurance cancelled because of Obamacare. It is clear many of these people will be totally screwed come January 1st thanks to Obama and the Democrats.

    Are you all beginning to understand now why Obama delayed the employer mandate?! It would have had half the country with cancelled health insurance and no way to get it replaced. That fiasco still awaits us all next year. Yes, this fun is FAR from over people. Actually, it has just started. The lies and disasters only get bigger and more costly going forward.

    November 18, 2013 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |