Report: Healthcare website failed test before deployment
Highlights of history
NEW: Official White House Top as part of the “tech wave” on Obamacare
Obamacare ‘does not fail’ despite website issues, White House spokesman says
Obama Says HealthCare.gov Problems “Are Going To Be Fixed”
Secretary Sebelius is expected to testify at a congressional hearing next week
The president’s healthcare registration webpage was supposed to handle tens of thousands of people at once. But in a test a few days before its launch, only a few hundred users brought the site up to speed.
Despite the problems, federal health officials ruled out the relief cart and deployed HealthCare.gov on October 1 as planned, The Washington Post reported.
The result? The website crashed shortly after midnight as a few thousand people tried to start the process, two people familiar with the project told The Post.
The report is the latest review of the problem-ridden site – criticism so sharp that even President Barack Obama has said there is “no cover” for the difficulties Americans face in trying to subscribe to the report. insurance coverage.
Webmaster in VSthief
“No one is more angry than me about the website not performing as well as it should, which means it’s going to be fixed,” Obama said in an appearance Monday at White House Rose. Garden.
But he didn’t say exactly what was wrong or who was to blame for the issues, including long waits to log into the federally administered website and maddening wait times once online.
There is “no excuse for the problems,” Obama said. But he said tech industry experts were called in to help workers trying to fix the site.
Call it more fuel for the fire as the GOP continues its quest to fund the new healthcare system, popularly known as Obamacare.
The Republican-controlled House Energy and Commerce Committee wants answers. Website and administration contractors CGI, Serco and Equifax are expected to testify on Thursday about their role in the technical fiasco.
The website’s $ 300 million price tag
The GOP has Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in its sights, calling for her resignation. She has a meeting with the committee on October 30.
Sebelius announced on Tuesday that Jeff Zients, a former private sector CEO who has also led the management and budget of the White House office, is part of the “tech wave” that is coming to help his department deal with the challenges of registration.
Other experts include “veterans of major Silicon Valley companies,” Sebelius wrote in a blog post on the department’s website.
The goal was a “cross-functional team… working aggressively to diagnose the parts of HealthCare.gov that are having problems, learn success states, prioritize problems and resolve them,” the blog said.
Sebelius also said the contractors hired to create Healthcare.gov, including the main company CGI, were providing additional people and unspecified “engagements” for the project “under the terms of their existing contract.”
White House spokesman Jay Carney defended the program on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Live”, saying that while HealthCare.gov is in trouble, the administration’s health care reform “does not fail “.
People who are able to submit nominations by any means are happy with the results, he said.
“Health insurance provides security that many of these families haven’t had in the past,” Carney said.
Looking at the bottom linee
Democrat strategist and pollster Cornell Belcher agrees, telling CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” that people need to watch the results.
“Millions and millions of American families who work every day, who cannot afford health care and who are on the verge of bankruptcy will now have the opportunity to obtain health care,” he said. he declares. “This is the value.”
GOP strategist Kevin Madden sees it so differently, blaming the “big government”.
“All Americans thought we needed health care reform. Where Republicans and Democrats disagreed was how we proceeded, ”he said on“ AC360 ”. “I think the way the Democrats have done it, which is a big plan centered on the federal government, is obviously not working. It hurts a lot of people.
A Washington Post / ABC News poll released on Monday showed 56% of those polled see the website’s struggles as a harbinger of broader problems with the Affordable Care Act, a constant target of conservative critics who view it. as the epitome of government wide reach.
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The law ‘works very well‘
In the Rose Garden on Monday, Obama said that “the essence of the law” – aimed at providing access to health insurance for the roughly 48 million Americans without it – “works very well.”
“In some cases, in fact, it exceeds expectations. The prices are lower than expected and the choice is greater than expected, ”he said.
“But the problem is, the website that’s supposed to make it easier to apply for and buy insurance isn’t working the way it should for everyone,” he continued. “There is no coating. The website has been too slow. People are stuck during the application process.
HealthCare.gov: what works, what doesn’t
Other Republicans continued their attacks on health care reforms on Monday, the office of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell tweeted that when a visit to the Obamacare website made a trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles pleasant, “it’s time for the president to consider delaying this rushed effort.
By the pipeline
Obama administration officials have pointed out that nearly 500,000 people have completed Obamacare applications, although the number of those who purchased coverage remains unknown. The initial difficulties began to ease in connecting to the website of the new exchanges, some of which are run by the states and others by the federal government.
Difficult connection for some first registrants
The administration is still not releasing numbers on how many people have taken the next step of enrollment: choosing a specific health care plan. The administration said it will do this on a monthly basis, so the first count of registration numbers will take place in November.
The Congressional Budget Office said it expects 7 million people to sign up by April 1.
Although March 31 is the deadline to get health insurance or face a fine, officials warn that not enrolling by February 15 could be an issue due to the time it takes for coverage to take place. take effect. Carney told reporters on Monday afternoon that the lingering problems with registering people could bring relief, noting that the law makes it clear that “if you don’t have access to affordable health insurance, you won’t have access to affordable health insurance. no penalty for not having affordable health. Insurance. ”
Hopefully a smoother ride on HealthCare.gov
An article from ConsumerReports.org last week offered advice for people trying to sign up, but gave the following advice for those overwhelmed by the difficulties:
“If all of this is too much for you to absorb, follow our previous advice: Stay away from HealthCare.gov for at least another month if you can. Hopefully, it will be long enough for its software vendors to clean up the mess they made.
But in a statement released Monday evening, the group said its criticism of the website does not mean it now opposes the affordable care law. Critics of Obamacare distort the nonprofit’s position, Consumer Reports said.
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