Deadline passes, but ObamaCare Web site still full of glitchesNew York Post
It’s the president’s nightmare before Christmas.
An 11-hour shutdown wasn’t enough to help the ObamaCare Web site solve the glitches that have crippled online enrollment in the Affordable Care Act, as the site showed little sign of improvement Saturday despite additional upgrades.
Critics took to Twitter to deride the latest revamp of HealthCare.gov with movie-themed holiday mirth.
“It used to be a Wonderful Life,” quipped @BellaPelosi.
“Throw Mama From Her Insurance Plan,” @JoeFL65 chimed in.
HealthCare.gov launched Oct. 1 with high expectations but quickly bombed when thousands of people across the country were unable to complete the insurance-application process because of errors on the Web site.
The Saturday shutdown helped to speed up the site, but technical problems persisted — the same day Obama set as a deadline for it to be fully operational.
During one test run, the site began flashing uncontrollably between the Arkansas and Alaska links under the Small Business Owners section. In other cases, pre-registration pages loaded at a snail’s pace.
An administration spokesperson said 90 percent of Web-site users can now create an account on the system, which is supposed to help millions of people sign up for new health-insurance plans. But officials would not say whether recent hardware and software upgrades would allow users to actually complete their enrollment, a common complaint when the site first launched.
“There will be moments, most likely in the middle of the day, where demand will be greater than that capacity,” said Jeffrey Zients, the Obama confidante tasked with leading the rescue mission.
Fixing the debacle — one of the biggest domestic-policy blunders of Obama’s presidency — has huge political stakes for him and his Democratic allies heading into congressional elections next year.
HealthCare.gov is the main way for people in 36 states to sign up for medical-insurance coverage under ObamaCare.
And despite a looming Jan. 1 deadline for people to sign up for health insurance or face a fine, parts of HealthCare.gov are still being built, officials said, including the ability to direct payments to private insurance companies.
“The real tests are: Were my premium payment and subsidy accurately calculated? Am I getting the coverage I signed up for? If my income situation changes, will the reconciliation occur in a timely fashion?” said Rick Howard, a research director at technology consultant Gartner.
If the answers are no, Democrats who have already begun distancing themselves from Obama may start running for the hills.
“It is a lot harder to reboot public trust than it is to reboot software,” said David Brailer, chief executive of the Health Evolution Partners private-equity firm and a health official in former President George W. Bush’s administration.