HealthCare.gov Aims to Sign Up 4 of 5 AmericansBy: Bennett Rieser - November 17, 2013
The Washington Post reported today that the Affordable Care Act’s primary website, HealthCare.gov, will be capable of getting 80 percent of Americans on an insurance plan, but that still leaves 20 percent who will remain without insurance.
According to the best-case scenario from the Obama administration, those 20 percent will be unable to purchase insurance online because of either their personal lives’ complexity or the site’s ineptitude; that conclusion is based on an internal target that has not been made public by the Obama administration.
Whether the government succeeds in getting 80 percent of Americans enrolled is a central factor of President Barack Obama’s healthcare effort. Although administration officials acknowledged that they had no concrete definition for a successfully functioning Obamacare site, creating one wouldn’t have made any sense until they had a site to define; I.E., HealthCare.gov.
Julie Bataille, communications director for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said “We are very focused on measuring performance of the site now and moving forward and making sure we have ways to demonstrate progress… [HealthCare.gov will] work smoothly for the vast majority of users [by the end of November].”
The “vast majority” quote has become a repeated mantra for the administration, with little exposition about what it could mean. It was coined by former White House management official Jeffrey Zients, who was assigned to oversee the repair of HealthCare.gov.
CNN notes Zients speaking with reporters on Friday about the site’s functioning: “As we prioritize fixes on HealthCare.gov, we focus on system performance and functionality, things like site stability, speed and usability that make a real difference to the consumer,” he said. “But to be clear as you would experience with any major new site, new bugs and other glitches will surface in December and beyond and as they surface we will fix them.”
Additionally, two of the engineers who worked on analyzing HealthCare.gov said the site looks “a lot cleaner.” Media Temple president and COO Russ Reeder told CNN that “You can tell from the website that there are people working it and making changes. And those changes are good. [But] there are still many changes they can still make.”[Image via HealthCare.gov]