Is Now Working Smoothly, White House Says

The website. Jon Elswick/ap

The website. Jon Elswick/ap

White House officials say the government’s health insurance website, which has been plagued with problems ever since it launched in October, is now working smoothly for most users.

“The site is now stable and operating at its intended capacity with greatly improved performance,” Jeffrey Zients, the president’s appointee to fix the site, said during a telephone conference with reporters on Sunday. The bottom line, said Zients, is that is “night and day” from what it was at launch.

Remember the administration was hammered over the messy rollout of the site, which was a central part of President Obama’s signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act. Faced with a site that simply did not work for many users — just 26,794 people signed up for health care through the federal site during its first month — Obama promised it would be fixed for 80 percent of people by this weekend.

According to a progress report issued by the Department of Health & Human Services, engineers, database architects and contractors have deployed hundreds of software fixes and hardware upgrades that have “measurably improved the consumer experience” over the past month.

The site is now working more than 90 percent of time, according to White House metrics, up from less than half the time in early November.

Zients said the site will now support 800,000 consumer visits a day and 50,000 concurrent users on the site.

“There will be times with increased capacity [where] that’s insufficient for peak demand,” Zients said. “To prepare for that, we will deploy a new queuing system to allow consumers to request notifications on when to come back.”

As NPR’s Julie Rovner reported, we can take the administration’s word that the site is fixed, but knowing for sure whether it was fixed is the “frustrating part.”

“We do already know it’s working better than it was in October — which, frankly, was a pretty low bar to get over. The administration has all kinds of fancy metrics to show how well the website is working, but we don’t have our own independent access to them,” Julie told Weekend Edition Saturday. “We do know a big test is likely to come on Monday, when people who have been talking to relatives over the long holiday weekend — or who wake up and suddenly realize it’s December and they want coverage in January — all try to sign on at once.”

Read the full progress report, including charts and visuals on response times and system upgrades below:


Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit
Read original article – Published December 01, 201310:01 AM Is Now Working Smoothly, White House Says

Recent headlines

  • Juneau residents will vote for three assembly seats and two school board members in the October 7 election. (Photo by Heather Bryant/KTOO)

    Jamie Bursell appointed to the Juneau Assembly

    "Her focus on education, her focus on examining our city budget at a really deep level, not just a broad stroke policy level, but getting into the line items – I think that’s a really valuable for assembly members to go after the budget work," said Deputy Mayor Jesse Kiehl.
  • Rorie Watt said he's "terribly excited" to be Juneau's next city manager. (Photo by Autumn Sapp)

    Juneau Assembly selects Rorie Watt as next city manager

    "I just think that the manager’s job is the juggler of so many different things. I think it’s just going to be fun. I don’t think it’s going to be easy," Rorie Watt said.
  • Delta's first flight of the summer season touched down in Juneau at 8:49 p.m. May 30 with 120 passengers from Seattle. (Photo by Heather Bryant/KTOO)

    For Juneau, it’s a good time to fly

    "Juneau to Minneapolis for $361. New York for $365, which is insane. The fares dropped by $100 to $200 overnight. And adjusted for inflation, really, Juneau has never ever seen these exceptional rates," said travel analyst Scott McMurren.
  • North Slope Borough Police SUVs cars

    Barrow Rep. Nageak’s nephew killed in police shooting

    The facts of what happened aren't clear yet. The body is on its way to Anchorage for autopsy, and state investigators were Barrow-bound.


Playing Now: