WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- One in five Americans won't be able to sign up for health coverage on the fixed healthcare.gov federal health coverage exchange, the White House said Monday.
"I think the way to look at that figure is that of, say, 10 who go on the system, roughly 2 won't get through the system, so 2 out of 10," White House spokesman Jay Carney said, confirming a Washington Post weekend report that the administration's goal was to have 80 percent of users be able to enroll online.
Carney said the 20 percent who can't enroll online fall into three categories: Those experiencing technical difficulties, those uncomfortable using a computer and complete the application process through other venues and those with complex family situations.
The launch of healthcare.gov was balky and the administration has vowed to make the experience smoother for "the vast majority" of visitors by Nov. 30.
"[That's] why we've been pursuing the other channels, which existed even before the October 1 launch and were always part of this, because we knew that these populations existed," Carney said of call centers and navigators.
"So as hard as we work, and we are working, and will continue to work on improving the website and its functionality, 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."