Obama to address HealthCare.gov problems

Oct. 20, 2013 at 7:30 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- U.S. officials acknowledged frustration with the healthcare Marketplace Sunday as the White House said President Obama will speak publicly about the website.

The president plans to address the issue Monday, The Hill reported. A White House official told the publication Obama -- joined at a Rose Garden event by business owners and people who have succeeded in enrolling in Obamacare through the site -- will say the government has been working "around the clock" to fix technical glitches with HealthCare.gov.

There have been 19 million unique visits to HealthCare.gov and nearly 500,000 people have submitted applications for health insurance coverage since the Affordable Care Act's Marketplace website went public, Oct. 1, officials said Sunday in an online post.

"Unfortunately, the experience on HealthCare.gov has been frustrating for many Americans," the posting said. "Some have had trouble creating accounts and logging in to the site, while others have received confusing error messages, or had to wait for slow page loads or forms that failed to respond in a timely fashion. The initial consumer experience of HealthCare.gov has not lived up to the expectations of the American people. We are committed to doing better."

The "Data Hub" component, which provides HealthCare.gov with information that aids in determining eligibility for qualified health plans, has been working, the blog said.

However, many consumers experienced trouble signing up, while those who were able to sign up sometimes had other problems.

In response a number of improvements were made and regular, almost nightly, maintenance is being performed, officials said.

"Our team is bringing in some of the best and brightest from both inside and outside government to scrub in with the team and help improve HealthCare.gov. We're also putting in place tools and processes to aggressively monitor and identify parts of HealthCare.gov where individuals are encountering errors or having difficulty using the site, so we can prioritize and fix them," the blog said. "We are also defining new test processes to prevent new issues from cropping up as we improve the overall service and deploying fixes to the site during off-peak hours on a regular basis."

In addition, the post said it wants feedback.

"If you have any comments, either complimentary or critical, please let us know at: https://www.healthcare.gov/connect/. We've already heard so many stories of individuals getting health insurance for the first time, and we are dedicated to making that possible for all Americans," the blog said.

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