What’s the Status of HealthCare.gov? [AUDIO]
On the same day the Obama administration announced that just 106,000 people signed up for health care coverage during the first month of Obamacare, lawmakers in Washington grilled those connected with the dysfunctional website that left millions of people with frozen browsers on the day of its launch.
Todd Park, chief technology officer at the White House, was brought in to help troubleshoot the problem, and he was one of the many people on the hot seat Wednesday in front of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Park revised his initial statements that the site only crashed in early October because too many people were using it.
"There are other key issues that have to be addressed with the site, in terms of its performance, in terms of its stability, in terms of its functionality," Park told the committee, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-California).
Issa issued the following statement before the hearing:
"When HealthCare.gov launched on October 1, testing was incomplete, the system had not yet been fully tested for security concerns, and new problems kept appearing."
Asked if the site will be completely free of glitches by month's end, as promised, Park couldn't make any guarantees.
"The team's working really hard to hit that goal," he said.
The committee also heard from Henry Chao, deputy chief information officer for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the agency responsible for Obamacare's rollout.
Chao expressed confidence in the site's security, noting he recommended to his sister that she try the site. He also testified that a "window-shopping" approach to the online marketplace would not have been helpful to consumers. Currently, one must create an account before shopping for a plan.
"Most Americans tossed off their insurance plans haven't yet had the opportunity to experience online sticker shock," Issa contended on the House website.
Among the 106,000 enrolled for health insurance through the federal site, New Jersey residents account for less than 750.