No Thanksgiving Celebrations for Obamacare Website Team as Deadline Nears

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The technology team working to fix computer problems hobbling the federal insurance website HealthCare.gov may not have time for turkey this week. Federal officials set a Nov. 30 deadline to expand hardware capacity and fix software bugs for the site and say they are racing against the clock to make it work well “for the vast majority of users” by Saturday.

“We have a lot of work left to do in the next few days,” Julie Bataille, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), told reporters Wednesday. Bataille said HealthCare.gov, which launched Oct. 1 and is meant to facilitate health-insurance enrollment for individuals in 36 states, can now handle 25,000 users at a time. She said CMS expects that capacity to double by Saturday. “We are on track for that to happen,” she said.

Yet, Bataille warned that Nov. 30 is “not a magical day.”

“There will be times after Nov. 30 when the site, like any website, does not perform optimally,” she said. Heavy traffic could overwhelm the site, causing long delays for consumers trying to sign up for coverage. Bataille said that by Saturday, CMS will implement a “more advanced queuing system” for consumers forced to wait for one of 50,000 user slots. In addition, the website may recommend some users leave and come back during “off-peak hours” and will have a system to e-mail consumers when they can return to the website and enroll in a health-insurance plan.

(MORE: Traffic Didn’t Crash the Obamacare Site Alone. Bad Coding Did Too)

A separate recent announcement indicates that, in addition to the troubled HealthCare.gov, the federal government is falling further behind in its goal to implement other parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on schedule. The Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday that a new online insurance exchange for small businesses will not be operational until November 2014, more than a year after it was originally supposed to launch. The delay affects small businesses in the 36 states where exchange operations for individuals and small groups are being handled by the federal government. Until then, small businesses wanting to sign up for plans and access to ACA tax credits for coverage will be required to use paper applications with the assistance of insurance brokers and agents. The federal government had said the online application process would make it simpler for small-business owners to compare and choose plans for their employees without such assistance.

This announcement comes after a series of other delays in rolling out the ACA. In July, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that ACA fines charged to large employers who do not offer coverage would start in 2015, instead of 2014. A Spanish-language version of HealthCare.gov, originally expected to launch Oct. 1, will not function until December, HHS said on Tuesday.

And thanks to crashes, slow response times and software and hardware problems, HealthCare.gov itself has fallen behind enrollment goals set by federal officials who had hoped 7 million individuals would sign up for new coverage through that exchange and those run by states by the end of an open-enrollment period that ends March 31.

In October, 106,185 people signed up for coverage through ACA exchanges run by the federal government and states, far short of the 500,000 federal officials had reportedly projected would enroll that month. In an effort to give consumers more time to purchase plans for coverage that starts Jan. 1, when many existing individual plans will end, the federal government recently said consumers who sign up for plans by Dec. 23 could purchase insurance that will start on Jan. 1. The previous deadline for such coverage was Dec. 15.

MORE: Republican Rep. Says Obamacare Website ‘An Insult To Amazon’

80 comments
Libtards-UNITE
Libtards-UNITE

Stop bickering everyone.... We HAVE to take care of the 47 percenters some how!!  What is the Republican plan for taking care of those who don't pay into the system?  Uh huh, that's what I thought.  The Republicans don't have any ideas how to take care of people who don't contribute anything for their free stuff.  It's not distribution of wealth!  That is ridiculous.  It is simply taking the magical bucket of tax money that appears in the government bank accounts and paying for the 1/2 of America that wants their free stuff without doing anything for it.  Duh! 

FungsterPaul
FungsterPaul

"CMS will implement a “more advanced queuing system” for consumers forced to wait for one of 50,000 user slots. In addition, the website may recommend some users leave and come back during “off-peak hours” and will have a system to e-mail consumers when they can return to the website and enroll in a health-insurance plan."

That's pretty advanced: "Come back later." "Don't email us, we'll email you, when we're good and ready." Period.

eagle11772
eagle11772

Too bad that The Obamaniac only had 3 years to get this website up and running successfully.  :(  Everybody knows it takes at least 30 years to get a website up and running.

paulejb
paulejb

@fhmadvocat @paulejb 

Taking money from the young and healthy to subsidize health care for the high risk patients is redistribution of wealth.

fhmadvocat
fhmadvocat

@paulejb @fhmadvocat paulie, It is a redistribution of COSTS.  Not a redistribution of WEALTH.  There is a big difference. After all, who is getting wealthy?  Certainly not the old folks who need the medical care.  Most Americans have a problem with a redistribution of wealth, but they have less of a problem with a redistribution of costs.  Do you have any type of insurance?  All insurance is about redistribution.  It is just a question of who gets the subsidy and how much.  Yet how many of us have health insurance?  Most of us.  How many of us have auto insurance, which in some states is required when you own a car.  The problem with the ACA is that one is required to participate in the redistribution of costs and the government is regulating how much we put in as a "One size fits all".

ACA sucks.  However, what we had before the ACA sucked as well.  At least with the ACA, we can seek to address the medical costs in this country which is outrageous and has nothing to do with any type of "free market".  For the most part, we already have "socialized medicine" (after all, that is what health insurance really is, just that before the ACA, you could enter voluntarily).

fhmadvocat
fhmadvocat

@paulejb Paulie, you are so wrong!  It is not a redistribution of wealth!  That is Social Security!  The Ponzi scheme where the young subsidize the old!.  No, it is a redistribution of health care costs!  Now the young have to pay for the health care costs of those preparing to retire.  The working have already been paying the healthcare costs of the retired, but I don't know any politician who wants to change that!  Paul Ryan offered some weak solutions and he was crucified!  LOL

barneydidit
barneydidit

@paulejb @fhmadvocat Maybe we should go with the Republican alternative Paule...what was it again? Oh yeah....not Obamacare.  Sounds like a winner, you guys go ahead and run with that 2014 and 2016.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@paulejb So what is the GOP alternative? Oh yes there is none. The party of no solutions.

barneydidit
barneydidit

@mantisdragon91 @ReneDemonteverde @paulejb Vouchers!!! I do remember the Republicans talking about vouchers once or twice. Of course they never were able to tell us how helping the poor pay for a policy that insurance companies won't issue because they have a pre-existing condition was any actual benefit to them. 

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

@reallife @mantisdragon91 @ReneDemonteverde @paulejb That is why it so hard to reply to my friend the Mantis. First to insult and first to keep his mouth shut. As they say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. It makes you think yourself bigger than what you actually are. But thanks for the assist.

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

Just repeal the damn law. Before we pass the point of no return. This was crafted by incompetent people directed by an incompetent President, who never had any executive or any managerial experience not even a lemon stand. So far what he managed to get by are many of the lies put up by the media that is in his pocket. 


j45ashton
j45ashton

@reallife @ReneDemonteverde It's been a success in California and Kentucky.  And it will succeed else when people understand the benefits that others will get that they may not.  I agree from the GOP standpoint however.  Repeal it now before it succeeds.

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

@ReneDemonteverde "This was crafted by incompetent people..."

If, by that, you mean the people at the Heritage Foundation, I would tend to agree. Perhaps you'd like to make Medicare (and Medicaid) available to everyone. Everyone seems to agree that they were crafted by more competent people.

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

@reallife @ReneDemonteverde Not as much lemons as this President who cant seem to get his act together though. And you who readily swallowed Pelosi`s bait "you have to pass the bill to understand it" Well it was passed and still nobody could understand it. 

j45ashton
j45ashton

So what's new.  The senior managers are home having turkey & the guy in the trenches who always knew there was trouble is slaving away.   

rbrown0501
rbrown0501

Its absolutely astonishing how ignorant the media and Americans can be.

Right wing media and Tea party types are now pretending that websites didn’t slow down or crash when overwhelmed with traffic before the ACA.   And they’re pretending that insurance companies and in-network doctors didn’t part ways regularly before the ACA.   And thirdly that insurance companies didn’t drop customers from junk insurance plans when they got sick before.

All of these things were business as usual before the ACA.  

The problems are being addressed.  Theres never been a tech system before  to link the insurance industry with the IRS and Medicare and now they have techs from Google and FB working on the code.

Theres something profoundly ridiculous about a person bellyaching against the ACA in the first place, then whining about the website not working and eventual sheepishly seeking to take advantage of the benefits.  Lets face it, some people just can’t get over a black man being President.   So even when he gives them something they want, they can’t get beyond their deep seeded prejudices.  So anything associated with Obama is hyper criticized and magnified as some great evil moral failure, when the actual evil moral failure is the real prejudice within themselves they can’t get beyond.

Those of us that live in the real world, have realistic expectations and understand that most new systems are going to have bugs that have to worked out over time before the system runs optimally, and this new system is no different.

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

@rbrown0501 The website crashing are the least of the problems for the Idiot in Chief. It is the cancellation of insurance plans, the rise of premiums, the change of doctors. Websites can be fixed. But if this continue its the loss of confidence that can create chaos and confusion. Obama had lied too many times, It is like Humpty Dumpty. All the Kings men could not put him together again. Right wing Media ? Can you count how many right wing media that is influential enough to affect the opinion of people beyond your five fingers ? You should be thankful to the Tea Party. They are the only ones standing up to the lies and incompetence of the Idiot in Chief you call your President. As for black man theory nobody cares anymore. It has been rehash too many times to retain its credibility.

StopH1bNow
StopH1bNow

so people are attacking the malfunctioning Obumbler-Care law and the associated $600,000,000 ( and counting ) disaster webstie/application, because our President is black....?...you most likely don't know it, but you are probably one of the worst racists I've ever seen post...

jmac
jmac

@ReneDemonteverde @rbrown0501   " . .  . can you count how many right wing media that is influential enough . . . "

You are a hoot.   Fox news has been influential enough to destroy the Republican party.  That's pretty darn powerful.  They certainly were the driving force (with their jingoistic patriotism) in selling the Iraq war.  And don't forget Freedom Fries!   Good job, Brownie.  Democrats salute you and say thanks.     

Libtards-UNITE
Libtards-UNITE

@rbrown0501 In the real world (which you should really visit sometime) A project goes live when it's ready. ESPECIALLY when you are affecting something as important as a person's health care!  Yes, you will have to work through some wrinkles, but wouldn't you agree, this cluster&*C# has been a bit more than a wrinkle?  Another flaming failure by BHO

ReneDemonteverde
ReneDemonteverde

@jmac @ReneDemonteverde @rbrown0501 Repeat after me. George Bush. Fox News. George Bush Fox News. The two bogeymen of you libturds. As sure as night follows day the two are always the pinatas for you morons. Try more originality for a change. Or more practical open your eyes.


FungsterPaul
FungsterPaul

@rbrown0501 

My father, born before with war, had great faith in GM stocks. The world's largest company can't ever go out of business. In his dying days, it was his hope that when GM filed bankruptcy and cancelled all their stocks that it was temporary and hoped for a reversal. I didn't have the heart to tell him every single one of this GM stock certificates wasn't worth the paper it was printed on. Even to the very day that replacement stocks were issued, people were still trading the old stock regardless of the fact all stock holders received a notice from GM months before declaring all current stocks to be cancelled.

Religion and socialism - all come and go. People will ignore the facts and choose what they will believe in. Good for you. We need people of conviction. Flat Earth Society, Jim Jones, animists, etc.