Fewer than 27,000 Signed Up for Obamacare

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The Obama administration says fewer than 27,000 signed up for federal plans on HealthCare.gov in it's first month.

The announcement comes after the man tasked with fixing the technical glitches on the site faced questioning on Capitol Hill this morning.

IT experts came front and center, taking fire from the health care law's critics on everything from the flawed website to security risks for potential users.

Critics also addressed how many visitors the system was designed to handle on day one versus how many it actually processed.

"You've got the fancy title. You're the chief information officer of the United States of America. That's a pretty big title and you didn't know about this before the biggest domestic policy program website in the history of this country has launched and you didn't know about this?" Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said.

At the center of the firing squad was U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park, now the designated point man to fix the website.

His appearance was the result of a subpeona issued by congressional Republicans, which was challenged by the White House.

Before the roll out, the administration said the system would only be able to handle 60,000 simultaneous users on the website.

Now, more than a month later, Park confirmed it can only support a fraction of that.

"Would you like to tell us for the record, what number the American people could simultaneously be on the site working on day one before the system began to time out?" Rep. Darrel Issa, D-Calif., Chairman of the Oversight & Government Reform Committee, asked.

"The system has been comfortably handling at present about 20 to 25,000 current users,"  Park replied.

Park said it's improving by the week, and is now able to process 17,000 registrations an hour.

But Republicans asked why the rollout wasn't delayed if it wasn't ready for prime time.

And Democrats retorted with accusations of their own, claiming Republicans have no interest in improving Obamacare.

"Nobody in this room; nobody in this country believes Republicans want to fix this website," Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said.    

Meanwhile, a government official warns the website trouble may not be fixed by the end of the month as promised, a delay that could only further hurt Obama's approval ratings.

Recent poll reports suggest the issue is already beginning to bog down the president's approval rating.

Only 39 percent now approve of his job performance, while 54 percent disapprove according to a new Quinnipiac poll.

And by a 52 to 44 percent margin, people say the president is not honest and trustworthy.

 

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