Expectations Low for Obamacare Website Functionality

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The White House says the Obamacare website, Healthcare.gov is now performing well.

The administration is hoping a more operational website will mark a fresh start for the president and his health care law.

Saturday marked the self-imposed deadline set by the administration to have it fixed. Constant repairs leading up to the deadline resulted in some improvements, but questions still remain about the site's stability and the amount of traffic it can handle.

"I think that they can expect to have a lot less issues and errors with their user experience," Brian Loughlin, an independent IT consultant, said.

Government officials worked to keep consumer expectations low, proving just how delicate some of those repairs still are.

The White House even urged consumers to shop on the website only during off-peak hours.

"To be clear, November 30 does not represent a re-launch of Healthcare.gov - it is not a magical date," Julie Bataille, spokeswoman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said.

Supporters of the president urged Americans to focus on the number of people who will soon have insurance rather than problems that remain with the website.

"I think the president can right this ship. This website is now apparently functional now," former DNC Chairman Howard Dean told CNN.

"I haven't tried the website. But if this program works, and I think it will, three months from now, a huge number of people who didn't have health insurance are going to have it, and mostly at a better price," he said 

But Republicans say that while people may now be able to actually log-in, significant problems remain.

"I've talked to some people in the insurance industry this morning. And they told me that most of the front end may be looking good. People may be able to get on and get responses, but the information coming out the back end to the insurance companies is still garbage," Former Sen. Rick Santorum told CNN on "State of the Union."

Other critics say the real problem doesn't lie in a broken website, but in a flawed law.

"Unfortunately, as people enroll, I think there's going to be a lot of negative surprises as to what they're able to enroll in," Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said.

Work on the website will continue into December, but the automated part of the system used to pay insurers wont be ready until spring of 2014.

 

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