What the Healthcare.gov Performance Report Tells Us About Obamacare… and What It Doesn’t

Published December 4th, 2013 by Chris Riley
Fact Checked by
Chris Riley

This past weekend the Obama administration released a report detailing the status of healthcare.gov, and added that they had met their goal of improving the health insurance marketplace but also acknowledged the extensive work still left to do to improve the website that had marred the launch of the Affordable Care Act.

More than 400 of the 600 fixes on the administration's checklist of repairs have been made, and system response time has fallen from eight seconds to less than one second:

 The administration believes HealthCare.gov can now handle 50,000 concurrent users and the site, which was down 43% of the time in early November (essentially offline more than it was online), is now functional more than 90% of the time:

What we don’t know is: the error rate in determinations of eligibility, what percentage of people who begin an application and suffer failure before completion (a common complaint), or when the remaining 200 fixes will be sorted out. While the front end of the system seems to be getting a facelift, the back end remains a mystery with insurance companies at the launch claiming that they received inaccurate “834 transmissions,” the files that tell them who signed up. The White House is yet to detail how quickly this will be straightened out.

The HHS report can either be viewed as a damning indictment of government’s inability to get things done, or a significant step forward to provide insurance to 80 million people who don’t have it, with USA being the only rich country to not provide universal health care. What’s indisputable however, is that healthcare.gov is improving, and fast.

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