Believe It or Not?: Administration Says ObamaCare Website Is On-Track

Published on December 1, 2013

The Obama administration is expected to give a fuller picture Sunday of whether it met its self-imposed November 30 deadline to allow 50,000 people to access the federal healthcare exchange website simultaneously.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have scheduled a press conference for 9 a.m. to discuss the progress of the site,

Obama administration officials said Saturday that the site had “performed well” and that  upgrades overnight Friday had improved response times and reduced errors. The site was taken offline between 9 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. Eastern time Saturday, in addition to its regular maintenance window, which falls between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. Eastern time Sunday.

“With the scheduled upgrades last night and tonight, we’re on track to meet our stated goal for the site to work for the vast majority of users,” CMS spokesman Aaron Albright told Fox News earlier Saturday.

CMS spokeswoman Julie Bataille said the installation of new servers Friday night helped improved the response times and error rates, even with heavier-than-usual weekend traffic.

Though President Obama and other administration officials have tried to downplay the deadline, saying fixes are an ongoing effort, a lot is riding on the site’s performance this weekend, including upcoming elections as well as Americans’ confidence in the president and his signature health-care law, which depends on their participation to work.

The Washington Post reported hours before that the administration was prepared to announce Sunday that they have met deadlines for improving However, technicians failed to reach the deadline to fix at least some of the glitches, according to the newspaper.

Official have repeatedly said in recent weeks that the site would after the deadline be able to accommodate the “vast majority” of online shoppers.

The White House says it’s made numerous upgrades in both software and hardware over the last month, which also will allow the site to handle more than 800,000 visitors a day.

Still, in the days leading up to the deadline, the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services continued to scale back expectations, saying not to expect the site to be 100 percent glitch-free.

“If there are extraordinarily high spikes in traffic, which exceed the site’s capacity, consumers will be put in a new, advanced queuing system that will give them an expected wait time, or allow them to be notified via when they can return to the site,” Bataille said Monday.

Obama recently said he’d consider a “fix” to be successful if 80 percent of the people are able to navigate the site without a major problem.

The nation’s largest health insurer trade group said significant problems remain.