News / USA

Obama Vows Fix for Health Care Web Sites

President Barack Obama gestures while speaking about the initial rollout of the health care overhaul, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Oct. 21, 2013.
President Barack Obama gestures while speaking about the initial rollout of the health care overhaul, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Oct. 21, 2013.
President Barack Obama has vowed to fix problems afflicting the rollout of the new health insurance law, including software glitches frustrating Americans trying to enroll in the program.

Since enrollment for the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare, as the health care law is known, formally started October 1, the main federal web site and some state exchanges have been plagued by software problems.

Americans have until March of next year to sign up for insurance or face a penalty. As problems became more embarrassing, the White House blamed heavy demand straining on line systems.

HealthCare.gov web siteHealthCare.gov web site
x
HealthCare.gov web site
HealthCare.gov web site
But amid increasing criticism, the administration now has sought help from the high-tech industry to fix what experts say are more than just glitches, but some serious system design flaws.

In the White House Rose Garden, with a dozen people who successfully signed up for coverage or were already benefiting from the law, Obama said he is committed to fixing what he called "kinks" in the system.

"There is no sugar coating it. The website has been too slow. People have been getting stuck during the application process. And I think it is fair to say that nobody has been more frustrated by that than I am precisely because the product is good. I want the cash registers to work. I want the check out lines to be smooth. So, I want people to be able to get this great product," said the president.

"There is no excuse" for the problems, said Obama, adding his administration is doing everything it can to boost capacity.

He stressed that while health insurance under the exchanges does not formally begin until January 1, Americans already are benefiting from key provisions, including coverage regardless of pre-existing medical conditions.

Obama acknowledged the problems have provided more ammunition to opposition Republicans whose efforts to block funding for Obamacare led to a 16-day government shutdown. But he said the "long and contentious" battle over health care reform was not fought merely because of a website.

"We waged this battle to make sure that millions of Americans in the wealthiest nation on Earth finally have the same chance to get the same security of affordable, quality health care as anybody else. That is what this is about," said Obama.

Obama said "it's time for folks to stop rooting for the failure" of the health care law, "because hardworking middle-class families are rooting for its success."

The administration has not released figures of the total number of people who have signed up successfully for coverage, but has pledged to provide that information in November.

The Department of Health and Human Services said that nearly half a million people submitted applications through the federal website and online state insurance exchanges or marketplaces.

A spokeswoman for Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said she intends to testify before Congress, but no date has been set. Republicans have called for Sebelius to resign, citing the problems with the health care websites.

You May Like

New England Bears Brunt of US Blizzard

Boston, surrounding region grapple with as much as 3 feet of snow, coastal flooding; leaders in New York, spared most severe weather, criticized for being overly cautious More

China Lifts Lid on Sale of Fake Goods Online

A recent survey found nearly 60 percent of a random sample of items bought from Taobao were fake More

Upward Aims to Create Old-girls Network in Silicon Valley

Lisa Lambert, an executive with Intel Corp.'s venture-capital unit, responds to the gender-disparity debate by creating a new social organization More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: Mrs. Pain from: Miami
October 21, 2013 6:12 PM
How is all that "hope and change" doing you now, all you Obama Regime grovelers???


by: Ramnarayan from: Florida, USA
October 21, 2013 6:09 PM
At least Obama as the President has admitted that the system needs improvement. Give him a break. How many of our presidents have admitted to anything as a flaw? Any complex new system is likely to have some kinks in the beginning. This does not follow that the affordable healthcare is a failure as the GOP would like the rest of the country to believe. The system has lot of good things to be happy for ex. Pre existing conditions or student's coverage when they are in college. It is time the GOP grows up and stop complaining about everything or asking people to resign. Ask the tea party politicians to resign for messing up the country.


by: LIES from: USA
October 21, 2013 6:05 PM
The "dozen" that "successfully" signed up, is just an outright LIE.


by: Mrs.Snoughfoloughogus from: L.A.
October 21, 2013 6:03 PM
There’s more to this failure than just the enrollment side, by the way. That’s only the beginning of all this. After people are enrolled, their information and enrollment status must be accurately communicated with insurance companies, doctors, hospitals and clinics, all in real time as people show up at medical service providers and demand health care (or emergency care).

This is where the real Obamacare hits the fan, because a huge percentage of those who think they are enrolling in the system are doing so because they have pre-existing medical conditions which have gone untreated for years. Beginning on January 1, these people are going to line up by the thousands in front of clinics, hospitals and treatment centers across the country. They’re all going to think they have Obamacare insurance, yet medical centers are going to be unable to confirm their insurance policies because the Healthcare.gov back-end (server side) is broken.

I predict we are going to see a front-line health care nightmare scenario unfold in January, 2014. I also predict — and you can quote me on this — that many health services providers are going to declare they will “stop accepting Obamacare patients” due to these disastrous IT failures.

The fact that hospitals and clinics which choose to accept Obamacare patients will often not get paid on time because of IT failures means there will be tremendous pressure on health service providers to drastically cut the costs of delivering services to Obamacare insurance holders. Effectively, this means Obamacare is likely to be reduced to the equivalent of a “welfare health care” system while, simultaneously, premium health care services will be delivered to those who pay cash for higher-caliber health care. Obamacare will be to real medical care what day-old Dominos Pizza is to a deep-dish authentic, wood-fired Italian pie made with fresh Roma tomatoes and basil.

The quality of health care services, in other words, is about to take a plunge all across America. From the point of view of sick-care service providers, accepting Obamacare patients will be worse than accepting Medicare patients, and every medical clinic already knows that Medicare is the very worst system to work with right now because they hardly pay anything for services rendered. Providing services to patients covered under Medicare is practically providing them for free. Providing services to Obamacare patients may be a recipe for total bankruptcy.

Watch for huge growth in cash-pay clinics and medical service providers who, themselves, carry no liability insurance!

Finally, I predict that with the implementation of Obamacare in 2014, we will all witness an explosion in the growth of “cash pay” medical clinics, where services are affordably rendered by doctors who accept no insurance and who deliberately carry no liability insurance whatsoever.

By my estimates, health care services can be rendered under a “no insurance / no liability” system for approximately 20% of today’s typical health care costs.

A procedure that might currently cost $10,000 at a hospital, in other words, would only cost $2,000 out of pocket in a cash-pay clinic.

The drastically rising costs of health insurance under Obama’s ridiculously-named “Affordable Care Act” means that for more and more people, it makes sense to buy only the minimum insurance required under Obamacare — or pay the IRS fine — and resort to cash payments for actual day-to-day health care services.

This is the only way Americans are going to get quality health care services: by bypassing the disastrous Obamanightmarecare system altogether.


by: Lady Bottomburp from: Fargo, ND
October 21, 2013 6:00 PM
More than two weeks after the hoax launch of the fake “shell” website Healthcare.gov which did not function, the Obama administration has announced plans to bring in real programmers and attempt to build an online federal health exchange site that actually functions.

A widely publicized HHS blog post calls this, “doing better,” continuing the absurd lie that Healthcare.gov only suffered from minor glitches and small problems that need incremental “improvements.”

At no time has HHS acknowledged the fact that the Healthcare.gov website is structurally flawed and suffers from deep design failures that cannot simply be patched.

The utter incompetence of HHS is obvious in its attempted explanations for why the launch of the site has been such a disaster. “We have made a number of improvements to the account service,” the HHS blog states. “Initially, we implemented a virtual ‘waiting room,’ but many found this experience to be confusing.”

Maybe that’s because the very idea of an “online waiting room” is laughable. Imagine if Amazon.com had a waiting room where you had to take a number and wait your turn before you could make a purchase. Or imagine if Priceline.com made you wait an hour or two before you could check prices from multiple airlines. Nobody uses the internet to sit around and wait for some poorly-designed code to try to catch up. That the federal government thought this was a brilliant idea is yet more proof that the people running this system still have no clue what they’re doing.

Obama administration suddenly decides to start figuring out where the errors are, two weeks AFTER the launch!

To the great astonishment of programmers everywhere, Healthcare.gov was only tested for 5 – 7 days before launch. Yep, less than a week of testing.

At no time was the site subjected to any sort of intelligent error monitoring or debugging effort. In fact, HHS is now celebrating the fact that it has suddenly discovered debugging principles and will now implement them!


by: quiltmaker1616 from: San Rafael CA
October 21, 2013 4:42 PM
As far as I am concerned, Barack Obama is one of the best Presidents the U.S. has ever had. Of course, there will be some difficulties with signing up tens of millions of new people for healthcare coverage! That doesn't invalidate the aim of Obamacare. We were the only Western industrialized country that didn't provide universal healthcare--now we are finally getting civilized.


by: NIck from: NY
October 21, 2013 3:55 PM
Well we know how well he keeps promises- and honesty is his best policy. BTW this was Bushs' fault too.


by: Anoumous
October 21, 2013 2:30 PM
Tried to use live chat, the lady mentioned that call 1800-318-2596. So that I called, another lady said that we have problem for the website. Today is October 21, website officially started October 1, during these time, what they are doing? Waste tax paxpyer money!!!


by: adam
October 21, 2013 10:56 AM
Well when you contract an outside web developer from Canada to build a healthcare exchange site in the USA this is what you get.

In Response

by: logic from: Denton,texas
October 21, 2013 11:22 AM
Everyone is talking about the polls say this and they say that. Have you been contacted to answer a poll? Ask the people how they feel on a national forum!!!


by: Jim Spicer
October 21, 2013 10:56 AM
Who is surprised this new system doesn't work correctly? But why does it take photo-op boy himself to fix it?

Comments page of 2
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid