WASHINGTON (CBS DC/AP) — Documents released by the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee show that a test on HealthCare.gov a day before its Oct. 1 launch revealed that the website could not handle more than 1,100 simultaneous users.
The ACA Daily Testing Bulletin – which was produced by Quality Software Services Inc. – was released by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., Wednesday.
“Currently we are able to reach 1100 users before response time gets too high,” the report indicates.
Joanne Peters, spokeswoman for the Health and Human Services Department, told Bloomberg News that “we wish we had done more testing” with the online marketplace that was to be a prized feature of the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law.
A CBS News report found that four days before the Obamacare website launch, the Obama administration granted itself a waiver to launch HealthCare.gov, even though it was “deemed as a high (security) risk.”
Obama invited Senate Democrats facing re-election next year to the White House Wednesday to discuss the problem-plagued health care rollout that could affect their races. The White House confirmed Obama and Vice President Joe Biden met with 16 senators to describe fixes that are being made to the website for Americans to sign up for insurance under his signature health care law.
“The rollout of HealthCare.gov has not been smooth — to say the least — and I shared the concerns of Coloradans directly with the president,” Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado said in a statement. “Consumers should have the time they need to shop for a plan and enroll after the widespread problems with the website are fixed.”
But White House press secretary Jay Carney rejected the idea of an extension of the March 31 deadline for Americans to get insurance or face a fine.
“We still believe that there is time available to make the necessary improvements to the website and to use all the other means that we can to get the information to the American people who want to enroll in time for them to do it,” Carney told reporters.
The meeting with Democratic senators, which was not listed on the president’s public schedule, lasted about two hours and also included White House chief of staff Denis McDonough and Jeff Zients, the president’s troubleshooter for the website. Such a dedication of time by so many top-level officials reflects concern for the political fallout the problems could inflict.
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