Sebelius: Visit Obamacare Website During ‘Off-Peak Hours’
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WASHINGTON (CBS DC/AP) — Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is recommending to Americans to use HealthCare.gov during “off-peak hours.”
“For those who prefer to shop online, you may want to visit HealthCare.gov in off-peak hours when there is less traffic – mornings, evenings, or on weekends,” Sebelius wrote in an op-ed for USA Today.
Sebelius said there is a new online queuing system which will alert consumers by email when it’s a better time to come back to the website.
Sebelius penned the op-ed after the Obama administration said Sunday that the glitch-plagued Obamacare website has dramatically improved since the Oct. 1 launch.
“[W]e’ve been working 24/7 to make improvements, and more consumers are successfully shopping online and enrolling in a health plan each week,” Sebelius stated. “As a result, today’s user experience on HealthCare.gov is a dramatic improvement over where it was on Oct. 1. The site is running faster, it’s responding quicker and it can handle larger amounts of traffic.”
Sebelius did warn, though, that some users may still have issues with the website.
“Now, there will be exceptions, and (as with any website) we will continue to make improvements,” Sebelius wrote. “But the system is now working smoothly for the vast majority of users.”
President Barack Obama made Dec. 1 a self-imposed deadline to fix several significant problems and the administration organized a conference call with reporters Sunday to boast that 400 technical problems had been resolved. Officials, however, declined to say how many items remain on the to-do list.
Despite the improvements, the White House says that more need to be made to fix the faulty website, which debuted with hundreds of software flaws, inadequate equipment and inefficient management.
On Sunday’s “Face the Nation,” Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said there was no focus from the administration on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
“The fundamentals of this, to me, were done in a…chaotic way much like we’re seeing the roll out. Done in a way that there wasn’t a vision at the end, just an amalgamation of legislation that didn’t have a central focus, so I don’t know how you fix it,” Corker told CBS News. “I don’t know how you fix a program that was put together in this manner, with only one side of the aisle, and taking the shortcuts that we’re taking to put it in place.”
Four House committees will be holding hearings on the Obamacare law this week.
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