WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) – Former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday that it would be “inexplicable” if no one lost their jobs following the disastrous rollout of HealthCare.gov.
Gibbs made the assertion while speaking with MSNBC host Alex Wagner on the topic.
“It will be inexplicable if somebody involved in the creation of the website doesn’t get fired, or a group of people don’t get fired,” he said. “We should get through the fixing of this before we clean house but I think it will be inexplicable if we get sometime in the spring and somebody at HHS or CMS or both haven’t been fired.”
He added, “There aren’t really any good excuses for not firing people.”
The Obama administration had promised a vastly improved shopping experience on HealthCare.gov by the end of November, and Monday was the first business day since the date passed.
Counselors helping people use the federal government’s online health exchange are giving mixed reviews to the updated site, with some zipping through the application process while others are facing the same old sputters and even crashes.
The site appeared to generally run smoothly early Monday morning before glitches began slowing people down. By 10 a.m., federal health officials deployed a new queue system that stalls new visitors on a waiting page so that those further along in the process can finish their application with fewer problems.
About 750,000 had visited the site by Monday night — about double the traffic for a typical Monday, according to figures from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Federal health officials acknowledged the website is still a work in progress. They’ve also acknowledged the importance of fixing back-end problems as insurers struggle to process applications because of incomplete or inaccurate data. Even when consumers think they’ve gone through the whole process, their information may not get to the insurer without problems.
“We do know that things are not perfect with the site. We will continue to make improvements and upgrades,” said Julie Bataille, communications director for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
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