The still "very slow" federal Obamacare insurance website "remains a long way from where it needs to be," the management guru responsible for getting it fixed said on Friday.
Jeff Zients said his team of government and private technology experts continue to make progress in repairing HealthCare.gov, but an increased volume of users is exposing new and preexisting problems in system capacity and software.
In some cases, the system's response time for refreshing web pages remains unacceptably high. Too many people are still running into error messages or other problems that are being kicked up by buggy software, said Zients, who has been working for free since being appointed by President Obama in mid-October to fix the site.
Despite those problems, he repeated the prediction he made in October: That HealthCare.gov would be operating smoothly for the vast majority of users by the end of November. That time-frame is crucial because Dec. 15 is the deadline for people to enroll in insurance plans that take effect Jan. 1.
Even as Zients reiterated that vow, there were growing calls on the government to provide some kind of relief to a trifecta of problems facing possibly millions of people: their insurance polices are being canceled because they are not compliant with Obamacare standards; the policies available for sale on HealthCare.gov are more expensive than their old plans; and HealthCare.gov doesn't work well enough to allow a large number of people to apply, shop and enroll in coverage in the first place.
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On Thursday, CNBC detailed how one Miami man had spent more than a month trying to create an account on HealthCare.gov and shop for coverage.