Obama Administration Says Health Care Web Site Is Vastly Improved

The Obama administration said on Sunday that it had met its goal for improving HealthCare.gov so that the website now “will work smoothly for the vast majority of users.”
In effect, the administration gave itself a passing grade. Because of hundreds of software fixes and hardware upgrades in the past month, it said, the website — the main channel for people seeking to buy insurance under President Obama’s health care law — is now working more than 90 percent of the time, up from 40 percent during some weeks in October.
Jeffrey D. Zients, the Obama adviser leading the website repair effort, said consumers were having a much better experience now than in early October. Pages on the website load faster — in less than a second — compared with an average of eight seconds in late October, Mr. Zients said. “The site is now stable and operating at its intended capacity, with greatly improved performance,” he said.
In a “progress and performance report,” the administration summarized five weeks of frantic activity to repair the website and undo damage to Mr. Obama’s political standing.
The report, issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, said that after the repairs, 50,000 people can use the website simultaneously, and that pages fail to load well under 1 percent of the time, compared with more than 6 percent before the overhaul.
“Users spend an average of 20 to 30 minutes on the site,” the report said. “Based on usage trends, the site will support more than 800,000 consumer visits per day.”
Neither Mr. Zients nor the report indicated how many people were going through all the steps required to enroll in a health plan through the website, which serves residents in 36 states.
Much progress in the past five weeks resulted from radical changes in the management of HealthCare.gov, according to the report. Technology experts concluded in mid-October that “HealthCare.gov was fixable, but only with significant changes to the management approach and a relentless focus on execution,” it said.
 
By Robert Pear
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