Healthcare.gov has been causing all sorts of headaches for the Obama administration since it was launched a few weeks ago. The White House said today that it has hired a private contracting firm to fix the website and that it expects the site to be running smoothly by the end of November.
Jeffry Zientz, the consultant brought in to fix the website, said that Healthcare.gov is fixable.
Zientz said: “With the new general contractor in place and the focus that we have and what we have seen over the last couple of days, we are confident that each week the site will get better… It’ll take a lot of work and there are a lot of problems that need to be addressed, but let me be clear: healthcare.gov is fixable.”
Healthcare.gov has been plagued with problems since it went live. Long wait times and frequent crashes have prevented many people from signing up for government health care. The Washington Post reports that only three in 10 people have managed to successfully navigate through the Obamacare website.
The government hasn’t released any official numbers about how many people have signed up through the website but Seattle Times reports that nearly 700.000 have applied for coverage since the site’s launch. Of course, only a fraction of those people have actually managed to sign up.
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that the main problem is that the site can not handle the volume of people trying to sign up.
Sebelius said: “I don’t think anyone knew that the volume would cause the problems it did… I didn’t realize it wouldn’t be operating optimally before the launch.”
Of course, large numbers is only part of the issue. QSSI, the firm that was just named the “general contractor” of the website, said that the government made a few last minute changes to the website before its launch and that the site wasn’t properly tested.