EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Breaking News

World/National News

October 24, 2013

Health care sign-up snags, fix-it efforts detailed

WASHINGTON (AP) — On the defensive, the Obama administration acknowledged Wednesday its problem-plagued health insurance website didn’t get enough testing before going live. It said technicians were deep into the job of fixing major computer snags but provided no timetable.

Democratic unhappiness with the situation began growing louder — including one call for President Barack Obama to “man up” and fire someone — as the president’s allies began to fret about the political fallout. Democrats had hoped to run for re-election touting the benefits of the health care law for millions of uninsured Americans, but the computer problems are keeping many people from signing up.

And Republican sniping continued unabated, with House Speaker John Boehner declaring, “We’ve got the whole threat of Obamacare continuing to hang over our economy like a wet blanket.”

Obama himself, though strongly defending the health care overhaul, has been increasingly willing to acknowledge extensive problems with the sign-up through online markets. Amid all that, the Health and Human Services Department on Wednesday provided its most specific accounting yet of the troubles with HealthCare.gov — an issue that is also about to get a lengthy, even-less-forgiving airing on Capitol Hill.

The first of several hearings is set for Thursday in the Republican-led House, with lawmakers ready to pounce on the contractors who built the balky online enrollment system.

Acknowledging what’s been obvious to many outside experts, the administration said yesterday that the system didn’t get enough testing, especially at a high user volume.

It blamed a compressed time frame for meeting the Oct. 1 deadline to open the insurance markets. Basic “alpha and user testing” are now completed, but that’s supposed to happen before a launch, not after.

The Health and Human Services explanation identified some bugs that have gotten little outside attention.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
World/National News

Latest U.S. News
Bull Run Comes to Middle America LeBron: Move Back to Cleveland 'Exciting' Tiny Texas Border Town Weathers Migrant Influx Raw: Divers, Snorkelers at Undersea 'Concert' Raw: Kerry Meets With President Karzai Overseas Children Face Deportation Without Attorneys Arizona Mom of Missing Baby Released From Prison Joy Fills Streets of Cleveland As LeBron Returns Proposed Bill to Regulate NY Costumed Characters WH: LeBron's Move a 'Powerful Statement' CDC Addresses Lab Safety Problems Texas Shooting Suspect Collapses in Court LeBron James Says He's Returning to Cavaliers More Immigrants Detained Along Rio Grande Soft Robot Fish Lead New Wave of Robotics Downside of Low Mortgage Rates? Less Selling Law Signed to Create NYC Municipal ID Cards 7 Killed in Mass. Apartment Fire Denver Gay Couple First to Get Marriage License Baby Hoped to Have Been Cured of HIV Relapses
Latest World News
Malala Meets 'Bring Back Our Girls' Activists Today in History for July 13th LeBron: Move Back to Cleveland 'Exciting' Raw: Wounded Rushed to Hospital in Gaza City Netherlands Beats Host Brazil 3-0 to Finish 3rd Raw: Brazil Fans Arrive for Third Place WC Match Raw: Sirens Blare Over Jerusalem Raw: Airstrike Creates Chaos on Gaza Streets UN Calls for Israeli-Palestinian Ceasefire Israel Widens Attack As Gaza Death Toll Rises Raw: Militants, Israelis Exchange Rocket Fire Raw: Stunning Timelapse of WC Final Host City Raw: Airstrike Creates Chaos on Gaza Streets Raw: Protesters, Israeli Security Forces Clash Death Toll Tops 100 As Israel Offense Continues Man Flees Police in World Cup Scalping Scheme Raw: Rebel Leader Weds in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Israel, Gaza Exchange Rocket Fire Rockets Fired From Lebanon Hit Israel Raw: Funeral in Gaza for Family of 8
Photos of the Week