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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

March 31, 2014 - 2:34 pm

White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters at Monday’s briefing that there was a Healthcare.gov “technical problem that the tech team is on,” but was vague about the details and heavy on the cheerleading.

The website went down just after 3 a.m. Eastern time today and was out of commission for several hours. “During times of especially high demand, you may be queued to begin your online Marketplace application to ensure the best possible shopping experience,” read an alert at the top of the site later Monday.

The Department of Health and Human Services blamed the trouble on a software bug that emerged during routine overnight site maintenance.

“There are currently 100,000 people in the system who are enrolling, and there is no problem for them to enroll. For the causes of different glitches that are being addressed, I would refer you to CMS. But as has been the case all along, when there is a problem like this, it gets addressed and addressed quickly,” Carney said.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said Sunday that its techs were on “real time monitoring of HealthCare.gov systems around the clock to ensure a smooth consumer experience.”

“Over the past week the site has handled record consumer demand well – supporting more than 8.7m visits since last Sunday, with 2 million alone this weekend. The site continues to perform well under the largest sustained period of volume to date with average response times less than 400 milliseconds and an error rate of 0.5%,” CMS said in a statement. “…In the last week the HealthCare.gov team has sent emails to millions of people and more than 65,000 text messages to consumers reminding them of the steps they need to take to complete enrollment before the March 31 deadline.”

When pressed on two stories that reporters were being told — a software glitch vs. too many people rushing to get health insurance — Carney was vague.

“And what I’m telling you is that I would refer you to the experts in terms of — because this is obviously very fast, I think they are working on it, and when they can give you an answer,” he said. “What I think what is important, because I know there has been a lot of focus on glitches, is that there has been a remarkable story since the dark days of October and November, which has resulted in a situation where here on the last day of enrollment we are looking at a number substantially larger than 6 million people enrolled.”

“And I dare say that there are a few people in this room, including some of the folks who work in the White House, who would have predicted that we would get to that number. And it is because of the remarkable persistence and hard work of the teams that fix the problems at healthcare.gov. And it is because of the determination of the American people who so clearly demonstrated the desire for quality affordable health insurance that they would not be deterred, despite the problems that the system initially presented, and which had to be fixed.”

Carney insisted that we’re now seeing “some pretty incredible things, including more than 6 million people, as I’ve said, having signed up. We saw people lining up around the block this weekend, 2.9 million visits to the website this weekend. And last week alone we saw more calls to the call centers than in all of February.”

“No one expected us to come back from the brink or to surpass the revised CBO projection that 6 million consumers would sign up in year one, but we have. And I think that merits noting in your reports,” he added.

Carney didn’t, though, have an estimated date when reporters would receive final enrollment figures.

“As you know, as was the case in December, there will be an opportunity for those who have initiated the process but are not able to finish it at midnight tonight to ensure that they get signed up for health insurance, and we will not know what that universe of people looks like until we get past the deadline tonight,” he said.

“So what I can tell you is we expect the numbers to be significant, as we have seen in this period towards the end of the open enrollment period. As we predicted all along, there would be a substantial number of people that at the very end would, when faced with the deadline, enroll. And that is what we are seeing.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
They deserve PRISON TIME and a hefty fine on top of it.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
I love the logic of this.

We can feel good about ourselves while doing a half-assed job because a half-assed job is SO, SO MUCH BETTER than the complete cluster-fark with which we started.

Shame on us for criticizing them…If anything, they deserve a raise.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Dark Days?"

DARK DAYS?

You mean, when someone like me could get very good insurance (and NOT an HMO) for a reasonable price as an independent contractor? And without having to have ANYBODY subsidize me? Those "Dark Days?"
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (17)
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my classmate's mother-in-law makes $64 /hr on the computer . She has been without a job for six months but last month her check was $17858 just working on the computer for a few hours. look at this site........
www.jobs39.com
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Le me see....
We had the best health care on the planet... the only problem was the healthcare did not carry across State Lines... We could have consulted with each State Attorney General and made common Insurance Laws.... across the Nation.
Hmmm....
Instead we can take HillaryCare and screw it up more than it was and call it ObamaCare.... Yep that is better.... Then later we can dump the Ins Companies and Make it a Single Payer System, the Federal Government..... One small step for Liberal Demorats, one large step for Communism.....
And this is where we are today....
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
If I weren't so pissed off with what these dimwits have 'accomplished' I might be able to laugh at them.

We have allowed The Three Stooges (Obama - Pelosi - Reid) to screw up health care. The worst part? This story has turned into a smoke screen for whats going on in the back rooms in DC - bureaucracy after bureaucracy is plotting and planning to turn things upside down. And the stupid MSM will allow them to do it.

Even PJM is playing fiddle for The Three Stooges.

30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
What? Obamacare is getting out of rehab? Already? Is it going to get a new liver now?
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
An Ass masquerading as a President once found a Doctor’s white lab coat which had been left out in the sun to dry. He put it on and spoke to his countrymen. All bowed, both men and women, and he was a proud Ass that day. In his delight he lifted up his voice and brayed treatments and prescriptions and timetables and qualifications randomly and incoherently and unleashed mindless bureaucrat zombies upon the land to look for trouble, find it everywhere, diagnose everything incorrectly and then in a very grouchy and slow manner misapply all the wrong remedies, and then everyone knew him for the Ass he really was.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
AgitProp
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Have you heard the news?"
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
So if a really evil person becomes a not so evil zombie, it's something to cheer about?

I've been tempted to go to their website umpteen times today just to add to their traffic, but so far have refrained. I have insurance, but would prefer paying the doctor cash and paying the penalty to buying their insurance.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Asks reporters to spread the good news without enrollment figures."

And everyone in the MSM please feel free to add another few hundred "enrollments" as this glorious resurrection story is told and retold.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hey I just completed my time machine that takes you into the future, you will go into a container I built and then I will send you fifteen minutes into the future, after you have been in the "Time Machine" for fifteen minutes I will let you out to see the future!
Really high technology and all that stuff, unless you miss half your lunch period!
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
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