As the November 30th deadline to have healthcare.gov fixed and working smoothly “for the vast majority of users” quickly approaches, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Tuesday that improvements are on track. But officials are apparently still concerned about a possible rush of traffic to the site.
From the New York Times, A Plea to Avoid Crush of Users at Health Site:
White House officials, fearful that the federal health care website may again be overwhelmed this weekend, have urged their allies to hold back enrollment efforts so the insurance marketplace does not collapse under a crush of new users.
At the same time, administration officials said Tuesday that they had decided not to inaugurate a big health care marketing campaign planned for December out of concern that it might drive too many people to the still-fragile HealthCare.gov.
With a self-imposed deadline for repairs to the website approaching on Saturday, the administration is trying to strike a delicate balance. It is encouraging people to go or return to the website but does not want to create too much demand. It boasts that the website is vastly improved, but does not want to raise expectations that it will work for everyone.
“We are definitely on track to have a significantly different user experience by the end of this month,” Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, said Tuesday. “That was our commitment.”
The NY Times reports the website is now supposedly equipped to handle 50,000 concurrent users, but that officials worry 250,000 may try to use the site at once.
White House communications director Jennifer Palmieri said that officials have advised groups helping to promote the site to hold back on driving traffic for now until they see how much traffic the site is getting in the early days of December, according to the NY Times.
Meanwhile, we’ve all by now seen Organizing for Action’s “Health Care for the Holidays” campaign, which urges supporters to “have the talk” about Obamacare with their family members this Thanksgiving, and offers tips and lists for starting that conversation.
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