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Taking Stock Of HealthCare.gov

Healthcare.gov. It’s December. We’ll look at what’s working, what’s not, and the path now for health care reform.

In this Friday, Nov. 15, 2013 photo, the shadow of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is shown as she speaks at the Community Health and Social Services Center in Detroit. Technology experts say healing what ails the Healthcare.gov website will be a tougher task than the Obama administration acknowledges  (AP)

In this Friday, Nov. 15, 2013 photo, the shadow of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is shown as she speaks at the Community Health and Social Services Center in Detroit. Technology experts say healing what ails the Healthcare.gov website will be a tougher task than the Obama administration acknowledges (AP)

Victory declared this weekend by the Obama administration in rescuing HealthCare.gov from its calamitous debut.  Critics compared it to George W. Bush’s derided “Mission Accomplished” claim in Iraq.  The website that barely breathed when the Affordable Care Act was rolled out October 1 is now said to be capable of handling 50,000 users at a time.  Small change in the world of cyber-Monday shopping.  A big deal if it ushers millions of Americans into new health care coverage.  The battle is still on. This hour On Point:  HealthCare.gov and health care reform, two months in.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Noam Levey, national healthcare reporter for the Los Angeles Times. (@NoamLevey)

Dan Schuyler, director at Leavitt Partners, a health-care intelligence business. Former director of technology for the Utah Health Insurance Exchange. (@dschuyler)

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), member of Congress representing Tennessee’s seventh district. (@MarshaBlackburn)

Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), member of Congress representing Maryland’s eight district. (@ChrisVanHollen)

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times: Inside the Race to Rescue a Health Care Site, and Obama — “The website, which the administration promised would ‘function smoothly’ for most people by Nov. 30, remains a work in progress. It is more stable, with many more people able to use it simultaneously than just two weeks ago. But it still suffers sporadic crashes, and large parts of the vital ‘back end’ that processes enrollment data and transactions with insurers remain unbuilt. The president, who polls showed was now viewed by a majority of Americans as not trustworthy, has conceded that he needs to ‘win back’ his credibility.”

Wall Street Journal: Insurers Seek to Bypass Health Site — “Federal officials said they had largely succeeded in repairing parts of the site that had most snarled users in the two months since its troubled launch, but acknowledged they only had begun to make headway on the biggest underlying problems: the system’s ability to verify users’ identities and accurately transmit enrollment data to insurers. One of the leading states operating its own exchange is considering ways to decouple itself from the federal infrastructure it relies on to confirm residents’ eligibility for federal tax credits. That technology has been affected by planned and unplanned outages.”

Los Angeles Times: Major health website bugs fixed, officials say, but more work needed — “Reporting on its attempts to improve the HealthCare.gov portal, officials said that Web pages on the site now loaded in less than one second, down from eight seconds in late October. The system now operates more than 90% of the time, up from 40% during some weeks in October. The average rate of timeouts or other Web page failures has dropped to less than 1%. It was as high as 6% in October.”

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