Initial Tests Showed Obamacare Website Couldn't Cope With Traffic

Image: Initial Tests Showed Obamacare Website Couldn't Cope With Traffic

Thursday, 07 Nov 2013 05:18 AM

By Elliot Jager

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Preliminary tests of the site, conducted a day before the launch of Obamacare, indicated it could not handle anticipated demand, according to a document obtained by California Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, The Hill reported.

In preparing the groundwork for the site, contractors realized the system could only handle 1,100 users before response time began to drag, according to House Republicans on the oversight committee.

Contractors were apparently gearing up to handle 10,000 concurrent users — far below the estimated 2.8 million visitors who came to the site on the first day of its launch.

The Department of Health and Human Services announced it was "working around the clock" to diagnose and repair problems as they are identified.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told senators: "I'm hoping that with the site improvement we'll see more robust numbers, but until the site is fully improved and we really ... open up the doors wide to a lot of people, we're going to have ... a struggle getting significant numbers to sign up," ABC News reported.

President Barack Obama expressed frustration with the website's malfunctions, telling Obamacare volunteers in Dallas that "nothing drives me more crazy" than knowing that people are having trouble getting onto the website.

"It's like having a good product in the store but the cash registers don't work, there aren't enough parking spots, and no one can get through the door," he said.

In Delaware, meanwhile, which depends on the federal site to do background checks for outreach workers, four customers had signed up for coverage as of Wednesday, according to The Hill.

To deal with another Obamacare glitch, House Republicans were working on legislation that would allow individuals to retain their health insurance plan if they like it.

Rep. Fred Upton, a Michigan Republican, said the bill would permit insurers to keep providing coverage that would have otherwise been canceled under the new standards set by Obamacare.
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