White House: Private Sector Can Build a Better Website Than Feds

Monday, 02 Dec 2013 08:50 PM

By Cathy Burke

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An embattled White House Monday conceded that the private sector can build a better website than the federal government.

From midnight to noon Monday — the day dubbed "Cyber Monday" for its heavy volume of online sales at the start of the peak holiday shopping season — about 375,000 people visited HealthCare.gov, the White House said.

But not without problems.

Users were still experiencing delays with the problem-plagued Obamacare website, HealthCare.gov, the administration acknowledged, the Washington Times reported.

"What is absolutely the case is the private sector does some things very well and better than the government can, and running effective websites may be one of them, is one of them," White House press secretary Jay Carney said, explaining why some people visiting the Obamacare website are still running into trouble.

Carny said the administration expected high volume following the holiday weekend and had revamped its queue system, asking users to enter their email address and other information, then return during off-peak hours.

Carney insisted, however, the dysfunctional website had "significantly improved" and was functioning for a "vast majority" of users.

He also spoke of a huge improvement and said the White House had reached its goal that "the vast majority of users are able to access the site and have it function effectively."

"What the Affordable Care Act demonstrates is that it is important for government to take action in order to, for example, do something the private sector has failed to do, which is reduce the inflation rate in healthcare costs," he said.

But there was a testy exchange with ABC News' Jonathan Karl, who needled Carney to answer: "Is it mission accomplished?" the Washington Post reported. Carney carefully replied, "We believe we made the important progress that we set out to make."

Reuters contributed to this report.

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