Obama Administration Addresses Health Care Website Fumbles | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Obama Administration Addresses Health Care Website Fumbles

The Obama administration has started to confront the many technological problems that have hampered the roll out of the new health care law.

"I think that there's no one more frustrated than the president at the difficulty in the website," Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said on Meet the Press this morning.

If you haven't been paying attention, the insurance exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act went into business this month. The problem is that many people trying to sign up for health insurance have been foiled by numerous technical errors.

Lew said the Department of Health and Human Services will fix the issues, but added that the "real test" of the new law won't come until January, when coverage begins.

"I think that if we get that right, everyone will regret that the early weeks were choppy on the website. But the test is: are people getting coverage and are they getting the care that they need. And we're confident we're going to be on track to do that," Lew said.

Last night, the AP reported that 476,000 Americans had started health insurance applications during the first three weeks of the program. That's a tiny portion of the 7 million the Congressional Budget Office projected would sign up during the inaugural six-month open enrollment period.

The AP reports:

"Interest in the insurance markets appears to continue to be high. Officials said about 19 million people had visited HealthCare.gov as of Friday night.

"People seeking insurance must fill out applications before selecting specific plans. The applications include personal information, including income figures that are used to calculate any subsidies the applicant may qualify for.

"More than one person can be included on an application.

"Of the 476,000 applications that have been started, just over half have been from the 36 states where the federal government is taking the lead in running the markets. The rest of the applications have come from the 14 states running their own markets, along with Washington, D.C."

USA Today reports that President Obama will address the glitches during an event in the White House on Monday.

The paper had previously reported that the health care exchange website was built using 10-year-old technology and may "require constant fixes and updates for the next six months and the eventual overhaul of the entire system."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Handmade Signs From Homeless People Lead To Art, Understanding

Artist Willie Baronet is on a 24-city, 31-day trek across the country this month, buying handmade signs from homeless people. He says the project has changed the way he views homelessness.
NPR

You'll Be Maaaaaaaad About Goat If You Follow This Chef's Recipe

Goat — it's the other red meat! And it's easy to mess up. Kenyan-born Kevin Onyona reveals the secrets to a tender yet hearty stew: You've got to break down that meat, and you've got to give it love.
WAMU 88.5

McDonnell Corruption Trial Begins Monday

It's a first for the Commonwealth of Virginia on Monday, as Bob McDonnell becomes the first governor of Old Dominion to face potential jail time.

NPR

What It's Like To Own Your Very Own Harrier Jump Jet

The Harrier Jump Jet is known for vertical take-offs and landings. It also has an accident-prone track record, but that didn't dissuade one pilot from buying his dream plane.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.