TODAY, THE Obama administration’s message is that HealthCare.gov is a lot better than it was on its disastrous inauguration two months ago.
Well, sure: Using HealthCare.gov is a more pleasant experience than it used to be. Registering is much easier. The site doesn’t freeze repeatedly. But it still is not where it should have been on Oct. 1 — and the early success of the policy still hangs in the balance.
Leading up to its weekend deadline to get the site working, Obama administration officials assured the public that the “vast majority of users” would be able to use it. To them, “vast majority” means 80 percent of users — which is still too low. Officials boast the site is able to handle 50,000 simultaneous users. Yet that was the goal for Oct. 1, a day on which five times that many tried to access the site at once.
Then there are less-visible issues. Officials admit they are still having trouble with the files that transfer enrollment information to insurers. Other parts of the site’s back end still aren’t built. It was right — but not encouraging — that the Obama administration extended the date by which people have to apply to get coverage that starts on Jan. 1. Even that, though, is risky: Insurers will have only eight days to work out the logistics of enrolling those signing up late this month.