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(37,305 posts)
Fri Oct 25, 2013, 12:45 PM Oct 2013

Obamacare Website to Be Fixed by December, Zients Says [View all]

Obamacare’s hobbled health-insurance exchange will be fixed by December, according to the management consultant asked to salvage the website, in the first timeline provided for correcting the flaws.

Jeffrey Zients, in his first public comments since President Barack Obama assigned him the job this week, said the site will be working “smoothly” by then. The project’s management has been reorganized, with UnitedHealth (UNH) Group Inc.’s Quality Software Services unit taking over as lead contractor.

The Healthcare.gov website was intended as the main portal for millions of uninsured Americans in 36 states to gain coverage from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.

Jeffrey Zients, 46, now a health-care entrepreneur, was named in September to replace Gene Sperling as director of the National Economic Council starting in January, after serving the government in the past as acting director of the Office of Management and Budget. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Since opening for business this month, the site has been plagued by technical problems, including delays, error messages and hang-ups that have prevented many customers from completing their enrollment. Ten Democratic senators led by Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire called on the Obama administration to extend the health law’s open-enrollment period beyond March 31.

“With the new general contractor in place and the focus that we have and what we have seen over the last couple of days, we are confident that each week the site will get better,” Zients told reporters on a conference call. “It’ll take a lot of work and there are a lot of problems that need to be addressed, but let me be clear, healthcare.gov is fixable.”


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