To paraphrase one of the more memorable lines of American cinema: If you build it badly, they’ll stop coming.  Every private-sector firm operating in the on-line market discovered that in 1995 or so, but the Obama administration only just started to learn it after spending hundreds of millions of dollars on the world’s worst web portal.  And now consumers are staying away in droves, according to the Washington Post:

The number of visitors to the federal government’s HealthCare.gov Web site plummeted 88 percent between Oct. 1 and Oct. 13, according to a new analysis of America’s online use, while less than half of 1 percent of the site’s visitors successfully enrolled for health insurance the first week. …

Based on a sample of two million users — or 1 percent of all online users in the U.S. — which Millward Brown Digital has permission to track, it suggests that the rush of traffic administration officials cited as the cause of the site’s problems trailed off within a matter of days.

Of the 9.4 million unique visitors to the site during the launch’s first week, according to the analysis, roughly a third attempted to register, and a third of that number — 1.01 million — completed registration. Ultimately, roughly 36,000 Americans signed up for an insurance plan online, the report said.

The Post shares a graphic that was making the rounds yesterday to show just how poorly the web portal functions:

ocare-pyramid

If any commercial web portal only ended up with a 0.384% success rate in its first week of operation followed by an 88% plunge in traffic, the project team would find itself out on the street.  If it happened to a publicly-traded company that sunk hundreds of millions of dollars into the project, the CEO and the executive management team would be joining them on the sidewalk.  But this is the Obama administration, where accountability is just a term they like to use about their opponents:

The White House stood by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Tuesday, as Republicans called for her resignation over the botched rollout of ObamaCare.

The primary website for consumers to sign up for insurance is still not functioning as promised, two weeks since its launch.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday that President Obama still trusts Sebelius’s stewardship of his signature legislative achievement.

“The secretary does have the full confidence of the president,” Carney said during his daily press briefing.

That speaks volumes about the President, doesn’t it?  And about the central legislative achievement of his term in office, too.