WH spokesman: I can’t speak to whether the website will be fixed by March, but the phone service is awesome

posted at 9:21 pm on October 21, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

So, it’s official, I suppose. The administration’s fallback, all-purpose talking point concerning ObamaCare is metastisizing from the “high volume,” “nineteen million unique visitors,” “high interest” line of obfuscation to include the “ObamaCare is so much more than a website” line that President Obama used in his infomercial speech outside the White House this morning. Hey, the website is merely one of the available portals you can use to access the (basically “free”!) benefits now available to you through the ACA. The paper and telephone routes may be burdensome, old-fashioned, and more confusing, but they’re equally sweet options for getting on board with this legally mandated program — never mind the easy, user-friendly signup experience we promised you, it’s not that important.

Jake Tapper made it a rough afternoon segment for White House spokesman David Simas:

TAPPER: Will the website be up and running, can you promise by December 15th, or the by March deadline, either one of the dates, can yes or no, can you promise?

SIMAS: So Jake, yes, between the website and all of the other ways that people have to sign up –

TAPPER: That wasn’t really the question.

SIMAS: But here’s the reality. Any American over the course of the next six months who either doesn’t have insurance or is on the individual market, between the website service that prior to october 1st didn’t exist, a 1-800 number prior to October 1st that didn’t exist, navigators and the ability to do it on their own, they can get insurance and will. …The main purpose of the Affordable Care Act is not a website. It’s to make sure that any American who is either uninsured or in the individual market has options to get insurance. That will happen. That’s our sole focus and that’s what we’re going to do.

Something tells me, however, that even the administration doesn’t think they can run this entire enrollment period off of paper and telephone enrollments, and in the meantime, they don’t seem to want to even ballpark a date for when the website will be really and truly fixed. Yikes.


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Schadenfreude

Bmore on October 21, 2013 at 11:40 PM

Over.

Bmore on October 21, 2013 at 11:40 PM

Wow

Cosmop on October 22, 2013 at 1:11 AM

It would be fun to know how the complexity of the task of the website stacks up to, say, the complexity of tax filing software. Number of variables, rules, all that. Because the free market has pretty much nailed that, despite leaving poor Timmy Geithner slightly confused and anxious. Can import data from a whole range of financial reporting sites, can file electronically; vast numbers of individuals can and do use the software simultaneously via a web browser.

TexasDan on October 22, 2013 at 1:26 AM

Question for Jay Carney: “The President has often said that if you like your health care plan, you can keep it. Is that still true?”

Haiku Guy on October 22, 2013 at 7:00 AM

22 oct 8:45AM. Web site still can’t log in.
To the total cost, has anyone added the 2.25 Billion dollar contract for the phone center?

jpcpt03 on October 22, 2013 at 8:44 AM

The really sad part is that the weak, dependent slugs in this country will do nothing. They will gleefully follow the Pied Piper off the end of the pier and into the depths. We’re doomed.

rplat on October 22, 2013 at 9:02 AM

You mean that phone service where the navigators use the web service to process your application?

The Schaef on October 22, 2013 at 9:09 AM

And let’s not forget that one of the key arguments in favor of interventionism, was that the health industry lacked the technological sophistication to be cost-effective in the information age, and thus needed the government to set the standard for them to aspire to.

The Schaef on October 22, 2013 at 9:24 AM

So, lets enable Obama, get out to the re-sale shops buy all the still operational FaxMachines and send them to the White House.

Obama can get back on the msm hot line and give U.S. the Fax Number.

Commmie deeds done dirt cheap.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 22, 2013 at 9:31 AM

ps

It will create more jobs, give the slackers something to do with their art degrees.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 22, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Mark Steyn, sitting in for Rush, said someone tried the phone number.

After going through all the ‘press 1 for english’ etc. options, the final instructions were to go to the web site.

Is this a filter to slow down the traffic to the web site?

TerryW on October 22, 2013 at 9:43 AM

Almost as sure as the sun coming up.They will hit the cash box for another $400 Billion or so hand it to the U.S. Postal (union) to print and mail the OhnoCare to U.S. via the mail box. It will give U.S. 30 days to fill out and send money in or the IRS will be next on the door step.They are after all commie union thug paid for tax collectors.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 22, 2013 at 9:47 AM

They might not want this fixed too soon. Once it, people are going to start focusing in the real issues: Policies cancelled, higher costs, more restricted service, not being able to keep your doctor, people in many states falling through the crack because they make too much for Medicaid and too little for obamacare, etc. etc. The web site is the least of Obamacare’s problems.

neuquenguy on October 22, 2013 at 9:52 AM

Mark Steyn, sitting in for Rush, said someone tried the phone number.
After going through all the ‘press 1 for english’ etc. options, the final instructions were to go to the web site.

Is this a filter to slow down the traffic to the web site?

TerryW on October 22, 2013 at 9:43 AM

INGENIOUS!!
The ultimate circle of gubmint service.
The web site that doesn’t work says go to the phones if the web site doesn’t work.
The phone system says go to the web site.

dentarthurdent on October 22, 2013 at 11:24 AM

WH spokesman: I can’t speak to whether the website will be fixed by March, but the phone service is awesome

There’s an idea. Just turn it into an online “dating” service and phone sex operation. Would go along nicely with the Government’s drug dealing, gun running, gambling (Wall Street, derivatives), and racketeering endeavors.

Barry Friend Finders or something.

Dr. ZhivBlago on October 22, 2013 at 11:30 AM

The crashing sound we are hearing is not the website crashing. It’s also not the IVR / Call Center systems crashing.

What we are hearing crash is not only the credibility of the entire Obama Administration, but the credibility of the progressive-fascist-statist agenda that claims bigger government is the solution to all problems.

Athos on October 22, 2013 at 11:38 AM

It will create more jobs, give the slackers something to do with their art degrees.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 22, 2013 at 9:33 AM

About 30 million incompetent call center agents, and maybe a million programmers to pump out useless spaghetti code – unemployment solved!!

dentarthurdent on October 22, 2013 at 11:44 AM

EG, when the heck is enough enough?

I can’t take much more of this… ):

Scrumpy on October 21, 2013 at 9:30 PM

It is time to take our nation back.

Happy Nomad on October 21, 2013 at 9:56 PM

After a robust session on HA, I frequently feel that we are expending a lot of energy on the battles but none on the the war.

I think we can stipulate that we have enough people that are justifiably disgusted with our government. But how to constructively focus that energy for change?

Sometimes I wish there was just one HA thread titled: “We know the problem. What are we going to do about it?”.

Tsar of Earth on October 22, 2013 at 12:21 PM

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