Given its history, the administration’s claims have to be taken with a cargo ship full of salt—especially since there’s no good way to independently confirm that the website is working as well as the administration claims. You just have to take their word for it.
Even if the website appears to be working on the user end, there’s no guarantee that less visible functions are performing adequately. Insurers have been reporting dropped or incorrectly transmitted enrollment data since the exchanges launched. And according to The New York Times, the repair team prioritized front-end fixes for consumers over accurate insurance-company connections. So the site might appear to be working just fine, until you try to actually use the insurance that you thought you purchased.
These are just the known problems. There are plenty more opportunities for technical troubles down the line, particularly because when administration officials say the website is working better, they mean the portion of the website that’s actually been built. Yet by the reckoning of a senior Obamacare tech official, some 30 to 40 percent of the exchange functionality has yet to been constructed, including some of the crucial insurer payment systems. (“It’s not built, let alone tested,” one insurance industry official told The Washington Post.”) So the best possible scenario here is that the 70 percent of the site that’s been built works for about 80 percent of the people who want to use it.