President Obama is "frustrated" by the online issues surrounding the rollout of Obamacare and he wants the problem fixed yesterday, as the The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a "tech surge," presumably at the encouragement of a "frustrated" Obama.
Monday morning, Obama will hold an event in the Rose Garden of the White House with various constituencies impacted by the health care law and he is expected to declare the glitches in a new healthcare website "unacceptable."
The key operative word being "frustrated."
Obama will outline ways on Monday for consumers to sign up for insurance while his team scrambles to fix problems that have tainted the rollout of his signature healthcare law.
The focus is now off the government shutdown and off the debt ceiling. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew echoed Obama's "frustration" and said on NBC's Meet the Press that the problems will be fixed by the administration quickly.
"I think that there's no one more frustrated than the president at the difficulty in the website," Lew said. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), "has got plans to fix this and it has to fix this. It has to be done right."
In a posting Sunday on the HHS blog, the department announced that it is calling for a "tech surge" in which it would enlist "the best and brightest" tech experts from the government and the private sector.
This 600-word blog post from the HHS was the first update in a week and a clear admission that there are problems. The word of the week is "frustrating," as the HHS blog acknowledged that the breakdown of the website is “frustrating for many Americans.”
While the HHS blog did not get into specifics of who will be called in or what the plan to fix the problem will be, it is clear they have gotten the message.
The HHS said that they have been "working around the clock to make improvements. We have updated the site several times with new code that includes bug fixes that have greatly improved the HealthCare.gov experience. The initial wave of interest stressed the account service, resulting in many consumers experiencing trouble signing up, while those that were able to sign up sometimes had problems logging in."
HHS added that it is continuing to add "more capacity in order to meet demand and execute software fixes to address the sign up and log in issues, stabilizing those parts of the service and allowing us to remove the virtual 'waiting room.' Today, more and more individuals are successfully creating accounts, logging in, and moving on to apply for coverage and shop for plans."
It is also clear that Obama is still "frustrated" by the progress made, in spite of the improvements and updates that the HHS claims.
The expectation is now being raised and the bar set higher that the problem will be resolved shortly as Obama places the power of the federal government behind the fix.
On the political side, the 16-day, tea party-induced government shutdown was a missed political opportunity for the Republicans to score some political points.
Once again, Obama has one-upped them.
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