Sebelius says Obamacare website improvements 'on track' - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Sebelius says Obamacare website improvements 'on track'

  • Health Secretary Sebelius urges state and local officials to push Obamacare enrollment
  • Sebelius says improvements to the website will continue after December 1
  • Sebelius projects a "significantly different user experience" on the website by month's end
  • Botched Obamacare website rollout has become a political flashpoint in Washington

By Tom Cohen

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Tuesday that "we are definitely on track to have a significantly different user experience by the end of this month" with the problem-plagued Obamacare website.

In a conference call with state and local officials, Sebelius added that "this isn't a magic 'turn on the on switch'" to fix HealthCare.gov and that "the experience is vastly improved each day."

On Monday, a White House spokesman said the administration would meet President Barack Obama's goal of having the website working for the "vast majority" of users by November 30.

Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters that the tech team working on HealthCare.gov has increased the site's capacity, boosting it to a level of 50,000 "concurrent" users.

Recurring breakdowns, error messages and delays botched the federal web portal rollout on October 1, opening the President's signature health care reform effort to new and fierce Republican criticism while questions about the administration's ability to manage the sweeping health insurance overhaul.

Most states have their own online and other systems for consumers to purchase insurance under Obamacare.

Enrollment figures for the first month after the opening were much lower than initially expected, but some states have since reported stronger numbers and Sebelius said Tuesday that more people were signing up every day.

She declined to provide any specifics, even when asked by a local official on the call for a demographic breakdown on who was signing up. Such details weren't yet available, Sebelius said.

Improvements to HealthCare.gov would continue beyond December 1, according to Sebelius, who also urged the state and local officials on the call to continue their efforts to spread information in their communities to help people enroll for Affordable Care Act coverage.
 CNN's Jim Acosta and Z. Byron Wolf contributed to this report.
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