WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) — A surge of visitors clogged the U.S. government’s revamped healthcare insurance shopping website on Monday, Dec. 2, signaling that President Barack Obama’s administration has a way to go in fixing the portal that showcases his signature domestic policy.
Facing its first big test since officials proclaimed over the weekend that they had met their deadline to make HealthCare.gov run smoothly for the “vast majority” of users, the site performed markedly better than it did during its disastrous launch two months ago – but was still short of the crisply running insurance marketplace Obama once touted.
By 5:30 p.m. EST, the website had logged 750,000 visitors, the White House said, nearly the 800,000 daily users the refurbished site is supposed to be able to handle.
In states such as New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Texas and North Carolina, the rush of traffic led to the deployment of a new feature on the site – a waiting page that said there were “a lot of visitors right now,” and put people in line to be serviced, usually within minutes. By Monday evening, officials reported that the site was running smoothly, with no waiting.
That was significant progress for a website that has become the face of one of the biggest crises of President Obama’s administration, one that has undermined the Democratic president’s promotion of an activist government and threatened to become a drag on Democrats in next year’s elections, when control of Congress will be at stake.
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