That Dec. 1 date promised by the Obama administration for an operational Obamacare website isn’t looking good.
In fact, staffers at the online chat function for the website Friday said they wouldn’t even promise an answer to a question about whether the system would be up to speed until Dec. 6.
And the Q&A function declined to provide a phone number for an “Advanced Resolution Center” that would “research” the question. Customers can’t call there, because that is an “internal number.”
The pertinent exchange with “Zulema” went like this:
“I’m a reporter with WND. Will the Healthcare.gov site be up to speed on Dec. 1, as promised?”
Zulema: “Due to the nature of your questions, I am going to refer your issue to an Advanced Resolution Center specialist who will research it and call you back with 2-5 business days.”
That would make the earliest expected response Tuesday.
Obama administration officials previously acknowledged even they didn’t expect the system to be ready Dec. 1, as has been promised since the failed Oct. 1 launch.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services spokeswoman Julie Bataille told The Hill that the system “will not work perfectly on Dec. 1, but it will work much better than it did in October.”
Bataille warned of “intermittent” failures and acknowledged “periods of suboptimal performance” will appear.
The comments came as the Obamacare website continued to suffer unscheduled outages.
One member of Congress told Fox News that whatever the results – and he doesn’t expect them to be terrific – the Obama administration will simply redefine success.
An administration source said it was hoped that eight out of 10 users would be successful starting next week. And Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., told Fox News that would be how the administration defines success.
But, he said, that’s “simply defining success as going 50 feet or 100 feet on that 100-mile marathon.”
The New York Post reported that an “army” of computer experts worked through the Thanksgiving holiday to try to put the Obamacare site in order.
“They’re working pretty hard. I can’t tell you if they’ll make it,” a source told the Post.
That the issue was giving the U.S. a black eye around the globe was confirmed by a PressTV report from Iran, which suggested one of the improvements that is expected once the Obamacare D-Day hits is a new waiting system for those who can’t be helped right away.
PressTV reported that the new “queuing” system will suggest to those who cannot access the system a more favorable time to try.
The Hill reported that even a full two months after the system launched, as deadlines for signup and threats of fines for failure became operational, the site still fails.
“Healthcare.gov has struggled to transmit accurate application information to insurance companies in forms known as 834s,” the Hill said. “The CMS did not provide an update Monday on that fix, suggesting that officials are still struggling to ensure the forms are correct.”
Administration officials said some 500,000 people had signed up for Obamacare, far short of the number needed for the system to function properly.
A poll showed 78 percent of Americans say consumers “should be concerned about the security features of the Obamacare exchange website.”
“More worrisome for the success of the law, 82 percent of young people between ages 18 and 24 say concern is justified. These are among the people Obamacare most desperately needs to enroll in order to keep overall premiums from spiraling out of control.”
And the White House abruptly announced a one-year delay in enrollment for small businesses wanting health coverage through the Obamacare exchanges.