Sorry, sweetie, you and the failed president said it would be ready November 30.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Tuesday that the ObamaCare website will still be a work in progress beyond the end of the month, apparently lowering the bar on a key deadline to fix the problem-plagued website.
“The 30th of November is not a magic go, no go date. It is a work of constant improvement. We have some very specific things we know we need to complete by the 30th and that punch list is getting knocked out every week,” Sebelius told The Associated Press.
Sebelius’ comments came as Henry Chao, deputy chief information officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, testified at a House subcommittee on Energy and Commerce hearing that the site will be “greatly improved” by the end of the month — not fixed.
Chao said Tuesday that up to 40 percent of the technical systems supporting the federal health insurance marketplaces have not yet been built, including a system to issue payments to insurance companies, The Washington Post reported.
The Obama administration has staked its credibility on turning HealthCare.gov around by Nov. 30. Administration officials, including the president, have said the website will be running smoothly for the “vast majority of users” by the month’s end.
At an Oct. 30 congressional hearing, Sebelius projected “an optimally functioning website” by the end of November. On Nov. 5, Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, testified that the site would be “fully functioning” by that date.
Last week, President Obama said the “the improvement will be marked and noticeable.”
Come December 1 Team Obama may look back fondly on a 37% approval rating.