Time is Quickly Running Out for ACA Website Fixes
said “contractors need to fix a couple of hundred problems and ‘we’re not where we need to be.'” A story in the WaPo added some extra bite to the Sebelius comments: now that some of the initial problems with the site have been improved, if not fixed, new problems are popping up that nobody knew about until this past week.So when Sebelius says the site needs to fix a couple of hundred problems, that number could very well continue to climb as more and more errors are discovered on the back end of the site. No wonder the number of people surfing the site, no to mention enrolling, still remains very low.The key question since the beginning of Obamacare’s website woes was always how long the problems would last. The longer the site malfunctions, the more likely the implementation morphs from a PR disaster into an existential threat to the ACA. One crucial deadline is the mid-point of this month. As Megan McArdle put it, by that date, “almost all the experts I’ve heard say we really need to be running at full speed, to handle the crush of applications sure to come between Thanksgiving and the mid-December deadline for buying insurance that starts in January.”We’re rapidly approaching that window and this new testimony suggests that the administration is still floundering to make the site work. The administration has two or three weeks to make those “couple of hundred” of fixes—plus the ones it doesn’t yet know about—or the law will be in a bad position indeed.