White House to send thousands of emails begging Americans to log back onto HealthCare.gov

Tom House Contributor
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The Obama administration began to send emails to 275,000 Americans without health insurance, imploring them to return to HealthCare.gov and sign up for insurance as stubborn software problems continue to persist.

But in order to avoid overwhelming the system, officials plan on sending out email notices in “waves.”

One official noted that the insurance exchange is “balking” when more than 20,000 to 30,000 people attempt to use the site at the same time — and is unlikely to work fully by the end of the month despite promises from the White House, The Washington Post reports.

“We are working 24/7 to make improvements so that by the end of the month the site is working smoothly for the vast majority of users,” said Julie Bataille, director of communications at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).  “We are making progress, including fixes to reduce error rates and get the site moving faster.”

Since its Oct. 1 launch, HealthCare.gov has been plagued by a host of software problems, preventing most users from enrolling and exposing the few who do to security risks.

The team of private contractors and government workers trying to fix HealthCare.gov added “two, large-scale data storage units” and made a series of software fixes “that addressed dozens of outstanding issues” over the weekend, said Bataille.

“The site is getting better each week, and by the end of November we will be working smoothly for the vast majority of users,” she further noted.

Despite optimism from officials, the White House continues to engage in a series of ongoing discussions on what to do if the Nov. 30 deadline is not reached.  Some options reportedly include extending the open enrollment period and raising maximum income levels to allow more Americans to qualify for government subsidies to buy coverage.

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Tom House