The Obama administration has managed to make some significant improvements to Healthcare.gov but it is still not working as well as the administration has led people to believe. On Sunday they bragged the site “has the capacity to handle 50,000 concurrent or simultaneous users at one time.”
But the very next day that was proven not to be true when the system was unable to handle a much smaller number. From The Hill:
A back-up system was deployed for HealthCare.gov on Monday at a lower traffic rate than federal officials projected, signaling there could be further trouble with the system.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) acknowledged that the site’s try-again-later system was initiated as roughly 35,000 users tried to access HealthCare.gov at the same time.
CMS had previously said the back-up system would be used only when HealthCare.gov was coping with 50,000 simultaneous visitors.
People were moved into a digital waiting room and advised to try again later.
Right now this is only a real inconvenience for some, but if server capacity is not seriously improved in the next few weeks this could be a real issue. Most people tend to wait to the very last minute to do things. If the site can’t handle the big spike in traffic expected near the December 23rd deadline it could leave many without insurance in January.
This failure just a day after the HHS progress report really hurts the administration’s credibility on Healthcare.gov fixes. Given that this statistic was so quickly proven not to be true, the rest of the claims they made Sunday are now inherently suspect.