The troubled Healthcare.gov should be up and running by November 30th, the White House has assured the public multiple times. But the efforts to get things running smoothly, including a so-called "tech surge" to fix the system's many glitches, might not be on track to meet that goal. That's according to a report in the Washington Post on Tuesday night. The report, citing a single unnamed official familiar with the effort, explains that government and tech employees working on the big fix now believe the "only way for large numbers of Americans to enroll in the health-care plans soon is by using other means."
We know that the healthcare exchange site's problems — originally referred to as "glitches" — include security holes, capacity problems, and a handful of problems pertaining to the transmission of enrollment information to the insurance companies. Despite those problems, about 50,000 people somehow managed to sign up for plans since the site launched at the beginning of October. It clearly means things have improved since the site's first terrible day. But the enrollment figure is way below White House estimates of 500,000 by the end of October. Eligible Americans are supposed to sign up on the exchanges by December 15th to get coverage starting at the beginning of the year, so there's not much room here if the government misses the November 30th fix date. For some, the stakes are especially high. Sick Americans with pre-existing conditions need to enroll in new insurance by January 1st, as the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan expires at the end of the year.