It's launch time — again — for the federally run insurance marketplaces at the heart of President Obama's signature health care law.
The Health and Human Services Department has set this weekend as the deadline to fix HealthCare.gov, the primary enrollment website for Obamacare. Officials say the site will still have some glitches, but they'll be more like true glitches, not the crippling front-to-back system failures that plagued the site's initial launch.
HHS has had two months to fix the broken website, and the White House needs a dramatic improvement to stop the political bleeding it has suffered from the site and the uproar over canceled insurance policies.
So, how will we know if HealthCare.gov is working? Here are five important metrics to keep an eye on.
The administration vastly overstated how much of the site's initial problems resulted from higher-than-expected traffic, but high volume was still an issue. In tests just before the site's launch, it collapsed under a mere 2,000 simultaneous visitors — far short of the 4.7 million visits the site logged on its launch day.
Jeff Zients, the former White House budget director who is quarterbacking the HealthCare.gov repair effort, has said that by this weekend, the site will be able to handle 50,000 users at once, or about 800,000 per day. That's where it was supposed to be at the time it launched. If the site can actually handle that many users without crashing, it'll be a big improvement.