- ‘Welcome to the edge of freedom’: Biden’s boots touch down in DMZ
- Obama: Hole U.S. ‘digging out of’ requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
Lew says health exchange rollout glitches typical for new software
Says frustrated insurance buyers ‘shouldn’t give up’
After a week of ongoing glitches, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on Sunday defended the online rollout of Obamacare’s health insurance exchanges and promised the bugs would be worked out.
“It is not unique that when you have a very large, new software program come out that people work to clean it up,” the former White House chief of staff said in an interview on “Fox News Sunday.” “I usually wait until it’s 0.3 or 0.4 before I sign up. So many millions of people rushed to get in because that shows how much interest there is in — in getting health care.”
Two days after President Obama said frustrated insurance customers “definitely shouldn’t give up,” the Treasury secretary on Sunday blitzed all the major political talk shows.
In addition to defending Obamacare, Mr. Lew fired back at Republicans over the government shutdown stalemate and the deadlock over the looming debt ceiling.
On “Fox News Sunday,” he ducked repeated attempts by host Chris Wallace to get an answer to the question of how many Americans were able to successfully sign up on the health-care exchanges last week.
“I don’t have the exact number,” Mr. Lew said. “It’s the wrong question.”
Mr. Lew, again echoing the president, compared the program’s launch to the introduction of a major new product by a software company.
“What happened this week is we saw 7 million people rush to go … find out what are their choices in this new marketplace to buy affordable health care,” he said. “You know, they have six months to sign up. This is a big decision.”
“The fact that so many millions of people rushed to get information is a very good sign,” he said. “That shows how much interest there is.”
On Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services pitched the first week as a success even as it said it will take down the application function on the site during “off-peak” hours for maintenance.
“The enhancements we are making will enable more simultaneous users to successfully create an account and move through the application and plan shopping process. We expect that Monday, less than a week after the marketplace opening, there will be significant improvements in the online consumer experience,” the agency said.
HHS also listed positive testimonials from insurance companies and news excerpts about successful enrollees in the various exchanges.
On Friday, a 21-year-old Georgia resident who was touted at midweek as one of the few people who was able to acquire insurance through the federal website — a notable feat considering long wait times and “holding pages” on the site — clarified that he has not finished the enrollment process.
Chad Henderson told The Washington Post that he was able to sign up, find out what he is eligible for financially, and decided what plan he wants to buy, but never claimed he had taken the last step of purchasing a plan.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
David Eldridge joined The Washington Times in 1999 and over the next seven years helped lead the paper’s coverage of regional politics and government, Sept. 11, and the sniper attacks of 2002. In 2006, he was named managing editor of the paper’s Web site. He came to The Times from the Telegraph in North Platte, Neb., where he served as ...
- Sens. Klobuchar, Collins predict a deal by Thursday
- Rand Paul: GOP can't accept Democrats' attempts to undo sequesters
- Lew says health exchange rollout glitches typical for new software
- John Boehner, Ted Cruz: Upcoming debt-ceiling vote will have conditions
- Treasury Secretary Jack Lew: Obama can't stop default if debt ceiling is hit
Latest Blog Entries
- Mainers would rather move to Canada than down South
- McCain: 'Stand your ground' laws may need review
- Sen. Tom Coburn: Holder investigating himself is a 'total conflict of interest'
- CNN poll: IRS, AP and Benghazi haven't dinged Obama's approval rating
- Slain diplomat's mom on Obama's Benghazi comments: 'Bullfeathers'
Tom Howell Jr. covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Obama admin.: One in 10 Obamacare forms might have errors
- Obama administration knew of key Obamacare delay in August, emails say
- House Speaker John Boehner: It took me 3 to 4 hours to sign up for Obamacare
- Young millennials shun Obamacare, creating risky imbalance
- Almost 1.5 million deemed eligible for Medicaid in October alone: Obama administration
Latest Blog Entries
- Calif.: Give 'gift of health' by pledging cash for the uninsured
- Tensions hit boiling point over Obamacare enrollment figures, error rates
- Young, uninsured adults vital to Obamacare are not keen on enrolling: New Harvard poll
- Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox will promote Obamacare at Mall of America
- HealthCare.gov employs a new look once again
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Obama: Hole U.S. 'digging out of' requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Snow storm sucker punch: U.S. hit by winter wave
- Syria mess may spawn 'Islamic emirate' world must deal with, says Iraq's top diplomat
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Hack attack: 2 million Facebook, Twitter passwords stolen
- U.S. debt jumps a record $328 billion tops $17 trillion for first time
- GORDON: Purging America's military
- Obamacare's bold vision turns murky: Health reform downsized, promises broken
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Get in the middle of all the action inside and outside the boxing ring.
The cold hard truth about politics in America today and the state of this once great nation.
White House pets gone wild!