Chart of the Day: The Obamacare Website Has Been Working Pretty Well Since Early November


Yesterday the Obama administration released a report showing that the healthcare.gov website is now working pretty well. Not perfectly. Not flawlessly. But pretty well. This confirms anecdotal reports that the site is now quite useable, and it’s important because it’s a proof of concept: if the site can go from disaster to workable in a couple of months, it means that its problems aren’t so deeply structural that they’re never going to be fixed. They were just bugs. And bugs get corrected.

But here’s the thing that struck me when I looked at the HHS report last night: if their metrics are to be believed, they actually had the site working pretty well by early November. It’s just that they didn’t say much about it, instead waiting until their self-imposed December 1 deadline—due, I assume, to an abundance of caution after the horrible rollout. Still, take a look. The charts below are both big and barely legible (perhaps suggesting a whole different federal government IT problem) but what they consistently show is that the site was working tolerably well by November 9 and pretty acceptably well by November 16 (marked by the red bubbles). These metrics still don’t show great performance—especially the 95 percent uptime metric, which really needs to be 99+ percent—but if you need to buy health coverage via healthcare.gov, you can do it. And that means that Obamacare is working too.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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