WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Barack Obama on Monday will talk about the website glitches that have plagued the application process for health care insurance since the new exchanges opened up this month.
In Rose Garden remarks about the Affordable Care Act, the president will reiterate his stance that he finds the technical problems unacceptable and will discuss steps his administration has taken to get them fixed, a White House official said Sunday.
The site has seen many problems with people trying to log on as well as issues once they have applied, such as some people applying for different plans. Insurance industry sources have said they are getting some applications with missing information.
Republicans on the Sunday talk shows aimed their fire at the site.
“It’s been a fiasco. Send Air Force One to Silicon Valley. Load it up with smart people, bring it back to Washington and fix this problem. It’s ridiculous, and everybody knows that,” Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, told CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger on “State of the Union.”
“They’ve had three or four years here to get this ready. God only knows how much money they’ve spent, and it’s a failure. You know, the government simply isn’t going to be able to get this job done correctly,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
“Obamacare is a disaster. It’s not working. It’s hurting people all across the country,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, told CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash.
The administration says it is working to fix the problems.
“I think there is no one more frustrated than the President at the difficulty in the website,” Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” The Department of Health and Human Services “has got plans to fix this, and they have to fix this. It has to be done right.”
The application portion of the website was brought down this weekend for overnight maintenance, as it has been on previous weekends and some weeknights. An administration official confirmed to CNN that additional government and private technology experts will be brought on to help solve the problems but did not provide any details.
In a blog post Sunday afternoon, the Health and Human Services department said: “To ensure that we make swift progress, and that the consumer experience continues to improve, our team has called in additional help to solve some of the more complex technical issues we are encountering. Our team is bringing in some of the best and brightest from both inside and outside government to scrub in with the team and help improve HealthCare.gov.”
Two officials said staffing at call centers has been increased by about 50% to help people phoning in, and officials are emphasizing that now, as an alternative, one can enroll over the phone. About 1.2 million calls have been processed from those seeking information.