Majority Still Having Problems with Obamacare Website

Public opinion of the ACA slightly less negative, especially among enrollees. 

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The Fiscal Times
January 27, 2014

After spending three months and millions of dollars repairing the troubled Obamacare website - just 8 percent of users say it’s working well.

A new Associated Press-GfK poll found that the majority of people who have signed up for Obamacare are still experiencing problems on the federal portal, Healthcare.gov - with more than half, 53 percent, saying it hasn't worked well and just 29 percent reporting their experience went “somewhat well.”

Related: Confusion Over Deadlines Jeopardizes Obamacare

The poll comes about a month after the White House replaced HealthCare.gov’s lead contractor, CGI, with a new $90 million contract to Accenture to head the website’s repair effort.

“Accenture will bring deep healthcare industry insight as well as proven experience building large-scale, public-facing websites to continue improving HealthCare.gov," David Moskovitz, chief executive of Accenture Federal Services, said in a statement.

Since then, Obamacare has experienced a major surge in enrollees - with nearly 1 million signing up so far in January, bringing the total number of enrollments to 3 million, according to the latest figures released by the White House.

It’s unclear, however, how many of those 3 million have actually paid or tried to pay for their premiums, since the White House has not released data on paid policies.

Earlier this month, the Associated Press reported that the Spanish version of HealthCare.gov, CuidadoDeSalud.gov, was having serious translation problems, preventing Spanish-speaking users from signing up for health care.

Related: White House Claims It Will Reach Obamacare Goal

The poll also found that the president’s health care law continues to be unpopular among the public, though the negative perception has trended downward in the past month. In January, 66 percent said they held a negative view of Obamacare, down 10 points from December. According to the poll, the law is most popular among those who have signed up for Obamacare. About 46 percent of enrollees support the law, compared to just 27 percent of the general public.

This poll comes about two months before the open enrollment period closes at the end of March. The White House is still well below its goal of signing up 7 million people by the March 31 cutoff. Still, officials say they are on pace and are counting on people waiting until the last minute to sign up. A new survey, however, found that the majority of Americans are unaware of that deadline.

Those who miss the March 31 cutoff will have to wait until the next open enrollment period begins, and if they go without insurance they will be required to pay a tax penalty under the new law.

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Washington Correspondent Brianna Ehley, based in D.C., covers Congress, government agencies and spending issues, health care, and tax and economic policy for The Fiscal Times.