White House: 80 Percent of Americans Will Be Able to Use HealthCare.gov

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Despite the catastrophic rollout of HealthCare.gov, the federal website through which consumers may enroll in Obamacare health insurance policies, the White House remains hopeful that the “vast majority of users” will be able to use the site successfully by November 30.

Confirming this optimism, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney announced Monday that about 80 percent of Americans will be able to enroll in an insurance plan through the site, pending the upcoming fixes.

Said Carney, "I think the way to look at that figure is that of, say, 10 who go on the system, roughly two won't get through the system."

Not all of those unable to use the site will be victims of technical difficulties. Some simply aren’t regular computer users, and are not comfortable signing up online. Others have complicated family situations, and will need more guidance before they can sign up for a program.

The Washington Post asked Carney if he thought that an 80 percent success rate could be called a “vast majority.”  He replied, "Others can decide whether or not 80 percent is a vast majority. I think in most contexts, it is."

Beyond the website, Obamacare has come under attack recently because insurance companies are dropping customers from existing plans that don’t meet the new standards for coverage. While the White House scrambles for a fix, some are concerned that with all of these problems, only sick people will bother to sign up for insurance through the exchange; but the system depends on healthy people buying insurance to defray the costs.

Mark McClellan, who headed the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under President George W. Bush and oversaw the start of Medicare Part D, thinks that it’s too early for such concerns.

Said McClellan, “What’s going to matter is not the enrollment numbers over the next few weeks, but what the enrollment looks like come February or March.”

Sources: Washington Post, Politico