Spanish-language site to miss deadline

The Spanish-language version of the ObamaCare website will not be ready by the end of the month, despite administration assurances that it would be.

Health and Human Services spokeswoman Joanne Peters told The Associated Press that the administration will launch the Spanish-language version in early December. 

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Marilyn Tavenner, the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, earlier this month testified to Congress that the site would be working for a “vast majority of users” by the end of the month.

Officials had also offered private assurances to Latino advocacy organizations that the website would be ready.

The administration now says it will hold off promoting the Spanish language site until later in the year, saying it wants to gather feedback from advocacy groups after the site launches.

“We think it's important to engage with key stakeholders and organizations in this process and get their feedback,” Peters told the AP.

Millions of Latinos remain without health insurance, and their enrollment is considered central to the broader success of the Affordable Care Act. Around three in 10 Latinos are uninsured — more than any other ethnic group.

In the interim, the administration has said that Spanish-speaking consumers can call the bilingual ObamaCare hotline.

The frequent delays with the Spanish version of the website have already elicited frustration from Latino groups.

Earlier this month, Jennifer Ng’andu, health and civil rights policy director at National Council of La Raza, told BuzzFeed that the group was wary of promoting the launch of CuidadoDeSalud.gov until the site was working.

“For us, if we communicate a date [that] is expected to the community and that doesn’t happen, we’re going to create more distrust about this system within the community,” she said.

Ng’andu told BuzzFeed that she was concerned some Latinos were giving up on enrolling.

“I think at this point there’s a lot of people who have become frustrated by the process and have no idea what is their ability to move through it, and so have maybe not completely given up, but they’ve given up for now.”