Carney: ‘Surge’ of interest in O-Care site

The White House on Monday reported a “surge” in interest in HealthCare.gov, with spokesman Jay Carney saying the site had 375,000 visits by noon.

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Carney’s comments come after ObamaCare officials on Sunday announced that “dramatic progress” had been made on the website, allowing a vast majority of users to enroll in health plans through HealthCare.gov.

"We believe that the website is and will function effectively for the vast majority of users," White House press secretary Jay Carney said.

Speaking with reporters Monday afternoon, the White House spokesman looked to straddle the line between promoting improvements that have been made with the website and declaring that the portal had been fixed.

Carney said that the administration had "passed an important milestone" while sidestepping questions about whether it was a "mission accomplished" moment for the White House.

"We believe we made the important progress we set out to make, but … the work continues," Carney said, adding that he wouldn't "employ" the "mission accomplished" phrase associated with the Bush White House during the Iraq War.

Carney also spent much of his time downplaying questions about continued issues reported by consumers and journalists attempting to access the website.

Carney said that the "surge" in interest surpassed even the "vastly improved capacity levels" of the ObamaCare website.

The press secretary said that the White House "anticipated" that it would be a "big day" for traffic, and argued the new queuing system that has put many trying to access the website on a hold page was evidence the improvement were working.

Carney also sought to downplay a report in The New York Times that many of the systems designed to deliver personal information about enrollees to insurers remained unresolved. In the story, insurance companies complained they were receiving inaccurate and incomplete data from the government about individuals attempting to purchase insurance.

Carney said that a "majority" of necessary fixes had been made to the electronic forms that transmit consumer information from the federal government to insurers. He added that the administration was in "daily" contact with the insurance companies to iron out additional glitches.

"We expect the info now sent to insurers to be vastly improved," he said.

The White House spokesman was also pressed about reports the administration was asking allies to hold off on advertising campaigns to promote the ObamaCare website now that the deadline has passed.

Carney said that request wasn't evidence that the website remained fragile — just that interest would be high in the initial days following the effective relaunch.

Carney also downplayed calls for a White House shakeup from some Democrats following the botched rollout of the healthcare exchanges, saying the administration remained focused on getting the website right.

"Issues on personnel are not something we're focused on right now," Carney said.