Obama, CMS defend reputation of insurance exchanges

As glitches plague the federal insurance exchange website, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is working to convey that it is not a train wreck, despite media reports to the contrary.

As glitches plague the federal insurance exchange website, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is working to convey that it is not a train wreck, despite media reports to the contrary.  

Richard Olague, a press officer for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, pointed PRWeek to a blog post done by the agency that notes that in two and a half weeks, nearly a half-million applications for coverage have been submitted from across the nation.

The federal agency, a part of the Department of Health and Human Services, admits things could be better and is working to make improvements. This has meant updating Healthcare.gov several times with code that includes bug fixes. It has also brought on additional technical support from both inside and outside the federal government.

President Barack Obama has also taken it upon himself to defend the exchanges and repair the damage caused to their reputations by not only the technical bugs but also Republicans who plan to hold hearings on the issue.

Noting that “nobody is madder than me about the fact that the website isn't working as well as it should, which means it's going to get fixed,” Obama insisted in a Rose Garden speech that nothing is wrong with the insurance offered on the exchanges.

Technical problems aside, some in the media are pointing out the continued need for awareness because many people still don't know the marketplaces exist. A Gallup poll found last week that seven out of 10 uninsured Americans were “not too familiar” or “not familiar at all” with the online marketplaces.

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