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The Tech Stats We Now Know About HealthCare.gov

Todd Park, the U.S. chief technology officer, testifies before the House oversight committee about problems implementing the health care program.

Audio

Aired 11/13/13

The big numbers out today are the administration's counts of how many people actually enrolled in health exchanges between Oct. 1 and Nov. 2. More than 106,000 Americans selected health plans in the first month, the government said.

But the release comes on the same day the government's top technology officials headed to Capitol Hill to explain the disastrous launch of HealthCare.gov, the site that President Obama once pledged would make buying health insurance as easy as getting a plane ticket online. It's obviously not -- and after wide scrutiny, the system is still a work in progress.

Here are a few key numbers about what the system can and cannot handle:

  • The site's response rate was originally eight seconds -- "which is totally unacceptable," U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park told a House oversight committee.
  • Programmers have improved that to one second, but efforts are underway to shorten the response time to a fraction of a second.
  • Park said the system was designed to handle 50,000 to 60,000 concurrent users.
  • Today, with fixes, it can handle about half the intended capacity with 20,000 to 25,000 concurrent users at most, Park said.
  • The day before the site launched, HealthCare.gov could handle only 1,100 users at the same time, said Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., citing a press release.
  • The site can now process 17,000 registrations an hour, or 5 per second, according to Henry Chao, HealthCare.gov's chief project manager.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit www.npr.org.

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