WWRDH: What would Republicans do on health care?

George Curry | 12/16/2013, 8:06 a.m.

Like so many issues, Democrats and Republicans differ in fundamental approaches.

“One of the widest gaps between Democrats and Republicans is the basic understanding of what it means to offer a plan to people of limited means,” the Florida newspaper observed. “For Democrats, a plan is an identified insurance policy, whether public, as in expanded Medicaid, or private, as in buying subsidized private insurance through a web-based, highly regulated marketplace. For Republicans, a plan is anything that makes buying insurance more affordable, however the person finds the policy.”

After a terrible two-month rollout, the Obama administration finally may be in a position to silence some of its legitimate critics.

A report issued Sunday by the Health and Human Services Administration disclosed that the primary website, http://www.HealthCare.gov, has been successfully overhauled and is now able to support more than 800,000 consumer visits a day.

Among the improvements cited:

• The deployment of 12 large, dedicated servers;

• Significantly upgrading memory to improve response time;

• Reducing response time from around 8 seconds in October to well under 1 second;

• Reducing the error rate from approximately 6 percent in November to .75 or three-quarters of 1 percent; and

• Expanding the amount of time the system is up from 42.9 percent in October to above 90 percent.

“The new management system and instrumentation have helped improve site stability, lower the error rating below 1%, increase capacity to allow 50,000 concurrent users to simultaneously use the site and will help drive continuous improvement on the site,” the report stated. “While we strive to innovate and improve our outreach and systems for reaching consumers, we believe we have met the goal of having a system that will work smoothly for the vast majority of users.”

George E. Curry, former editor-in-chief of Emerge magazine, is editor-in-chief of the National Newspaper Publishers Association News Service. He is a keynote speaker, moderator and media coach. Curry can be reached through his website, http://www.georgecurry.com.