HealthCare.gov Web site crashes as Sebelius visits sign-up site

November 20, 2013

The embattled HealthCare.gov Web site reportedly crashed Tuesday as Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius was watching a couple sign up for health insurance in Florida.

Sebelius visited so-called "navigators" helping people sign up for Obamacare in Miami. As the local media filmed a couple trying to sign up and Sebelius spoke with the couple, a local CBS reporter noted that the Web site had crashed.


"The screen says, 'I'm sorry, our system is temporarily down,' " the  reporter said.

Sebelius responded, according to CBS: "Uh oh."

(It's not clear from the footage that Sebelius said those words, as she is behind someone at that point.)

Update 3:46 p.m.: HHS releases the following statement in response:

"As we continue to make improvements to the site, we know that there will be sporadic outages form time to time, as was the case Tuesday. This issue was resolved quickly. HealthCare.gov is improving every day. We have completed more than 200 items from our punch list of fixes, reduced page load times from eight seconds to less than one, and error rates are down from six percent to less than one percent. We expect that the site will be working smoothly for the vast majority of users by the end of the month."

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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Aaron Blake · November 20, 2013