WASHINGTON (AP) — He's regarded as the federal official most knowledgeable about the workings of the health care law's online system. And Henry Chao says he's confident that the system is secure.
In fact, Chao told members of a House panel today that he'd recommended to his sister that she try it.
Today's hearing -- the sixth in Congress to focus on the problems with the rollout of the health care website -- came as the administration prepared to release the enrollment numbers for October. They're expected to amount to just a small fraction of the nearly 500,000 initial signups that officials had projected.
The House panel today also heard from the White House chief technology officer, who said the troubled health insurance website is getting better by the day. Todd Park says it can now handle about 17,000 account registrations an hour, and page response times are under one second.
Republican Congressman Darrell Issa of California, who chairs the panel, is looking into a long list of issues with the website, including insufficient testing and possible security flaws. But as today's hearing went on, there didn't seem to be a "smoking gun" behind the technical failures plaguing the site.
The technology has cost taxpayers more than $600 million, and the cost is still climbing.