Former Senator Rick Santorum pauses during remarks to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Md. on March 15, 2013.
Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Santorum: ‘Is the president competent to do his job?’

Updated

Republicans renewed their condemnation of the Affordable Care Act following the Nov. 30th deadline for fixing the website’s technical glitches.

“This really feeds into the president’s competence. That’s the question that people have: Is the president competent to do his job?” former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum declared Sunday on CNN, responding to the administration’s announcement that many of the problems had been fixed. “This is a disastrous bill, it’s a big problem.” 

On Sunday morning, administration officials reported that the site had been upgraded to a “greatly improved consumer experience,” thanks to a number of technical improvements made over the last five weeks. The site can now handle 50,000 simultaneous users, up from 500 in October.

“We’ve tripled the site’s speed,” a management consultant who headed up the project Jeffrey D. Zients told reporters, “and we’ve widened the onramp to four lanes instead of one or two.”

Oklahoma Republican Rep. Tom Cole said Obamacare would continue to damage the president, despite the proclaimed victory over weeks of technical problems.

“It will be an unfolding disaster for the president,” he said on ABC. “This thing is going to be an unmitigated political disaster for the president.”

Santorum said the front-end problems may be fixed, but the site is still unworkable.

“I talked to some people in the insurance industry this morning,” Santorum said. “They told me most of the front end may be looking good… but the information coming out the back end to the insurance companies is still garbage. It’s indecipherable. So you think you may have signed up, but you may have not.”

Others voiced distrust over the Obama administration’s assurances that the site is on the mend. 

“We’ve been down this road before as officials looked us in the eye for months, pledging to the American people that everything was ‘on track’ and we now know with the chaos behind the scenes that it was ‘on track’ for disaster,” Michigan Republican Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan said in a statement on Friday, before the administration had even announced the site’s progress. “What reason do we have to believe things will be different now?”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell went so far as to forward an old statement from early November to CNN in response to a request for comment on the progress report.

“Americans are far less concerned about a website than they are about the availability and affordability of their health care,” McConnell said. “The White House has tried to dismiss stories about folks losing insurance by saying they had lousy plans to begin with, and that those Americans should be happy that the government is now forcing them to get a different one. But what so many have discovered is that Obamacare is actually worse.”

Republican Party

Santorum: 'Is the president competent to do his job?'

Updated