Although they have not closed the door to new legislation, White House staffers say they hope it won't be needed.
"The president did acknowledge that there are some gaps in the law that need to be repaired," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Friday. "He has directed his team to consider some administrative solutions to those problems — some steps that his administration could take unilaterally."
Those fixes, for now, do not include an extension of the six-month enrollment period. If the contractors meet their goal for repairing the website, consumers would still have four months left to sign up for insurance. Compared with a typical open enrollment period for employer-based insurance plans, that is "a really long time," Earnest said.
Still, website problems continue to weigh on the entire law. Obama's point man on the project, former economic advisor Jeffrey Zients, said Friday that the healthcare.gov website now is providing acceptable response times for potential enrollees for stretches of time.
There are also "intermittent periods of unacceptably slow response times," he told reporters in a conference call.
Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee released a report Friday that showed there had been five enrollments on the District of Columbia exchange in the month since the Oct. 1 launch.
"There's been a whopping five people enrolled in the city's exchange. That's right, five," said Sen. Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, the top Republican on the committee. "Whether it's significant problems with the website, people being forced off the coverage they had, or skyrocketing costs, these numbers are even more proof of what a disaster Obamacare is and why it should be delayed."
Lisa Mascaro in the Washington bureau contributed to this report.