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Obamacare Site Approaches Fix Deadline

  • VOA News

Liz Carlson, a self-employed student, attends a health care enrollment fair co-sponsored by Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and the State Employees Association at Great Bay Community College in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Nov. 9, 2013.

Liz Carlson, a self-employed student, attends a health care enrollment fair co-sponsored by Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and the State Employees Association at Great Bay Community College in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Nov. 9, 2013.

Repairs to the U.S. government's troubled health care website continued Saturday, the deadline set by the Obama administration to fix technical problems that have plagued the site since its October 1 rollout.

The administration vowed to fix the insurance shopping website by November 30. As the deadline approached, an official from the agency responsible for the site said they were on target to meet their "stated goal for the site to work for the vast majority of users."

The White House promised the health care website would be able to handle 50,000 visitors simultaneously for a daily total of about 800,000 by the end of November. The administration warned that users may still encounter some delays, but that the website should load quickly for at least 80 percent of users.

Earlier in November, President Barack Obama admitted he and his team had "fumbled" the startup of his signature policy plan — the health care overhaul known as "Obamacare."

The Affordable Care Act, signed into law in 2010, aims to provide millions of uninsured Americans with health coverage.

Health care reform was the centerpiece of the president's 2008 campaign.

The website is the gateway for health insurance plans in 36 states under the Affordable Care Act.

Only about 27,000 people overcame the myriad online technical glitches to sign up for insurance via the site in October.

Critics say website problems caused millions of uninsured people who could have benefited to become disinterested.

Critics also worry the president's decision to extend bare bones private insurance could keep young and healthy consumers — considered critical for keeping the government program's finances in balance — from enrolling in the government coverage.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.
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