World News

    Obamacare Website Approaches Self-Made Deadline for Fix

    Americans are hoping to find out whether the Obama administration will meet its self-imposed November 30 deadline to fix its health insurance web site tied to the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.

    The botched roll out of the web site, along with other Obamacare problems, caused the president to admit earlier this month that he and his team "fumbled" the October 1 startup of the program.

    Officials say the web site should now handle 50,000 simultaneous visitors for a daily total of about 800,000. The administration had warned that the web site will still suffer some delays, but by Saturday the it should load quickly for at least 80 percent of users.

    Insurance consumers shopping when traffic exceeds capacity can wait through a "queuing system'' that tells them when to return.

    Critics say web site problems caused millions of uninsured people who could have benefited from Obamacare to become disinterested.

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



    Only about 27,000 people overcame the myriad of online technical glitches to sign up for insurance through the web site last month.

    The web site is the gateway for health insurance plans in 36 states under the Affordable Care Act, which was passed in 2010. It aims to move the United States closer to universal health care by subsidizing insurance sold by the private sector for low income families.


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    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
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    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
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