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White House: Healthcare.gov Meets Fix Deadline

FILE - A man looks over the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare) signup page on the HealthCare.gov website in New York.
FILE - A man looks over the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare) signup page on the HealthCare.gov website in New York.
VOA News
White House officials say they have made their self-imposed deadline for improving the U.S. government's troubled health care website.

Jeffrey Zients, the troubleshooter appointed by the president to lead the website overhaul, told reporters Sunday the website Healthcare.gov on December 1 is "night and day from where it was on October 1."

He said the health care website can handle 50,000 visitors simultaneously for a daily total of about 800,000, meeting the promise made by the White House to fix the medical insurance shopping website by November 30. He also said the website was functioning properly more than 90 percent of the time.

There is no way to independently verify the administration's figures.

Technical problems have plagued the site since its October 1 rollout. Ahead of Saturday's deadline, the administration warned that users may still encounter some delays, but said the website should load quickly for at least 80 percent of users.

President Barack Obama admitted in November that 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 of online technical glitches to sign up for insurance through the site in October.

Critics say website problems caused millions of uninsured people who could have benefited to lose interest.

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. Those consumers are considered critical for keeping the government program's finances in balance.

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