Obamacare website to be down again for maintenance late Saturday

WASHINGTON Sat Nov 2, 2013 12:51pm EDT

A man looks over the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare) signup page on the HealthCare.gov website in New York in this October 2, 2013 photo illustration. REUTERS/Mike Segar

A man looks over the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare) signup page on the HealthCare.gov website in New York in this October 2, 2013 photo illustration.

Credit: Reuters/Mike Segar

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The glitch-ridden website used to sign up for insurance under President Barack Obama's healthcare law will be down for "extended maintenance" overnight on Saturday, the Department of Health and Human Services said.

The website has been plagued by technology problems and has not worked reliably since its launch on October 1, embarrassing the administration and providing ammunition for Republicans seeking to roll back the law known as Obamacare.

The application, enrollment tools, and "data hub" will not be available from about 9 p.m. ET on Saturday (0100 Sunday GMT) until 9 a.m. ET (1400 GMT) on Sunday, a spokeswoman for the department said in a statement, telling consumers they can call a toll-free call center to apply for insurance in the meantime.

"The HealthCare.gov tech team is performing extended maintenance this weekend to improve network infrastructure and make enhancements to the online application and enrollment tools," said Joanne Peters, the spokeswoman.

The administration has said it will fix the site by the end of this month. The government hopes that about 7 million people enroll for insurance by the end of March under the law passed in Obama's first term to expand access to health insurance and require that people have coverage or pay a fine.

The administration said it expects early enrollment numbers to be low, in part because of the website's problems. Documents released this week by a U.S. House of Representatives committee showed only 248 Americans had signed up in the first three days the site was running.

The administration has said it will not release enrollment statistics until mid-November.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Vicki Allen)

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Comments (13)
user8192 wrote:
Run, break, fix … run, break, fix …

You know, this turkey is never gonna fly. Might as well butcher it and serve it up for the holidays.

Nov 02, 2013 1:09pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
chicochi3 wrote:
You mean it was up?

Nov 02, 2013 1:12pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
SeniorMoment wrote:
They have so many top experts working on the problem now that maybe after the closure for maintenance the system will actually be able to keep up with demand. If that should happen it may set a record for the faster fix of such a large software project.

Nov 02, 2013 1:25pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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