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Nov 30, 2013

U.S. healthcare website down overnight for extended upgrade

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government said it would take down the website at the center of President Barack Obama’s healthcare reforms for an extended 11-hour period overnight on Friday as technology experts push to complete upgrades by a November 30 deadline.

The website, HealthCare.gov, was supposed to make it easy to shop for health insurance required by the Obamacare law when it launched on October 1, but quickly turned into a political disaster after errors and timelags prevented most people who visited the site from signing up.

Nov 29, 2013

Obama says ‘nowhere to go but up’ after HealthCare.gov debacle

WASHINGTON, Nov 29 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s
popularity has taken a beating over the botched Oct. 1 launch of
Obamacare, but in a television interview set to air on Friday,
Obama said he believes Americans eventually will appreciate his
signature healthcare reform.

Reflecting on his poll numbers in an interview with ABC’s
Barbara Walters, Obama said: “I’ve gone up and down pretty much
consistently throughout.

Nov 29, 2013

China scrambles jets to new defence zone, eyes U.S., Japan flights

BEIJING/WASHINGTON, Nov 29 (Reuters) – China scrambled jets
on Friday in response to two U.S. spy planes and 10 Japanese
aircraft, including F-15 fighters, entering its new air defence
zone over the East China Sea, state news agency Xinhua said,
raising the stakes in a standoff with the United States, Japan
and South Korea.

The jets were scrambled for effective monitoring, Xinhua
cited air force spokesman Shen Jinke as saying. The report gave
no further details.

Nov 29, 2013

China military sends air patrols through new defense zone

BEIJING/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – China sent several fighter jets and an early warning aircraft into its new air defense zone over the East China Sea on Thursday, state news agency Xinhua said, raising the stakes in a standoff with the United States, Japan and South Korea.

Japan and South Korea also flew military aircraft through the zone on Thursday while Washington sent two unarmed B-52 bombers into the airspace earlier this week in a sign of support for its ally Japan. None of those aircraft informed Beijing.

Nov 28, 2013

The second coming of Obamacare website – will it work?

Nov 28 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s healthcare law
is facing its biggest test this weekend since its disastrous
Oct. 1 launch, as Americans find out whether the administration
has met a self-imposed deadline to fix its insurance shopping
website.

Another major outage of glitch-ridden HealthCare.gov could
spell more political trouble for the president, who was forced
to apologize for the botched rollout and admit burdening
Democratic Party allies in their bids for re-election to
Congress in 2014.

Nov 28, 2013

Troubled HealthCare.gov to switch website hosting to HP

WASHINGTON, Nov 27 (Reuters) – The agency in charge of the
troubled HealthCare.gov website said on Wednesday is it
switching providers of Web hosting services, the latest change
for the website at the heart of President Barack Obama’s health
care reforms.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said it
is replacing data center services from Verizon Communications
Inc’s Terremark subsidiary, with services from
Hewlett-Packard Co.

Nov 28, 2013

Troubled HealthCare.gov to switch U.S. Web hosts after contract change

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government is switching providers of Web hosting services for the troubled HealthCare.gov website, replacing Verizon Communications Inc’s Terremark subsidiary with Hewlett-Packard Co, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said on Wednesday.

The contract with Terremark for the site’s data center ends in March 2014, and last summer – after CMS issued a “task order,” HP was the successful bidder, a CMS spokesman said in a statement.

Nov 22, 2013

U.S. scrambles to boost Obamacare enrollment as deadlines loom

Nov 22 (Reuters) – The Obama administration announced a
flurry of fixes to its troubled HealthCare.gov website on Friday
that officials said would soon double its current capacity, a
crucial step toward getting the system working by a Nov. 30
deadline.

It also pushed back a deadline for people to enroll in
insurance plans for 2014 under President Barack Obama’s
Affordable Care Act in a nod to millions of applicants who have
been unable to sign up because of technical glitches for nearly
two months.

Nov 22, 2013

Obamacare tech guru says website capacity to double

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – HealthCare.gov, the ailing website handling health insurance sales under President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, will soon be able to handle 50,000 simultaneous users, the top official charged with making it work said Friday.

Jeffrey Zients, the Obama administration’s HealthCare.gov troubleshooter, said that figure is the capacity the site’s architects originally intended.

Nov 22, 2013

Days before launch, Obamacare website failed to handle even 500 users

WASHINGTON, Nov 21 (Reuters) – In the last days before the
botched Oct. 1 launch of President Barack Obama’s healthcare
website, the team in charge was seeing alarming results from
performance tests, according to internal emails released by
Republican lawmakers investigating the rollout.

HealthCare.gov was unable to consistently handle 500 users
at once in the testing, and tests failed with 2,000 users over a
three-day period, according to a series of emails between
members of the information technology team at the Centers for
Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS.

    • About Roberta

      "Based on Capitol Hill, I help cover U.S. energy and environmental policy. I have reported on commodities since 1995, and have been with Reuters since 2002, moving to Washington from Canada in 2008."
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