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Nov 28, 2013

Troubled 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 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 website on Friday
that officials said would soon double its current capacity, a
crucial step toward getting the system working by a Nov. 30

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) –, 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 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. 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.

Nov 21, 2013

Biden finds slice of home at Delaware sandwich shop

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Vice President Joe Biden took a stand for his home state on Thursday when he stepped out to buy Italian subs – for lunch with the boss – at a new branch of his favorite Delaware sandwich shop.

“We don’t call them hoagies in Delaware, we call them subs,” said Biden, who represented Delaware in the U.S. Senate for 36 years. “This started in Union Street where I hang out, Little Italy.”

Nov 21, 2013

Insurance commissioners raise concerns about healthcare fix with Obama

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – State insurance commissioners told President Barack Obama on Wednesday that his effort to stem a wave of insurance cancellations caused by his signature healthcare law could lead to higher premiums.

Obama met with representatives from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners to discuss the “fix” he came up with last week to calm the uproar surrounding millions of cancellation notices sent to holders of individual health insurance policies no longer legal under the healthcare law, known as Obamacare.

Nov 20, 2013

Obama pens tribute to Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – In a handwritten tribute to the words of a president he has long admired, President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that the Gettysburg Address has provided him late-night solace when he considers the long struggle for equality in America.

“At times, social and economic change have strained our union,” Obama wrote in his tribute, posted late on Tuesday on the White House website after Obama took some criticism for not participating in a ceremony marking the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s famous speech.

Nov 20, 2013

Obama was briefed earlier in year on health website problems

WASHINGTON, Nov 19 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama, who
has portrayed himself as surprised by technical problems with
the government’s new health care website, was briefed earlier
this year on a consultant’s report that warned of possible
widespread site failures, the White House said on Tuesday.

There have been weeks of questions about whether Obama
understood the depth of the site’s problems and let it open
anyway, or simply “did not have enough awareness” of them, as
the president stated at a Nov. 14 news conference.

Nov 19, 2013

Obama was briefed in spring on widespread website problems

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama, who has portrayed himself as surprised by technical problems with the government’s new health care website, was briefed last spring on a detailed consultant’s report that warned of system failure, White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Tuesday.

Carney said the president’s familiarity with the report and recommendations by McKinsey & Co did not contradict previous statements from the White House that described Obama as surprised by the scope of flaws in since it opened for people to enroll for insurance coverage on October 1.

Nov 18, 2013

Obama to update Senate leaders on Iran talks on Tuesday

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama will meet with Senate leaders from both parties on Tuesday ahead of international talks this week on Iran’s nuclear program and as senators weigh whether to impose new sanctions on Tehran, the White House said.

Iran and six major world powers are due to meet again on Wednesday in Geneva to discuss a proposal that would ease sanctions on Tehran if it suspends some parts of a nuclear program the United States and others suspect is aimed at developing atomic weapons.

    • 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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