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Healthcare Website Fixes Appear to be Working

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The Obama administration is reporting a dramatic improvement in the performance of the health care web site.

Leaders of the White House technology team say they've fixed more than 400 bugs in the system - but admit there are still plenty of challenges ahead.

The frantic work to fix the government's health care web site is starting to pay off. President Obama's technology trouble shooters say healthcare.gov can now handle 50,000 users at a time or up to 800,000 each day.

Adviser Jeffrey Zients said in a conference call over the weekend the site now works most of the time - for most users.

"We've executed hundreds of software fixes and hardware upgrades. And the site is now stable and operating at its intended capacity with greatly improved performance," says Zients.

The department of health and human services says system failures have fallen from six percent in October to less than one percent. And response times for web pages have declined from eight seconds to less than one.

The Obama administration had promised to deliver those fixes by this past weekend.

Congress is watching closely... because the success or failure of health care reform is expected to be a critical factor in next year's midterm elections.

Already the botched rollout has put enrollment rates in the new health insurance marketplace far below white house targets. Consumers now have just a few weeks to sign up for coverage to begin on January first. To handle that surge, the technology team is scrambling to make more upgrades to the web site and warns. Too much traffic could still overwhelm the system.

The technology team is also scrambling to fix glitches in what's known as the back-end of the system, meaning the part of the web site that delivers the consumer information to insurers.