October Festival Guide

Obamacare website will be down for part of the weekend

oBAMACARE

(CNN) — The bug-riddled website where Americans can enroll for President Barack Obama’s federal health care exchanges will be taken down during early morning hours this weekend for maintenance, officials said on Friday.

The repairs will add capacity to the overloaded healthcare.gov and “improve the overall consumer experience,” an administration official said.

The website was plagued by technical glitches in its first four days, including a message greeting visitors saying “We have a lot of visitors on the site right now. Please stay on this page. We’re working to make the experience better, and we don’t want you to lose your place in line.”

Officials said Friday the repairs would allow more users to access the site simultaneously.

During the time the enrollment function on the website is inaccessible, call centers will remain open to register Americans in the health insurance exchanges.

The White House has touted the heavy traffic figures on healthcare.gov as a sign Americans are eager to learn more about Obama’s signature health program, though the number of people actually enrolling in the exchanges has not been released.

On Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services said 8.6 million people had visited healthcare.gov since Tuesday.

Acknowledging the system’s glitches on the first day of enrollment, Obama said Tuesday his team was working to resolve the problems so Americans could continue registering for insurance coverage, saying companies like Apple experience similar hang-ups when launching new products.

“Like every new law, every new product rollout, there are going to be some glitches in the signup process along the way that we will fix,” he said.

–CNN White House Producer Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

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