The primary contractors responsible for building the federal government's new online health insurance portal (http://www.healthcare.gov) will appear before a congressional committee Thursday to discuss the numerous technical problems that have plagued the site since its October 1 debut.
Thousands of Americans who have gone to the website to shop for private health insurance have faced long delays in establishing accounts that would allow them to compare different plans.
Officials from President Barack Obama's administration met with executives from several of the nation's leading health insurance companies at the White House Wednesday to discuss fixes to the website. The White House said it has also enlisted the help of technology experts from both the public and private sector to resolve the problem.
Obama has faced intense opposition from Republicans over the Affordable Care Act, his signature legislative achievement. Republicans have been seeking to either delay or repeal the law, also known as Obamacare, and many cite the computer problems to back their argument.
The website's initial problems have also prompted criticism from lawmakers in Obama's own Democratic party. Some of them have urged the administration to extend the enrollment period past the March 31, 2014 deadline due to the website's problems.
Under the new law, people without private health insurance can sign up for government subsidized insurance through the website. Those who fail to have any insurance would pay a penalty.
(c) 2012 Federal Information & News Dispatch, Inc.
Original headline: Congress to Hold Hearings on Obamacare Website Problems
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