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Looming Deadline Puts Health Care Website To The Test

CHICAGO (December 24, 2013) The government's revamped health care website was put to its biggest test Tuesday as Americans rushed to beat the extended deadline for signing up for health care coverage that will take effect by Jan. 1.

The website on which people in 36 states including Texas can shop for insurance had received nearly 2 million visits by early Tuesday afternoon and officials said it was handling the traffic well.

The website went through extensive hardware and software upgrades to make it more reliable and increase its capacity.

Officials granted consumers a one-day grace period Monday.

It was the latest in a series of delays and extensions that have marked the rollout of the health care law, and critics of the law seized on the extension as more evidence that the program is in trouble.

Health economist Gail Wilensky, who ran Medicare for President George W. Bush, ridiculed what she called an "amazing, ever-expanding deadline."

She said it's "a sign of desperation by the administration to do everything they can to increase the number of people signing up."


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