Tech Experts Tapped to Fix Health Care Website code has been updated several times

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Updated Sunday, Oct. 20, 2:42 p.m.

The Obama Administration announced Sunday it had recruited experts from the private and government tech sectors to update the code on the website, Politico reports.

About 476,000 applications for health insurance have been filed under the new system of state and federally run exchanges, according to unnamed Administration officials, the Associated Press reports.

Those are the first figures available about participation in the new system of health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act, the push for which dominated President Barack Obama’s first term and resulted in his most far-reaching piece of domestic legislation. In the first few weeks the exchanges have been live, however, they have been marred by spotty website access, frustrating an Administration that had hoped to enroll half a million people in the insurance markets during the first month, according to an internal AP memo.

Next month, the Administration will release the first actual enrollment totals. Those figures will help determine if the program will reach the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate of 7 million sign-ups during the first six months.

The President will address problems with the rollout Monday during an event at the White House. Administration officials also will visit parts of the country in coming weeks to encourage sign-ups.

Staffing in call centers has been hiked by about 50%, and the Administration is urging people to sign up via phone until the website run by the federal government is more accessible.

Republican opposition to the new health care law has been so strident that many of them pushed an effort to defund the law, leading to the recent 16-day government shutdown.

House Republicans have also called for the resignation of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius because of the problems.


This story has been updated to reflect the announced updates to the website code.