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Federal Obamacare website down for maintenance, as officials vow to fix bugs

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Consumers trying to use an online portal tied to new health care law on Tuesday found the federal website down for maintenance, temporarily, as the Obama administration tries to fix glitches tied to the reforms’ roll-out.

More than 30 states are relying on the federal government to host their state insurance markets, known as exchanges, on HealthCare.gov.

The website has been plagued by Web traffic and, if experts are correct, some structural problems that make it difficult for the system to handle many requests at once.

Administration officials signaled on Friday they would be taking the site down from time to time to improve capacity.

That seemed to be the case early Tuesday, when log-in attempts produced this message: “The system is down at the moment. We’re currently making system improvements. Please try again after 10:00 AM Eastern.”

The federal and state-based insurance portals are supposed to allow users to shop for private health coverage, often with the help of income-based government subsidies.

Critics of the law say it is proving to be the nightmare they envisioned, while supporters say there is plenty of time for the administration to work out the system’s bugs during a six-month enrollment period that lasts through March.

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