- The Washington Times - Monday, October 28, 2013

The Obama administration said a network outage that added to the Obamacare website’s woes was resolved early Monday.

Officials at the Department of Health and Human Services said a failure on Verizon Terremark’s network had affected the data center that hosts HealthCare.gov and the data hub that cross-checks users’ personal information when they apply for coverage and subsidies.

“Verizon Terremark successfully resolved the issue with the networking component overnight and as of 7 a.m. ET this morning, the Data Services Hub was fully operational,” HHS spokeswoman Joanne Peters said Monday afternoon. “The HealthCare.gov technical team continued troubleshooting one issue with the online account-creation process in the application and has now opened the online application and enrollment tools back up to consumers.”

Visitors to the site are now greeted by graphics that show four ways to enroll — by computer, by telephone, in person or by paper — instead of the smiling woman that used to appear on the home page.

Officials said they believe Sunday’s network failure affected several other sites and not just HealthCare.gov.

Nonetheless, the outages will provide fodder to Republican critics who say the glitch-ridden website should have been the easy part of rolling out the controversial reforms.

SEE ALSO: Under pressure, 10 Senate Democrats push for Obamacare extension

Mrs. Sebelius is scheduled to testify Wednesday before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday about the problems that have marred the site, which handles applications for coverage from 36 states.

Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire said Sunday the administration should consider an extension of the open-enrollment period that ends March 31 and reconsider the enforcement of penalties that kick in next year for failing to have health insurance.

But the administration says it is confident the website will work for the “vast majority” of users by the end of November, giving users several months to gain coverage without risking a tax penalty.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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