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Professor Mark Hall talks about HealthCare.gov to Reuters

President Barack Obama‘s health care law is facing its biggest test this weekend since its disastrous Oct. 1 launch, as Americans find out whether the administration has met a self-imposed deadline to fix its insurance shopping website.

Another major outage of glitch-ridden HealthCare.gov could spell more political trouble for the president, who was forced to apologize for the botched rollout and admit burdening Democratic Party allies in their bids for re-election to Congress in 2014.

If the website does not work on Saturday’s deadline, that could turn off millions of uninsured Americans, especially young and healthy consumers whose participation in the new insurance exchanges are critical for keeping costs in check.

Democratic leaders in Congress might also find it necessary to extend open enrollment beyond the March 31 deadline and delay fines mandated by the law for people who do not have insurance by that date – a prospect that insurers warn would destabilize the market.

Obama officials are confident that this second coming of HealthCare.gov will be much improved from the Oct. 1 debut. Millions of people looked into the website in its first month, but only about 27,000 cleared the gauntlet of technical obstacles to sign up for insurance.

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