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Trump Admin. Scheduling Major Website Maintenance During Critical ObamaCare Sign-Ups

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Trump Admin. Scheduling Major Website Maintenance During Critical ObamaCare Sign-Ups




The Trump administration is planning to perform website maintenance on healthcare.gov during the upcoming ObamaCare sign-up period, a move that will cause the site to be down for nearly 60 hours, reports The Hill.

The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said Tuesday that the maintenance schedule will be the same as last year, a move critics say is an attempt to “sabotage” efforts to sign people up for coverage.

The administration claims that maintenance downtime happens every year and is designed to occur during the slowest periods on the site.

Healthcare.gov will go offline for 12 hours, from midnight until noon each Sunday during the sign-up period, and may also be taken down during the early morning on the first day of open enrollment while programmers make final adjustments.



“Maintenance windows are regularly scheduled on healthcare.gov every year during Open Enrollment,” a CMS spokesperson said, noting that last year the actual downtime was significantly less than what was scheduled, at 21.5 hours out of a scheduled 60.

“Regular scheduled maintenance will continue to be planned for the lowest-traffic time periods on healthcare.gov, including Sunday mornings,” the spokesperson added. “Last year, healthcare.gov was down for significantly less than the full amount of time initially authorized.”

CMS said there were 53.5 hours of maintenance downtime on Sunday mornings at the end of 2016, under the Obama administration.

The coming sign-up period for 2019 coverage will run from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15.

“CMS is clearly at pains to provide assurances of its benign intent in this maintenance schedule,” said Eliot Fishman, senior director of health policy at the liberal health-care advocacy group Families USA. “But with the President continuing to regularly brag about gutting the ACA and with the Administration refusing to defend the law in court, there is reason to be concerned about a schedule that takes the federal marketplace down for long stretches over weekends during holiday season. We’ll be watching this closely.”

The Trump administration last year cut the advertising budget to encourage people to sign up by 90 percent.





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