White House Rebuffs Feinstein Call to Shut Down Obamacare Site

Image: White House Rebuffs Feinstein Call to Shut Down Obamacare Site

Monday, 04 Nov 2013 11:47 AM

By Audrey Hudson

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The White House has rebuffed Sen. Dianne Feinstein's call to shut down the Obamacare website until technical problems can be corrected, insisting the system needs to remain live while improvements are made.

The administration is racing against a Nov. 30 deadline to have the system fully operational in order for consumers to beat the first deadline for healthcare coverage and avoid tax penalties for failing to sign up.

The California Democrat confirmed to CBS's "Face the Nation" Sunday that she told the administration to disable the site until the problems are fixed.

"I felt — and I said this directly to the president's chief of staff — they ought to take down the website until it was right," Feinstein said.

"They believe that they need to keep it running and that they can sort out the difficulties . . . and that by the end of November it can be sorted out," Feinstein said.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Chief of Staff Denis McDonough considered her request but determined that keeping the website operational would allow for more complete improvements.

The Journal also reported that Organizing for Action, the spinoff from President Barack Obama's election operation, has initiated a campaign to drive enrollment up during the holidays.

The website was temporarily disabled on Saturday for 12 hours for what administration officials described as planned maintenance.

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