The moment of truth is drawing near for the Affordable Care Act website. Saturday is the Obama administration's self-imposed deadline to get HealthCare.gov working properly.
Withering criticism of the initial rollout of the federal health insurance website has intensified the pressure on the administration to get this fix right for Saturday.
The White House hopes it can do that — at least for the "vast majority" of users.
HealthCare.gov opened for business October 1, and it's been a disastrous two months. The site crashed, unable to cope with the demand for insurance.
Small businesses still won't be able to use the site for another year. Insurance industry insiders say some customers' personal data is getting mangled, or even lost.
The White House says the site will be able to handle 50,000 users at one time, but they admit there will be times after Saturday when HealthCare.gov does not function properly, and they're bracing for another possible huge surge in volume that could force some people into virtual waiting lines for call-backs.
Officials said consumers who pick a plan by December 23 and pay their premiums by December 31 will have coverage effective on January 1.