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U.S. Health Exchange Website Faced Intermittent Shutdowns

MONDAY, Oct. 7 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Health and Human Services Department announced late Friday that the healthcare.gov site -- a key to the launch of the new health care insurance exchanges -- would be unavailable during "off-peak" hours over the weekend for repairs.

The exact hours the site would not be available to consumers was not specified. But an HHS spokeswoman told the Associated Press that the site would be unavailable for enrollment functions a few hours each night beginning at 1 a.m. ET. The site will remain open for general information, however.

The Obama administration tried to put a positive spin on the rocky launch, highlighting what officials called strong demand by Americans hoping for cheap, available health insurance coverage.

In a news release announcing the planned fixes, the government said that "Americans are excited to look at their options for health coverage, with record demand in the first days of the marketplaces."

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