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U.S. health website handled only 1,100 in test at start

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The Obama administration’s health insurance website handled only 1,100 simultaneous users before faltering in a test a day ahead of its opening, according to a contractor’s report.

A Sept. 30 “stress” test on the site,, found it accommodated 1,100 users “before response time gets too high,” contractors wrote in the “ACA Daily Testing Bulletin,” released yesterday by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The report was produced by Quality Software Services Inc., a UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH) unit hired by the federal government to help build the online marketplace.

“There’s no question we wish we had done more testing,” Joanne Peters, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, said in an e-mail. “But we are now working around the clock to improve the consumer experience on One of the items we have ticked off our punch list is response times for page loads, which we have reduced dramatically from eight seconds to less than one second.”

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