Nightly News   |  November 30, 2013

Deadline to fix ACA website looms

The Obama administration’s self-imposed deadline to fix the Affordable Care Act’s website is midnight tonight. NBC’s Kristen Welker reports.

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>>> millions of americans have another challenge on their minds this weekend -- signing up for health care under the new insurance program, or at least trying to. the obama administration's self-imposed deadline to fix the health care website is midnight tonight. kristen welker is following the story. i guess the question is how are they doing.

>> reporter: they say they are doing okay. tech experts have only a few hours left to meet the white house 's own deadline for getting the affordable care act website running smoothly. a critical point in restoring confidence in a damaged presidency. in virginia today, signs of progress for the government's health insurance website.

>> my experience was wonderful. i love it. there were no problems. we went through everything real smooth.

>> it was really fast this morning. i was really surprised.

>> reporter: deirdre said she had trouble signing up in october. today she was one of six people nbc news interviewed reporting success, signing up with the help of a nonprofit called neighbor's keeper.

>> i was able to get through and select a plan. all i need to do now is send in a payment to activate the plan.

>> reporter: the obama administration claimed to be on track to serve 50,000 users at once but that deadline is also aimed at repairing a presidency.

>> we fumbled the roll out of the health care law .

>> reporter: president obama 's approval ratings have plummeted since october drawing criticism from dims and republicans alike. meeting its own goals may not satisfy administration critics. web experts say there is no guarantee the fixes will work.

>> it's not easy to tell with 100% certainty if the site is going to perform.

>> reporter: john engates is one of six analysts the white house invited to inspect the facility where technicians are working around the clock to fix the website.

>> the website is doing better. it's certainly in a position where it's taking traffic, doing what it's supposed to do.

>> reporter: engate says it may not be enough.

>> if too many users come to the site at a given time the whole thing could stop.

>> reporter: anticipating that, the administration the's top health official urged users to log on during off- peak hours .

>> the president's legacy in many ways doesn't rest on politics or philosophy. it rests on technical competence, the ability to take his policy and turn it into reality that ordinary americans can take advantage of.

>> reporter: one administration official says the site is close to being able to host 50,000 users at once but won't give a specific number. political analysts say the administration set the barlow and its goals vague to make it that much easier to claim success. lester?

>> kristen welker, thank you very