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Obama administration revamps federal healthcare website: WSJ

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[June 06, 2014]  (Reuters) - The Obama administration is revamping the health insurance marketplace HealthCare.gov and removing significant parts from it to ensure that glitches on the site do not return, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing presentations to health insurers and interviews with government officials and contractors.

The revamp and its tight timeline are raising concerns that consumers could encounter another troubled rollout when they return to the site to choose health plans, the paper said.

Open enrollment on the site for 2015 coverage starts Nov. 15 with a new homepage and tools.

A system to automate payments to insurers was running behind schedule, the WSJ reported, quoting a presentation that federal officials made to health insurers. (http://link.reuters.com/pup89v)

The government is turning its focus to cloud computing from Amazon.com Inc's web services unit to host many of these functions, the paper said.

Amazon was not available for comment outside regular business hours.

The poor performance of HealthCare.gov in October was the first in a series of setbacks that posed a political challenge for President Barack Obama and his Democratic allies.

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Earlier on Thursday, the U.S. Senate confirmed Sylvia Mathews Burwell as Obama's new health secretary, making her chiefly responsible for implementing the controversial healthcare law known as Obamacare.

(Reporting by Shailaja Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Eric Walsh)

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