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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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October 21st, 2013
06:18 PM ET

Will the Obamacare website be ready by December or February deadlines?

The initial problems that plagued the Affordable Care Act's federal website, healthcare.gov, were, according to the White House, volume related. But what problems is the administration facing now?

"Not enough folks are going through and applying, too many people are being held up. We've got a tech surge throughout the process right now to determine where there are bugs, where there are glitches, to identify them, to isolate them, and to fix them," said David Simas, White House deputy senior adviser.

Americans need to be signed up by December 15 if they want to have insurance starting January 1, 2014; those without health insurance need to be signed up by February 2014 (in the interview with Simas, CNN's Jake Tapper said it was March 2014, it is in fact February) to avoid paying a penalty.

There are other ways people can sign up for health care, such as by phone, or through local navigators. But will the website be fully functioning by either of those dates?

Simas deflected, saying between the website, phone, and local navigators, Americans who need health insurance will get it over the course of the next six months.

For more of our interview with White House deputy senior adviser David Simas, watch the video above.

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