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Top Senate Democrat expects healthcare website to be fixed

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) (L) speaks to the media about healthcare on Capitol Hill in Washington October 29, 2013. REUTE
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) (L) speaks to the media about healthcare on Capitol Hill in Washington October 29, 2013. REUTE

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on Wednesday he feels "very comfortable" that HealthCare.gov, the troubled Obamacare website, will be fixed after he had a long telephone conversation with President Barack Obama.

The website was created to enable uninsured Americans to sign up for health insurance, but has been plagued by technical problems since its October 1 launch.

"I had quite a long conversation" with Obama on Tuesday night, Reid, the senior Democrat in Congress, told reporters.

"It was kind of late, I was surprised to be called. ... But yes, I feel very comfortable" that the website will be repaired as a result of that conversation, Reid added.

Reid also said that he was planning a caucus meeting with fellow Democrats on healthcare for Thursday, and that some White House officials would attend. After that session, he said he would have more information about the issue.

Obama is facing calls from his political allies to make the balky website work by the end of this month, as well as to help people whose existing insurance policies are being canceled due to Obamacare, the president's signature healthcare law.

Democrats in the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives met with administration officials earlier Wednesday, expressing worry that the botched rollout could become a political liability for the party during the 2014 mid-term elections.

(Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Editing by Will Dunham)

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