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Obama official says HealthCare.gov not tested for October 1 volumes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration's health insurance website, HealthCare.gov, experienced technical problems at its October 1 launch, after U.S. officials failed to test the system for the high volume of visitors who flocked to the site on its first day, a key U.S. technology official said on Wednesday.

Henry Chao, deputy chief information officer for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, also said that the information technology system behind the broken website employs "stringent privacy and security controls to safeguard consumer data."

"We now know that we underestimated the volume of users who would attempt to log onto the system at the same time, and therefore our testing did not include performance testing at the volume we experienced at launch," he told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in written testimony posted to the panel's website.

(Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Eric Beech)