Christine Rousselle

Forgive me if you've heard this one before. At 9 p.m. EST tonight, Healthcare.gov will be going down for "last-minute maintenance." Saturday is the self-imposed deadline to fix the website.

It is doubtful, however, that this fix will solve all of the site's problems once and for all. As CNN reports:

On the eve of the deadline, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius advised users to shop on the website during "off-peak hours," which she described as "mornings/nights/weekends" in a blog post for Huffington Post.

Officials fear another huge surge in volume that the site can't handle, which is what occurred around its launch in October.

HealthCare.gov was originally planned to handle 50,000 concurrent users, and will reach that capacity by Saturday, the White House official said.

However, big spikes in traffic -- such as the 200,000 who tried to get on at the same time on October 1 -- would cause users to go into a queue to receive e-mails advising them when to return, the official noted.

The president has expressed optimism regarding the botched website, and has promised that things will get better for a "vast majority" of people.

It is unknown what will happen if the government fails to meet its own deadline of December 1st.


Christine Rousselle

Christine Rousselle is a web editor with Townhall.com. Follow her on Twitter at @crousselle.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography