Health law fix for state-run websites

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration is coming to the aid of states that had technical problems running their own health care websites.

The federal Health and Human Services Department quietly told states Thursday that residents who were unable to sign up because of technical problems may still get federal tax credits if they bought private insurance outside of the new online insurance exchanges.

Until now the administration has stressed that the only place to get taxpayer-subsidized insurance under President Barack Obama's health law is through the new online markets, also called exchanges.

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, whose state-run exchange has been plagued by problems, hailed the accommodation.

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