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President Barack Obama has urged Americans to be patient during the launch of his US healthcare reforms - reminding them that Apple's iOS 7 rollout suffered glitches too and yet everyone put up with that.

The website for the country's new health insurance "marketplace" - dubbed Obamacare - has been beset with problems amid a government shutdown: citizens have moaned about long waits to log in and various technical gremlins that have stopped them enrolling for health plans.

To quell growing anxiety about the problems, Obama told America that Apple suffered teething troubles issuing iOS 7 updates and yet everyone (mostly) got over it.

In a speech delivered outside the White House, the President said: "Like every new law, every new product rollout, there are going to be some glitches in the sign-up process along the way that we will fix.

"Consider that just a couple of weeks ago, Apple rolled out a new mobile operating system, and within days, they found a glitch, so they fixed it.

"I don't remember anybody suggesting Apple should stop selling iPhones or iPads or threatening to shut down the company if they didn't. That's not how we do things in America. We don't actively root for failure."

He said hundreds of thousands of people had flooded the website, which slowed down the system, and added that people had been left waiting "longer than expected" to sign up for the programme he has hard-fought to establish.

The healthcare.gov Twitter feed was apologetic:

Various US government agencies and departments - including NASA and NIST - were ground to a halt yesterday after Republication politicians halted funding in a protest against Obamacare. ®

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