Dec.23-Government hoping for surge of applicants on last day to sign up for insurance coverage beginning January 1st. Jennifer Davis reports.
Government officials are hoping for a last minute rush to the Affordable Care Act's HealthCare.gov site Monday from people who want health insurance through federal and state health exchanges starting January 1st. In California they're extending call center hours and bringing in more staff as enrollment numbers increase. (SOUNDBITE) DANA HOWARD, COVERED CALIFORNIA SPOKESPERSON SAYING: "We are doing about 10 to 15 thousand enrollments a day." The administration says the site can handle up to 800,000 visitors a day. The President says one million people have already enrolled for new insurance plans. Before leaving on vacation, he sought to reassure people about the troubled site. (SOUNDBITE): PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING: "The basic structure of the law is working, despite the website problems, despite the messaging problems. Despite all that, it's working." But users continue to report problems. (SOUNDBITE) JESSE STARR, CONSUMER SAYING: "It's like another job sitting there on the computer waiting to get through." And critics are still calling for a one-year delay of Obamacare given the website's troubles. Though Monday is the deadline to get insurance by the first of the year, you have until March 31 to sign up and avoid a penalty next year.