HealthCare.gov has repeated stop downs on last day for signing upIts the last day for enrollment in 2014 for Obamacare but that doesnt mean HealthCare.gov will be up and working properly. In fact, reports indicate that HealthCare.gov has been down for brief periods this morning due to heavy user traffic and maintenance.
Users, however, are getting a variety of messages from HealthCare.gov with some reporting that they have been told by the site that it was down for maintenance while others report their message told them there was heavy traffic and they would be put into a "virtual waiting room" until they could be connected.
What does the Administration spokesman say about HealthCare.gov? None of the above. Administration spokesman Aaron Albright said HealthCare.gov undergoes "regular nightly maintenance during off-peak hours and that period was extended Monday because of a technical problem."
The Department of Health and Humans Services had a different take on HealthCare.gov claiming the extended waits are related to a software bug and not the sheer number of individuals trying to access the system. They also note the site was largely restored by 8 a.m. ET.
What does the Obama Administration say about HealthCare.gov?
The Administration doesnt care so much about the hiccups HealthCare.gov they are much more concerned with getting their message out about signing up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act. They also note that individuals who fail to enroll or who do not have insurance by Monday at midnight will face a penalty in 2014, which will be deducted from any tax refunds expected from the previous year.
What if you dont get 100% through the process? The administration says that even if you dont get all the way through the process, if you have started working with a navigator or if you have attempted to enroll you will have the option to complete the process even after midnight tonight.
How is registration going so far?
The Administration has been optimistic about enrollment numbers stating that they had some 2 million visits to HealthCare.gov this weekend. Their call centers also helped millions of calls last week. Officials have also been working overtime to get the news out about enrollment with many appearing on television and in churches over the weekend. An interview with Vice President Biden encouraging young people to enroll will air Monday on celebrity chef Rachael Ray's talk show.
What do the Republicans say about Obamacare?
The Republicans see an entirely different situation unfolding. Republicans claim that many of the current enrollees were previously insured but have lost their insurance due to the new healthcare laws. According to one Republican lawmaker, Getting Americans to "re-enroll in insurance is no great achievement," he said, "particularly when many of those customers were forced to give up plans they liked."
Other Republicans also claim that the enrollment numbers may look okay, but they do not reflect how many people have actually paid their premiums or whether or not they will be able to actually see a doctor.