As the clock ticked toward ObamaCare's midnight deadline, a second round of glitches hit HealthCare.gov today, this time blocking new users from applying. The site is now back up and running, Politico reports, but its "virtual waiting room was triggered," and the Obama administration reported that as many as 100,000 users at a time were on the site. HealthCare.gov had earlier gone down for maintenance for several hours beginning around 3am ET, with Health and Human Services officials ascribing the outage to a software bug. More last-minute tidbits:
- We are a nation of procrastinators: Last night, HHS revealed that the site saw 2 million visits over the weekend, and that the ObamaCare call center fielded 2.5 million calls in the last week—compared to 2.4 million for all of February, reports USA Today.
- Joe Biden is trying to help: By appealing to America's youth via an appearance on Rachael Ray's show today.
- Today's deadline isn't truly a deadline: As previously reported, would-be enrollees who begin but don't complete the process by today will be granted an extension.
- The penalty threat: The Wall Street Journal clarifies the specifics: a $95 fine or 1% of your income, whichever is greater. It estimates a couple with two kids bringing in $100,000 a year would pony up about $800—when paying 2014 taxes, which will happen in 2015.
- The unaware: The Journal points out a Kaiser Health Tracking Poll that this week determined 60% of uninsured Americans aren't aware of today's deadline.