Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska is one of five Democrats in the Senate calling for a delay in the enrollment deadline for the Affordable Care Act. He says consumers shouldn't be punished for the technical problems that have plagued the health law's website.
A handful of Democratic incumbents in battleground states are among senators now calling for an extension of the open enrollment period, which could be a way to curry favor in relatively conservative states.
Monday was yet another troubled day for the Affordable Care Act.
Sunday night, the outside vendor that operates two key parts of the website that lets people browse and sign up for health insurance experienced a failure.
The failure took place at a vendor called Verizon Terremark and presumably affected other clients as well as HealthCare.gov, the federal website that people use to sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
Since it launched Oct. 1, the online portal for the health insurance marketplace required by the Affordable Care Act has been plagued with glitches. It's been hard to find anyone who's been able to enroll for an insurance plan at Healthcare.gov yet.
Insurance broker Phil Muscarello says agents can help consumers fill out a paper application instead. For more information, visit www.pjmi.com.
President Obama on Tuesday appointed one of his top management gurus, Jeffrey Zeints, to head the team working to fix what ails HealthCare.gov, the troubled website that's supposed to allow residents of 36 states to enroll in coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
JEFFREY HESS, BYLINE: I'm Jeffrey Hess in Jackson, Mississippi which is one of the 34 states letting the federal government take the lead in establishing a health insurance exchange. Heavy web traffic and software problems have made it nearly impossible to use the new web site since it opened last week.
MEREDITH STARK: Why I keep trying is because this is something we need.
The health insurance marketplaces are now open for enrollment but there's still a lot of confusion about how the exchanges work, what insurance plans are offered and who qualifies for tax credits and subsidies.
On Oct. 1 the health insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act start the 6-month enrollment period. This means the uninsured or people who buy their own health insurance can now go to one place online and compare plans side-by-side.
The Affordable Care Act requires nearly every American to have health insurance or pay a penalty, beginning Jan. 1. The so-called "individual mandate" has been controversial ever since the law was passed.
But for people who fall into a few select categories, the mandate doesn't apply. Like Native Americans who get health coverage through the Indian Health Service, or people who are incarcerated.