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Health shoppers stymied by website glitches

WASHINGTON — In a flood of last-minute sign-ups, hundreds of thousands of Americans rushed to apply for health insurance Monday, as deadline day for President Barack Obama's overhaul brought long waits and a new spate of website ills.

WASHINGTON — Despite a late surge in sign-ups, support for President Barack Obama's health care law is languishing at its lowest level since passage of the landmark legislation four years ago, according to a new poll.

WASHINGTON — People who've started applying for health insurance but aren't able to finish before the March 31 enrollment deadline will get extra time, the Obama administration announced Tuesday.

WASHINGTON — Millions of Americans could get extra time to enroll for taxpayer-subsidized coverage this year under President Barack Obama's health care law, allowing the administration to boost sign-ups and the political fortunes of Democrats under attack over the program's troubles.

WASHINGTON — People who've started applying for health insurance but aren't able to finish before the March 31 enrollment deadline will get extra time, the Obama administration announced Tuesday.

WASHINGTON — The new health care law helps some people, hurts others and confuses almost everyone. Hoping to simplify things a bit, The Associated Press asked its Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus followers for their real-life questions about the program and the problems they're running into as the March 31 deadline approaches to sign up for coverage in new insurance markets.

CHICAGO — For uninsured people, the nation's new health care law may offer an escape from worry about unexpected, astronomical medical bills. But for Stephanie Payne of St. Louis, who already had good insurance, the law could offer another kind of escape: the chance to quit her job.

  • March 22nd, 2014  |

WASHINGTON — Some of America's best cancer hospitals are off-limits to many of the people now signing up for coverage under the nation's new health care program.

WASHINGTON — Hope is fading for a Capitol Hill drive to permanently fix Medicare's outdated payment formula and spare doctors from automatic cuts in their fees next month. Now the question is whether lawmakers can regroup and come up with a short-term solution when the current patch expires.

WASHINGTON — Despite a disastrous start and relentless Republican opposition, President Barack Obama said Friday that enrollment in his signature health care program is high enough to make it stable for the millions who have signed up.

NEW YORK — Zach Galifianakis brought the ferns, and President Barack Obama opened a new avenue of presidential communication.

WASHINGTON — Issuing a last call for health care, President Barack Obama assured Latinos on Thursday that signing up for new insurance exchanges won't lead to deportation for any relatives in the U.S. illegally.

WASHINGTON — Warding off the specter of election-year health insurance cancellations, the Obama administration Wednesday announced a two-year extension for individual policies that don't meet requirements of the new health care law.

The investigative arm of Congress has agreed to look into problems with state health exchange websites around the country.

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama's budget pushes Health and Human Services spending over $1 trillion for the first time, reflecting an aging population adding to the Medicare rolls, as well as expanded coverage for younger people through the new health law.

WASHINGTON — House Republican leaders took a small step on Friday toward pulling together a viable alternative to President Barack Obama's four-year-old health care law but faced deep divisions over whether the GOP caucus can coalesce around a comprehensive proposal.

WASHINGTON — House Republicans intent on highlighting the woes of President Barack Obama's health care law need to look no further than their own back yards, some of which are traditionally liberal strongholds.

CHICAGO — For many older Americans who lost jobs during the recession, the quest for health care has been one obstacle after another. They're unwanted by employers, rejected by insurers, struggling to cover rising medical costs and praying to reach Medicare age before a health crisis.

ATLANTA — Republican governors scored easy political points by rejecting President Barack Obama's plan to enroll more poor people in government health insurance.

PHOENIX — A lawsuit challenging Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's Medicaid expansion plan that was filed by fellow Republicans in the state Legislature was dismissed in a ruling released Saturday, handing Brewer a major victory in her battle against conservative members of her own party.

WASHINGTON — Facing a rapidly approaching deadline, the White House and its allies are racing to enroll young people in new insurance plans offered under President Barack Obama's signature health care law, a sweeping effort that underscores how crucial the so-called "young invincibles" are to the measure's success.

WASHINGTON — New estimates that President Barack Obama's health care law will encourage millions of Americans to leave the workforce or reduce their work hours have touched off an I-told-you-so chorus from Republicans, who've claimed all along that the law will kill jobs. But some aren't telling it straight.

WASHINGTON— Several million American workers will reduce their hours on the job or leave the workforce entirely because of incentives built into President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday.

The health care overhaul's reach stretches far beyond the millions of uninsured Americans it is expected to help. It also could touch everything from the drug choices to doctor bills of people who have insurance through work.

WASHINGTON — A Republican senator on Monday sued to stop the government from paying most of the medical insurance premiums for members of Congress and their aides who are now required to obtain coverage through the new health care law's state exchanges.

WASHINGTON — Even as his health care law divided the nation, President Barack Obama's first term saw historically low growth in health costs, government experts said in a new report Monday.

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration urged a Supreme Court justice Friday to stop blocking the new health care law's requirement that some religion-affiliated organizations provide health insurance that includes birth control.

WASHINGTON — For working people making modest wages and struggling with high medical bills from chronic disease, President Barack Obama's health care plan sounds like long-awaited relief. But the promise could go unfulfilled.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — After a troubled rollout, President Barack Obama's health care overhaul now faces its most personal test: How will it work as people seek care under its new mandates?

WASHINGTON — Only hours before the law was to take effect, a Supreme Court justice on Tuesday blocked implementation of part of President Barack Obama's health care law that would have forced some religion-affiliated organizations to provide health insurance for employees that includes birth control.

WASHINGTON — All things good, bad and unpredictable converge Jan. 1 for President Barack Obama's health care overhaul as the law's major benefits take effect, along with an unpopular insurance mandate and a risk of more nerve-wracking disruptions to coverage.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — About 5 million people will be without health care next year that they would have gotten simply if they lived somewhere else in America.

ATLANTA — Republicans who want to regain control of the Senate will first have to do battle among themselves in 2014 primary elections, due largely to differences over how to proceed against the law they deride as "Obamacare."

CHICAGO — The government's retooled health care website was put to its biggest test yet as record numbers of Americans rushed to beat Tuesday's extended deadline for signing up for insurance.

WASHINGTON — Although multiple problems have snarled the rollout of President Barack Obama's signature health care law, it's hardly the first time a new, sprawling government program has been beset by early technical glitches, political hostility and gloom-and-doom denouncements.

CHICAGO — Anticipating heavy traffic on the government's health care website, the Obama administration extended Monday's deadline for signing up for insurance by a day, giving Americans in 36 states more time to select a plan.

WASHINGTON — The administration says a former Microsoft executive is taking over as the top tech honcho for HealthCare.gov, President Barack Obama's problem-plagued health insurance website.

Playing catch-up with a long way to go, President Barack Obama's new health insurance markets last month picked up the dismal pace of signups, the administration reported Wednesday.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Counselors helping people use the federal government's online health exchange are giving mixed reviews to the updated site, with some zipping through the application process while others are facing the same old sputters and even crashes

WASHINGTON — More troubles for the health care overhaul. Subsidies to help people buy insurance under the law may be vulnerable to fraud, a Treasury Department watchdog said Tuesday in a report suggesting that concerns about the law are far from over.

CHICAGO — The Obama administration is delaying yet another aspect of the health care law, putting off until next November the launch of an online portal to the health insurance marketplace for small businesses.

GAINESVILLE, Ga. — Emma Collins, a licensed massage therapist from Ellijay, was hopeful about the new federal health care law after struggling in recent years to find insurance coverage because her artificial heart valve is considered a pre-existing condition.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Stressing that improvements are happening daily, the senior Obama official closest to the administration's malfunctioning health care website apologized today for problems that have kept Americans from successfully signing up for coverage.

WASHINGTON — The leading contractors on the Obama administration's troubled health insurance website told Congress Thursday that the government failed to thoroughly test the complicated system before it went live.

WASHINGTON — Crammed into conference rooms with pizza for dinner, some programmers building the Obama administration's showcase health insurance website were growing increasingly stressed. Some worked past 10 p.m., energy drinks in hand.

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Monday offered "no excuses" — and little explanation — for the computer bugs still frustrating Americans who are trying to enroll online for insurance plans at the center of his health care law. But software developers tasked with building the site said they saw signs a year ago that the debut could fail.

CHICAGO — Inside a command center at a Chicago marketing agency, a small team of social media experts hunkers down to monitor online chatter about President Barack Obama's health care law, answer questions on Facebook from discouraged consumers and post information and advice on Twitter.

WASHINGTON — For the first month alone, the Obama administration projected that nearly a half million people would sign up for the new health insurance markets, according to an internal memo obtained by The Associated Press. But that was before the markets opened to a cascade of computer problems.

So much so that they acted like they had barely hit a small speed bump when Democrats voted unilaterally on Thursday to weaken century-old Senate filibuster rules and make it harder for the GOP to block confirmation of President Barack Obama's nominees.

WASHINGTON — The Republican-controlled House has passed legislation letting insurance companies sell individual coverage to all comers, even if it falls short of standards set in "Obamacare."

WASHINGTON — His personal and political credibility on the line, President Barack Obama reversed course Thursday and said millions of Americans should be allowed to renew individual coverage plans now ticketed for cancellation under the health care law that is likely to be at the heart of the 2014 elections.

WASHINGTON — Putting a statistic on disappointment, the Obama administration revealed Wednesday that fewer than 27,000 people signed up for private health insurance last month in the 36 states relying on a problem-filled federal website.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Adding pressure to fix the administration's problem-plagued health care program, former President Bill Clinton says President Barack Obama should find a way to let people keep their health coverage, even if it means changing the law.

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama says he'll do everything he can to help people coping with health insurance cancellations, but legally and practically his options appear limited.

ATLANTA — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Thursday that it is awarding more than $5.3 million in Affordable Care Act funding to support new health care centers in Georgia.

WASHINGTON — Republicans blistered Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Wednesday over the nation's controversial health care law, bluntly challenging her honesty, pushing for her resignation and demanding unsuccessfully she concede that President Barack Obama deliberately misled the public about his signature domestic program.

U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker have joined other lawmakers in calling on the Obama administration to take the president’s words – “If you like your plan you can keep it” – and put them into law.

WASHINGTON — Under growing pressure, the administration refused repeatedly to state a position Tuesday on legislation formalizing President Barack Obama's oft-stated promise that people who like their existing coverage should be allowed to keep it under the new health care law.

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