Speed Reads

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Obama administration extends ObamaCare signup deadline amid record demand

The federal deadline to sign up for Jan. 1 insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act was midnight Thursday, but on Thursday night, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) extended the deadline until 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 19. The reason? Customers couldn't get through to call centers or on HealthCare.gov to sign up amid what the CMS called some of the busiest days for ObamaCare applications.

"Nearly a million consumers have left their contact information to hold their place in line," HealthCare.gov CEO Kevin Counihan said Thursday night. "Our goal is to provide affordable coverage to everyone seeking it before the deadline, and these two additional business days will give consumers an opportunity to come back and complete their enrollment for Jan. 1 coverage." Some 700,000 people signed up for plans through the federal marketplace on Monday and Tuesday alone, said HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell, even as President-elect Donald Trump and Republican leaders in Congress pledged to repeal ObamaCare.

Maybe all publicity is good publicity, or perhaps customers were just inspired by this ObamaCare PSA with Bill Murray talking trash while he beats President Obama at Oval Office golf. Peter Weber