Nearly three million people visited the federal government's health insurance marketplace by mid-afternoon on Tuesday, the first day of the six-month extended enrollment period, the Department of Health and Human Services announced.
However technical glitches and the high volume of traffic on HealthCare.gov generated widespread complaints from residents in the 36 states served by the federal exchange who said they could not access the site. Those complaints and accompanying media reports about opening day snafus for the central component of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act prompted public assurances from President Barack Obama Tuesday that the glitches would be worked out in the coming hours and days.
"Like every new law, every new product rollout, there are going to be some glitches in the signup process along the way that we will fix. I've been saying this from the start," Obama said during a Rose Garden address. "For example, we found out that there have been times this morning where the site has been running more slowly than it normally will. The reason is because more than one million people visited healthcare.gov before 7:00 in the morning."