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U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement next to Secretary of HHS Kathleen Sebelius about contraceptive care funding in the press room of the White House in Washington, February 10, 2012.       REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) - U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement next to Secretary of HHS Kathleen Sebelius about contraceptive care funding in the press room of the White House in Washington, February 10, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) -  

Obamacare site in meltdown on Obamacare enrollment day

HealthCare.gov is in the midst of another tech meltdown on the day Obamacare enrollment is scheduled to end.

The entire site was offline for hours early Monday morning due to a software bug discovered just before the deadline. HealthCare.gov was shut down from 3:20 a.m. until around 7:45 a.m. to repair the problem. The Wall Street Journal reported that the problem was related to how the website processes enrollment dates.

Once the site was functioning again, another glitch emerged around noon, preventing users from creating new accounts on the health care site. The newest glitch originates in the part of the system that processes peoples’ identities, a person close to the matter told the WSJ.

But the Data Services Hub, the federal computer system that connects several federal agencies with all state exchanges to verify identities, personal information and eligibility, remains operational, according to a spokesman from Obamacare administrator the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

“The tech team monitoring HealthCare.gov in real time has identified an issue with users creating new accounts. The application and enrollment tools are unavailable to new users at the moment,” said CMS spokesman Aaron Albright. “The tech team is working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. The Data Services Hub is still fully operational.”

In the meantime, users who attempt to log into the site will be put in the queue system developed after HealthCare.gov’s initial breakdown in October and November. Potential enrollees will be sent to a screen saying “HealthCare.gov has a lot of visitors right now” and will have to wait to be able to access the site.

Experts have long expected HealthCare.gov to experience its largest rush of consumers on the final day for open enrollment. The website was nevertheless apparently unprepared for the rush, despite the warning of the website’s failures last fall.

The site was struggling to handle over 100,000 simultaneous users at one point Monday. Sunday saw the health care website’s largest daily traffic, with 160,000 enrollments processed.

While Monday is technically the final day of the open enrollment period, the Obama administration will allow anyone who checks a box claiming technological problems  while signing up to enroll until an unspecified date in mid-April.

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