OVERNIGHT HEALTH: On deadline day, HealthCare.gov struggles to meet demand

HealthCare.gov, for a second time on Monday, experienced technical difficulties that left some visitors unable to access the site.

While the administration said the problem was resolved quickly on Monday afternoon, it shows how the website is having trouble keeping up with the last-minute rush of people seeking coverage before the March 31 deadline.

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The website was down briefly earlier on Monday, as well as in the afternoon, with users trying to create accounts for the first time unable to access application and enrollment tools, the administration said. Jonathan Easley at The Hill reports.

Premiums: Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Monday that between 80 and 90 percent of those who selected a plan under ObamaCare have completed the critical final step of making a first premium payment.

It’s the first time the administration has acknowledged that it knows about how many people have paid. The claim is likely to infuriate Republicans, who have been pressing the administration for that information for weeks now. Jonathan Easley at The Hill reports.

Poll: The public remains split over ObamaCare, but Democrats have rallied behind the law to keep support steady in March, according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll released on Monday.

Forty-nine percent support the law, against 48 who oppose it, the survey said. That’s up from 46 percent who said they supported it last month, and 49 percent who said they opposed it. It's an even bigger climb from the 40-57 split in the same poll from November.

Support for the Affordable Care Act is buoyed by Democrats, whose support for the law bounced from 65 percent in January to 76 percent in March. Jonathan Easley at The Hill reports.

Youth: The average age of people enrolling in insurance through ObamaCare is on the decline as younger consumers flock to the exchanges, according to insurance executives interviewed by The Wall Street Journal. The newspaper spoke with representatives from a handful of health plans, all of whom said they had seen a “marked increase” in young enrollees and noted that the demographic was among the fastest-growing segment of those seeking coverage. Jonathan Easley at The Hill reports.

State by State:

Maryland to replace troubled healthcare exchange with Connecticut’s.

Fewer physicians accepting Medicaid patients in Mississippi.

“Private-option” Medicaid expansion would cut some benefits.

Reading List:

GOP’s ObamaCare obsession will help Democrats.

Massive ObamaCare reforms having little impact.

ObamaCare is here to stay.

What you may have missed at HealthWatch:

Carney lauds ObamaCare even as website stumbles.

Sebelius has awkward on-air exchange.

AHIP chief predicts next stage of ObamaCare debate.  

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