|By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press|
"We are experiencing a surge in demand and are making sure that we will be ready to help consumers who may be in line by the deadline to complete enrollment, either online or over the phone,"
Officials said the grace period will be available to people on the honor system, meaning applicants will have to attest that special circumstances or complex cases prevented them from finishing by
It's unclear how long the extension will last. Some have urged the administration to allow until
The latest tweak to the health care rollout is certain to infuriate Republican critics of President
The decision to grant extra time was first reported late Tuesday by
The administration's decision affects the 36 states where the federal government is taking the lead on sign-ups. The 14 states running their own websites are likely to follow, since some had been pressing for an extension on account of their own technical problems.
"The disbursement of tax refunds appears to be making a substantial difference in the willingness and ability of uninsured Americans to sign up for ... coverage," Haile said.
Enrollment has already crossed the 5 million mark.
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