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Last-day rush causes another malfunction of health care website

People waited to purchase insurance under the Affordable Care Act at a store set up at a shopping mall in Miami.
People waited to purchase insurance under the Affordable Care Act at a store set up at a shopping mall in Miami. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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WASHINGTON — Tens of thousands of people raced to beat Monday’s deadline to sign up for health insurance, overloading phone lines and taxing the capacity of the website for the federal insurance marketplace.

The enrollment system for HealthCare.gov, where consumers can sign up for coverage under President Obama’s health care law, unexpectedly stopped taking applications for several hours early Monday and again in the afternoon

Aaron Albright, a spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services, indicated the second failure of the federal system occurred shortly after noon, and that it seemed to be caused by a flood of traffic on the site. He said the first failure, which lasted about three hours in the morning, was caused by a software error unrelated to traffic volume.

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