Obama secretly buys health care he won’t use — but not from government website

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Gallup released a poll Monday that said Americans see the health care law as both Mr. Obama’s biggest success and his biggest failure.

Americans technically have until March 31 to sign up for health care benefits, but the pre-Christmas deadline added significance because of the high number of plans that will be discontinued Jan. 1.

Fifteen state-run exchanges also prepared for the deadline by releasing guidance on how to enroll, glitch-free, and by pushing young people to sign up.

California’s state-run exchange reported Monday that 29,000 people enrolled Friday — its most prolific day so far — and traffic continued to be heavy heading into the deadline.

“If you want to get covered, you need to enroll today, the 23rd,” said Peter V. Lee, executive director of Covered California. “Don’t wait, act now, sign up and get covered.”

Even so, he said, the exchange will work with those who at least started the process Monday to make sure they “get across the finish line” in time.

Minnesota’s state-run exchange sent out a tip sheet advising website users to avoid problems such as adding an extra space when typing a phone number, using an incompatible Internet browser or providing a full middle name instead of an initial.

“Some of the problems people are facing are due to software issues that we are actively working on and will be resolving in the near future, but some of the issues can be resolved at the consumer level by following these tips,” MNsure interim CEO Scott Leitz said.

In the nation’s capital, a project manager for one of the contractors working for D.C. Health Link said his team spoke with young people who dined at Denny’s after leaving nightclubs between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. over the past two weekends — an unorthodox effort that proved successful.

“Typically, the fact that I’m 25 years old, it helps a lot that I can relate to that age group,” said the restaurant’s manager, Jarard E. Farrar.

On Monday, Mr. Farrar festooned the Good Success Christian Church and Ministries with balloons to welcome people from the city’s eastern wards into the church’s enrollment center.

Eric, a 54-year-old D.C. resident who declined to provide his last name, walked into the center and said he wanted coverage by Jan. 1. He consulted with on-site staff after having trouble signing up on the exchange’s website from home.

“It’s not hard — just a little glitch here and there,” he said.

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