American's Face 'Obamacare' Enrollment Deadline

People must enroll by the deadline to get insurance coverage starting with the New Year.
3:00 | 12/23/13

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Transcript for American's Face 'Obamacare' Enrollment Deadline
This is a special group. -- from me soon. I'm Dan -- New -- -- -- ABC news digital special report for Americans without health insurance that deadline to sign up for coverage. Has arrived and with -- another rush to health care dot gov. Obama cares troubles some web site with the latest we're joined now from Washington DC about ABC's Susan -- Susan. Good afternoon -- and the Obama administration is hoping for a last minute surge on the web site today. The clock is ticking down to a long awaited milestone for Obama care today is the deadline for most Americans to sign up for health coverage under the government's Affordable Care Act. If they want their insurance to -- in on January 1. And from the new -- supporters much optimism that this could be a turning point in a roll out that has been problem plagued so far. There have been a lot of glitches there have been a lot of problems but they're getting fixed. But there is concern all around from consumers insurers and experts. Will enough people particularly young adults signed -- to make the insurance marketplace work. I'm not convinced that I don't think the numbers show it that we're going to be able to support this because I don't think the young and healthy ecosystem in droves and sign up. And -- the young and healthy and other insurance shoppers do you try to sign up will the troubled web site health -- dot gov be able to handle a last minute crushed. The Obama administration says yes on Friday President Obama announced that a million people have signed up so far. Republican critics don't agree with such a positive assessment. The administration's goal -- seven million by march 2014. Consumers have until the end of march to sign up for insurance with out having to pay a penalty for lack of coverage. The bottom line is there -- a lot of good things in obamacare that people like in. The more people see that the more positive it's going to be. The White House says President Obama himself will be signing up for Obama care by the end of the day -- I was just let me ask you this because we've seen -- some reports of the site slowing down users. Seen this message is so what does it mean I mean what should people do when they actually come across this message if it does pop up as they're trying to apply. So the -- is designed to work this way it doesn't necessarily mean that it's crashed in fact does not crashed as -- as we know. So users can either wait for the page to refresh -- leave an email to be contacted later. So that the president right now is on vacation on the annual retreat in Hawaii what is the White House doing though it's helped drive those -- -- numbers out today. -- the Obama administration is actually hoping that consumers do a lot of that work themselves the president has asked people who -- have signed up for insurance to tell their family their friends their neighbors. Also sign up so that they don't miss the deadline. Spraying to spreading the word all around ABC seasons only in Washington Susan thank you met so for more on the deadline and how it is being handled by the White House. We're joined -- BC's political director -- Rick good Monday afternoon to you. So what we're calling this deadline day but there are exceptions to the deadline who is not on the hook today. First we'll do not on the -- if you don't mind not getting health care on January 1 the actual individual mandate penalty. That goes into effect if you don't have health care that actually is pushed back by three months that is until the end of march of the deadline here's if you actually want health care as the first of the year under the obamacare exchanges. Today is the day. Among those who will not face a penalty ever though at least not next year are the some half a million people whether policies canceled and have many able to obtain new coverage that was a lead exemption. Put in place by the Obama administration just last week to try to take care of that broken promise about if you like your health care you can keep it. They're also income limits and thresholds to stop this penalty for going -- people but that flat out can't afford it. But the fact is that for the vast majority of Americans and Americans the the letter of the law is that -- -- 2014 -- a health care the way of help parents when he fourteen is to do that by midnight tonight. So -- Rick also could -- I was reading about this about a good faith exemption. Also for the so those that are try to sign up for it that's right essentially -- -- -- -- -- if in fact they can't make it through the system. That's right but again keep in mind is no penalty at all until the end of march so it's hard for me to imagine that it's simple web -- problems would be considered a good faith exemption for the entirety of of 2014 you've got to think that sometime over the next three months are able to log in. But yes this is where the White House has had some wiggle room is that if you're trying your health care if you want health care. But you can't get it you can obtain it for whatever reason they have some some authority to exempt you from the pay the penalties -- would otherwise be facing when he fourteen and who was making that decision as far as qualified for that good faith exemption. That is a 100% by the Obama administration so that -- it ends with the secretary of health and human services it starts with the present -- United States. Who is the one who directed at six be found for the people that lost their policies. So that's where there's -- a lot of criticism of this law these unilateral changes that have happened continually. Over the implementation of this law but the White House the administration able to say -- certain groups that are and there are certain groups that are out so. Essentially it's the kind of breakdown that the dynamics of this is that. The with the exchanges work as far as a benefit for most of for all that are taking part in this. Is that the have a significant amount of young enrollees that will help cover some of the cost of -- older enrollees that are -- there so what do you think we're get the demographic information as far as. How everything is shaken up who signed up for this. This there's -- White House wants to give it to you they obviously know the answer to this and they haven't put it out there the dignity in the states are probably a window into why they haven't told us is that. There is no good news to report the threshold the people in the industry have been using is 40% that's the number. Of younger and healthier workers that you need. In the system for the balance off the older and sicker workers if you don't have 40% and you start to question financing on this the states that have released demographic data not one of them is -- close to 40% they're often in the teens or twenties now. This may be -- procrastinating crowd maybe a lot of last minute people. But my. Strong suspicion is that the demographic data when it's released from the federal government will show that 40% number nowhere in the ballpark -- a lot of the folks. Who are alone may be willing to go without health insurance entirely paid a penalty instead either because they were discouraged. By the the web sites failures in the beginning because they don't want to do it. They are likely to be younger and healthier workers and this is a new marketplace the only way it works is if you have those younger healthier workers. Paying the premiums that goes out -- benefits -- the older and sicker workers without them in the process. -- the whole financing system -- Forget about the web site that's -- big problem. Procrastinate of course when -- one of those. Hash tags and oftentimes -- associated with the millennial generation on this or perhaps in fact that will be used in the campaign. The fact matters that the White House has been very public about this and and Natalie in terms. Of selling this to the public and also decided to Republican critics as well. How -- the White House managing expectations both in terms of the user experience in these exchanges but also with the actual enrollment numbers. So interest again for -- seven million was -- we heard about that was a -- that the Congressional Budget Office and other outside groups said. That's a number of people they are gonna have health insurance and -- the question is of course. -- cited -- suddenly in the last two weeks or so we've heard from the White House. Well -- there's no number impersonate a look at here that there will be obviously be hundreds of thousands millions of people who benefit from this law. But that's not important here what's important is that the system works so they have shifted the goalposts maybe move the goalposts -- entirely different stadium when it comes to that piece of the expectations. And they they are making the point that there is nothing. A definitive about today's deadline that you still have a couple of months to obtain coverage if you wanted -- 2014 a by the time. We get final judgment tested the weather the financing works that a media and a 2014 when the insurance companies go back and look they say what kind of rates that we have to charge for 2015 to make this work. If you see those rates going up 50% a 100% -- know that it didn't work if there about the same then we're talking about a system that essentially is making itself. Happened a deadline with a gastric. Essentially it would brick privilege governor has -- -- because with all that this law has been through this hear from the Supreme Court decision. To the roll out obviously -- where it was Kathleen -- taken heat for it on the president essentially -- a buck stops with him. What's the latest approval numbers on on Affordable Care Act. Abysmal terrible awful and continually sell a new poll out just today from CNN having a record low approval ratings are pulling AD BC news. I said the numbers continually. Consistently under water this in no way to -- -- up. Despite. All of the efforts and -- -- sense of marketing campaign to try to make it cool and hip and fun. An important for people they don't buy into it now caveat to that -- is that if you poll individual aspects of the law can ask about it. About a key people on their insurance plans up to -- -- -- -- on your parents plan or. Insuring against discrimination about preexisting conditions those things are popular but the idea of obamacare. Has been -- popular from the get go and that's one of the continuing drags on it right now. Is that people across the board across demographic groups just don't think the laws a good idea. Or washing those numbers very closely and of course is inclusive holidays who knows maybe they'll be one last minute gift for the Obama administration. A boost in those numbers. ABC's Rick -- Washington DC Rick thank you so much for that. Of course have a complete write up right here on ABC news conference on dance clubs -- New York this ABC news digital special report.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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