Extended 'Obamacare' Deadline Nears End

One-day extension gives many Americans final chance to start the new year with insurance.
3:00 | 12/24/13

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Transcript for Extended 'Obamacare' Deadline Nears End
This is a special room. I'm Dan -- for -- New York where this ABC news digital special report. About this time yesterday we were reporting on the approaching. Absolute deadline to sign up for the Affordable Care Act better -- As obamacare no sooner -- -- said that the White House extended that deadline to midnight tonight. So joining us now from Washington to help sort through some of the confusion ABC Susan song Susan. -- -- Dan it seems like we are a nation of procrastinators after all whether -- holiday shopping or. -- insurance shopping. The grace period has begun its deadline day number two for Americans who want health insurance under Obama care to begin on the first of the new year. And for some last minute insurance shoppers the expansion. Courtesy of an anxious White House is a welcome reprieve at one of the busiest times of the year. It would -- in person earlier but. I decided and you know getting time off or at this point and -- desperate that what -- they can do. You know I'm I'm willing to invest the time to port. Yesterday more than a million people visited the website of the Affordable Care Act health care dot gov. A record one day hi penny health insurance I want -- -- get it how that this extension come about. Since President Obama began his Hawaiian holiday vacation he's been getting health care briefings between rounds of golf and other family fun. The feeling among his advisors was that a crush of consumers trying to enroll on the web site was causing long wait times. -- the site was working as designed. At least 60000 people left their email addresses on what amounts to a waiting list on health care dot gov as of midday Monday. At about that same time without any fanfare the White House confirmed that it had extended the deadline the second such pushed back in the enrollment period. After the new health law's problem plagued early roll out. Administration officials are hoping to turn a corner with the improved web site and more person to person assistance. In person as grade there was so much. Easier and quicker. Now the White House also confirmed that President Obama signed up for Obama care. Although this is largely a symbolic gesture since his job already comes with excellent health care. But what it's -- -- -- the bronze plan and for that he will pay 400 dollars a month they and. OK so that's what the president did ahead as the deadline but now the question is is the deadline really final. It seems as though -- There's another important deadline coming up and that's the end of march that's the deadline for people to sign up for health insurance before they'll be charged a penalty. For not having -- -- -- All right Susan thank you for that we appreciate kind of diving is through all of this I want to turn now to recliner political director in Washington as well and -- in this entire. Situation is the almost that the gift that keeps on giving for a White House political opponents -- the president's. What is the response from the White House right now. They just have to hope that this finally works that they can get the financing to work out they can get the numbers to work out. And hope that the PR flows from there this has been disaster every step of the way in fact -- even on the -- Of the of the deadline that's been in place for months they had to delay it by another day as if -- hadn't realized it -- crushing demands that it didn't realize that time zones exist in the United States. It's preposterous and it reflects the concern that they have about getting the numbers that they need to make the system work is there a way that we can quantify how much political capital has been spent on this -- -- and this continuing efforts. I believe the technical term is a lot of the reason is the you can see in all of the polling it and -- nosedive around the time of the roll out around the Obama health care. Web -- we all knew that the -- the program was was very very unpopular but keep in mind. As late as the beginning of October you had. The Democrats soaring. And in riding high on the fact that the Republicans are closed on the government they had this big shot down over funding of the Obama health care law fast forward just a few weeks from there and you saw an entire mirror image and you saw the president's fortunes. Absolutely collapses approval rating under water right now most troublesome. For the White House and its allies is that people have given up trust on President Obama talked -- political scientists and analysts this take. That's a very hard thing to regain and if you don't have that to -- you don't have political capital spent so you come off this awful when he thirteen. Looking forward -- 2014 the president -- clearly the low point of his presidency. Has the resilience of the Democrats been tested by this those that showed early support and in favor of this Affordable Care Act and also the -- out of it. -- Danny's shift dramatic. Very much is being tested is a whole raft of them that have. Bills that they're ready to drop at the -- at a moment's notice as soon as they feel like they. They can no longer trust for the White House this at the a lot of them feel betrayed keep in mind and that they voted for this they listen to the administration's assurances they got private and public assurances that the system would work. And in the administration whose job it is actually excuse the law let them down so they feel personally let down by that so you'll see some of them take steps to distance themselves from the Affordable Care Act. The fact is -- -- have no choice if you voted for obamacare you going to be accused of everything bad about obamacare by your political opponent Democrat a Republican. That is inevitable and they need to make it work in some ways is only so much room that you have in trying to put some space between yourself in -- -- -- Democrat in the White House was public for three million enrolled last week the president said at a million had signed up for it obviously a disparity between those two numbers there now. What exactly can happen -- if those expectations -- are not met. Well there is a chance that the whole system doesn't work and there's there are all kinda safeguards put in place for the first year two years three years to try to keep the financing together. But ultimately this is a new marketplace that's been created. -- has the sink or swim on it's own it's a chance there's a chance a significant chance that it -- if you look at the enrollment data so far coming in from the states that -- that have put out a demographic breakdown. Not nearly enough young healthy workers in there to make the system work according to the independent analysts have look at the stuff. We don't have the numbers of the federal yet but right around 40% is the target and there's no one who thinks they're there they were there you would conceivably deadline pushing you wouldn't -- -- big -- -- wrong to try to get young people to sign up for the system there is a chance that even after all of this that even a working system of Obama -- were people aren't rolling. Doesn't work in that the financing this does not work out. Rick let me ask -- this before would you -- is -- -- -- that we -- yesterday -- -- must -- rolling in the silver plan now the president as Susan had reported was chose the bronze plan what does -- say about the concern man. From the deductibles that are involved -- both of those plans. It tells you that he's concerned about his own money and -- eighty Michelle as concerned as well because as Susan reported this is a purely symbolic gesture the president gets free health care. As the president had -- for him and his family. He aimed at him having an -- stand in line in Washington to sign him up. Actually makes zero sense whatsoever because he's not proving the fact that he can sign up on his own and he's also not actually -- use any of the health -- that 400 dollars. A month that he's paying that's 5000 dollars a year that I think would have been a lot better spent going to charity -- making good on a promise to enroll in obamacare but I don't think it says anything about. He is is his concerns around the insurance system as much as he does about I think it's a recognition that this is ultimately pointless gesture that is pure symbolism -- -- more than. Have to when you get down that road that's very good point well taken as well and now for the rest of us a couple of hours extra of we have to make those decisions on which plan Rick -- in Washington -- Rick thank you so much for that we appreciate that. -- -- deadline deja Vu. To sign up for the government Affordable Care Act quickly report record ABC news dot conference on -- cuts -- New York with this ABC news digital special report.

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

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