Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sibelius is eyeing special enrollment periods, or SEPs, to extend the Obamacare health care sign-up deadline past March 31, citing technological problems that prevented many from signing up.

In recent testimony to Congress, she "made it clear that if, through no fault of their own, [consumers] were unable to enroll, that eligibility extends to a delayed enrollment period and they will have a special enrollment period which we have the authority to grant."

This contradicts — or at least adds a wormhole for safe passage through legislative restrictions — to an earlier statement made by HHS Office of Health Reform Director Michael Hash, who noted that "We do not believe we have the authority to extend that period beyond March 31," adding, "We have no plans to do so."