The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Tuesday extended by 48 hours the deadline for consumers to sign up for health care coverage on the Obamacare exchanges that would kick in on New Year’s Day.

After initially saying that those who had trouble signing up by the original deadline, Dec. 15, would have additional time if they left contact information, HHS caved when faced with a million consumers who, by Tuesday evening, had left their contact information. Thus another 48 hours (a movie title?).

“Hundreds of thousands have already selected plans over the last two days and approximately 1 million consumers have left their contact information to hold their place in line,” explained Kevin Counihan, HHS spokesman. “Our goal is to provide access to affordable coverage, and the additional 48 hours will give consumers an opportunity to come back and complete their enrollment for Jan. 1 coverage.”

The extension applies to the federal exchange,, but states like California are following suit.

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