Health care website up and running, after another technical problem

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Now that the administration's health care website is up and running again, officials are plowing ahead with a nationwide promotional effort -- on this, the deadline day for sign-ups.

They say a "technical problem" caused the site to fall out of service for four hours this morning in addition to the usual overnight maintenance period.

Early visitors to HealthCare.gov this morning saw messages that the site was down for maintenance. At times, visitors were directed to a virtual waiting room.

An administration spokesman says the site was brought back up a little before 9 a.m., Eastern time. But people who missed their window to sign up may still be able to take advantage of a grace period and other special extensions announced last week.

Officials say the website wasn't hacked.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is leading the sign-up effort on deadline-day. She's spending much of the day working out of the department's TV studio, conducting interviews by satellite with local stations around the country.

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154-c-22-(Mark Smith, AP White House correspondent)-"over the weekend"-AP White House Correspondent Mark Smith reports the HealthCare.gov website was down for a stretch early this morning. (31 Mar 2014)

<<CUT *154 (03/31/14)££ 00:22 "over the weekend"

153-v-33-(Mark Smith, AP White House correspondent)--On the final day for signup, the federal website for President Obama's health care overhaul has suffered another big outage. AP White House Correspondent Mark Smith reports. (31 Mar 2014)

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APPHOTO DCDA101: The HealthCare.gov website is shown on a laptop in Washington, Monday, March 31, 2014. Today is the deadline to sign up for private heath insurance in the online markets created by President Obama's heath care law or face a federal fines. (AP Photo/J. David Ake) (31 Mar 2014)

<<APPHOTO DCDA101 (03/31/14)££