In his speech today on the glitches on Obamacare's healthcare.gov, President Obama mentioned a phone number for users to call and sign up for health care in case the website was down. But as fact-checking journalists quickly discovered, that number is having its own issues.
The White House twitter account sent out the number from Obama's speech:
Obama: "We’ve also added more staff to the call centers where you can apply for insurance over the phone." Call: 1-800-318-2596 #GetCovered— The White House (@WhiteHouse) October 21, 2013
In the speech, Obama said that the wait times were "under a minute." But Annie Lowrey of The New York Times called the number and discovered something else.
For the record, just called 1-800-318-2596, got a busy signal.— Annie Lowrey (@AnnieLowrey) October 21, 2013
NBC News reporter Kasie Hunt experienced similar problems with the number.
Just called the number. They said there's too high call volume and call back on the weekend. "We're sorry for the inconvenience. Goodbye."— Kasie Hunt (@kasie) October 21, 2013
Given Obama's mention of the phone number in a highly public speech, Huffington Post White House correspondent Sam Stein noted that it's not that surprising that the phone number is currently busy, overloaded with calls.