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More sign up for Obamacare, but not enough to meet Jan. 1 goal


There's been a surge in enrollment in Obamacare. But the numbers still fall far short of the administration's goal for January 1. Athena Jones breaks it down.

Healthcare.gov may finally be hitting its stride. Health officials say more than $1.1 million people enrolled in health plans through the federal exchange between October 1 and December 24 - with nearly a million of those -- coming this month alone.

People like Lauren Reisig, a 27-year-old marketing director from McClean, Virginia, who suffers from Crohn's disease. She enrolled with the help of a government call center, after running into trouble on the website. Starting January 1, her premium is dropping from $1,300 a month to $400.

"It gives me option to possibly finally move out of my parent's house at age 27."

The government will release more complete numbers -- including figures for medicaid and state-run marketplaces -- next month. But this latest surge of activity puts overall enrollment on pace to meet this bold prediction made before Christmas.

"I now have a couple million people, maybe more, who are going to have health care on January 1. And that is a big deal."

What's not clear is just how many people still may not have coverage starting January 1 due to problems with a site a government has worked overtime to fix. And not everyone is celebrating the numbers. California Republican Darrell Issa says too many people will be getting government-subsidized care.

"There's 318 million Americans. One million getting on subsidized health care or, in many cases, probably another million getting on Medicaid as a result of Obamacare and 6 million people had plans they liked and are now thrown off of it. I don't think there's anything to celebrate."

And while the surge in enrollment is good news for the Obama administration-- it will likely still fall short of the goal to sign up 3.3 million people by January 1.

Those who missed last week's deadline for coverage starting in January have until January 15 to sign up for plans that start February 1. Open enrollment ends March 31st.