President Obama Sees Surging Health Care Sign-Ups - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

President Obama Sees Surging Health Care Sign-Ups

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President Barack Obama says health insurance sign-ups have surged now that the government's website is working better.
 
More than a million people have picked a plan since Oct. 1, Obama said Friday, a big jump from the end of November when just 365,000 had signed up.
 
But HealthCare.gov was down again part of the day.
 
Unusually heavy web traffic is expected this weekend because of Monday's deadline to sign up so coverage can take effect Jan. 1. 
 
Insurers say the government is still sending them inaccurate data, creating a risk when patients seek care. 
 
Administration officials are scrambling to prevent coverage problems, especially among more than 4 million people whose individual policies were canceled this fall.
 
Separately, officials said 3.9 million people have qualified for coverage through expanded Medicaid.

Meanwhile, Obama says he's not brooding about 2013, despite a series of setbacks. 
 
The president said at a year-end news conference from the White House Friday that as long as the economy is improving and he's helping families, he's OK. 
 
Obama's approval rating has been at record lows recently. But he joked that in the seven years since he launched his presidential campaign, the media has, quote, "recorded 15 near-death experiences." 
 
He acknowledged frustration that he didn't get the legislative reforms he wanted, specifically mentioning gun control and immigration. And he said his health care law hasn't worked the way it should have. 
 
But he said he's going to keep working on his agenda and predicted 2014 would be "a breakthrough year for America." 

President Obama suggests he may be ready to rein in some of the bulk collection of Americans' phone records to allay the public's privacy concerns.
 
At an end-of-year news conference, Obama said he has not yet made any decisions about the National Security Agency's collection programs. But he offers the first indication that he may be willing to change some parts of the controversial program that collects and stores Americans' phone records. He says there may be "another way of skinning the cat."
 
One reform could be to stop the practice of government storing phone records for five years and shift that storage to phone companies.
 
Obama offered a broad defense of the surveillance programs that have been revealed in documents leaked by a former NSA systems analyst.   (AP)

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