Obamacare signups hit 2 million mark Tuesday

 New Year's Day will bring a fresh test for President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul, as hundreds of thousands of Americans will begin to use the program's new medical coverage for the first time.

JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

New Year’s Day will bring a fresh test for President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul, as hundreds of thousands of Americans will begin to use the program’s new medical coverage for the first time.

WASHINGTON — The White House claimed a small Obamacare victory Tuesday with signups surpassing 2 million at year’s end.

The figure falls short of the program’s New Year’s goal of 3.3 million and is a long way from the goal of 7 million signups by the end of March.

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Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, before the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the implementation failures of the Affordable Care Act. At year’s end, the site appears to be functioning smoothly, although concerns of data accuracy down the line have yet to be fully put to rest.

Susan Walsh/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, before the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the implementation failures of the Affordable Care Act. At year’s end, the site appears to be functioning smoothly, although concerns of data accuracy down the line have yet to be fully put to rest.

But after a disastrous October launch of healthcare.gov — the website for people in the 36 states without their own marketplaces — December’s 1.6 million enrollments were four times the previous two months’ total.

All 2.1 million who signed up by Dec. 24 will be covered Wednesday, with most new policy holders’ first premiums due Jan. 10.

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On Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, Rosemary Cabelo used a computer at a public library to access the Affordable Health Care Act website in San Antonio.

Eric Gay/ASSOCIATED PRESS

On Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, Rosemary Cabelo used a computer at a public library to access the Affordable Health Care Act website in San Antonio.

Wednesday is also the first day that consumers cannot be denied health insurance because of a preexisting condition – a key provision of the Affordable Care Act.

With News wire services

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jstraw@nydailynews.com


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