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Obamacare Deadline Looms For Jan. 1 Coverage

Anyone who wants coverage under Obamacare by Jan. 1 must sign up for insurance on Dec. 23.
Posted at 11:20 PM, Dec 22, 2013

President Obama's signature healthcare law known as Obamacare faces its first crucial enrollment deadline Monday. 

Anyone who wants to be covered under Obamacare by Jan. 1 must sign up in state or federal markets by Dec. 23. Those not covered through the law or through private insurance could face a hefty fine. (Via Fox News)

The rollout of the federal insurance marketplace hasn't exactly gone as planned. A glitch-prone website and a spate of canceled insurance plans left the administration scrambling for solutions. (Via Healthcare.gov)

Now that some of those problems have been alleviated, Politico writes the administration's new goal is to get as many people as possible to sign up before the enrollment deadline.

"The White House wants to avoid a spate of damaging stories on Jan. 1 about people who are newly uninsured, having had their old plans canceled. The administration badly wants to change the narrative to millions who are newly covered in private health plans in the exchanges."

During his end of the year press conference, President Obama tried to put a rosy spin on the law's enrollment numbers.

"All told, millions of Americans — despite the problems with the website — are now poised to be covered by quality affordable health insurance come New Year's Day." (Via The White House)

But despite the president's assurances, Obamacare still has plenty of critics. Democratic Senator Joe Manchin told CNN's Candy Crowley parts of the law should be delayed another year so the administration can cope with the botched rollout. 

"If it's so much more expensive than what we anticipated, and if the coverage is not as good as what we've had, you've got a complete meltdown. ... This transitional year gives you a chance to adjust the products to the market."

Although Dec. 23 is the deadline for anyone who wants coverage by Jan. 1, open enrollment doesn't close until Mar. 15.