Obama Touts One Million Health Insurance Sign-Ups In December

'The basic structure of the law is working, despite all the problems," president says of health care law

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More than one million Americans signed up for health insurance through the insurance exchanges at the heart of the health reform law in the first three weeks of December, President Barack Obama said Friday.

Obama, speaking at his year-end news conference, said 500,000 of those sign-ups were made through the federal website HealthCare.gov after a problem-plagued launch in October became a political embarrassment for the president.

“For all the challenges we’ve had… more than half-a-million Americans have enrolled in HealthCare.gov through the first three weeks of December alone,” Obama said at the White House.

“The basic structure of the law is working, despite all the problems,” he  said.

Obama once again acknowledged the problems the have marred implementation of his signature domestic achievement.

“There is no doubt that when it came to the health care rollout, even though I was meeting every other week, or every three weeks with folks… since I’m in charge, obviously we screwed it up.”

His comments came just a day after the administration made one of the most significant changes in implementation of the law, delaying penalties for people who fail to sign up for insurance if their coverage was cancelled because of the law’s new regulations.

“They don’t go to the core of the law,” Obama said of the recent changes his administration has made.