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White House: 11.4 million Americans have enrolled in Obamacare

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Some 11.4 million Americans enrolled in private health insurance through Obamacare during the open enrollment period, the White House said in a tweet on Tuesday.

“The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, is working. It’s working better than we anticipated, certainly working a lot better than many of the critics talked about early on,” President Barack Obama said in a video linked to the White House tweet.

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Administration officials have said they expected 9.1 million people to be enrolled in coverage and up to date on insurance payments by the end of the year. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office had predicted 12 million enrollees for 2015.

Last April, the Obama administration announced that more than 8 million people had selected plans for 2014. But by the end of last year, only 6.7 million were still enrolled.

Obamacare’s open enrollment period for 2015 began on Nov. 15 and closed on Sunday.

The White House said there had been a surge of applications in the last nine days of enrollment, particularly on Sunday.

“Sunday, February 15 was the biggest enrollment day ever: more new consumers signed up for health coverage than on any day this open enrollment period or the last,” the White House said in a statement.

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The U.S. Health and Human Services Department said on Saturday that a technical problem had prevented some consumers from enrolling but that the issue, involving income verification, was fixed late on Saturday.

The department said on Saturday that anyone who had been unable to submit an application because income could not be verified due to that problem or any other technical issue would receive an extension for enrollment.

Plans for Obamacare, formally known as the Affordable Care Act, are sold on HealthCare.gov for 37 states. The other 13 states plus Washington, D.C., run their own websites.

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The Obama administration said last week that 2015 Obamacare subsidies were averaging $268 a month for people in the 37 states who had qualified for federal assistance.

(Reporting by Breaking News Team; Editing by Peter Cooney and Lisa Shumaker)

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Trump administration heavily redacted documents concerning their withholding of Ukraine aid

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The Trump administration has refused to disclose how key officials at the Department of Defense and the White House Office of Management and Budget reacted to President Trump’s decision to halt military aid to Ukraine.

On Nov. 25, federal district court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ordered the administration to produce records reflecting what these officials said to one another about the legality and appropriateness of Trump’s order. The Center for Public Integrity sought the information in Freedom of Information Act requests filed in late September.

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Donald Trump Jr laughs at the prospect that Bill Barr will eventually lock up Trump’s political enemies

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On Thursday, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted a video of Attorney General William Barr saying that he is constantly asked when Democrats are going to prison for their treatment of President Donald Trump, and he jokingly responded "these things take time."

Trump Jr. repeated that particular line in his tweet, accompanied by a series of laughing face emojis:

These things take time. 🤣🤣🤣 pic.twitter.com/TX7DuYgAsr

— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) December 13, 2019

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2020 Election

Jared Kushner is ‘officially overseeing’ Trump’s 2020 campaign ‘from his seat in the West Wing’: NY Times

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The administration of President Donald Trump has had multiple scandals for using federal government resources to aid his 2020 re-election campaign, but senior White House advisor Jared Kushner is his de facto campaign manager, The New York Times reported Thursday.

"Hours before the House Judiciary Committee was set to take a historic vote to push President Trump to the brink of impeachment, campaign officials gathered across the Potomac River for a state-of-the-race briefing in which they described how the Republican Party had been transformed into the “beer and bluejeans party” crafted in Mr. Trump’s image," the newspaper reported, despite the fact Trump claims he does not drink beer and is not known for wearing anything other than suits and golf attire.

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