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Strong showing for Obamacare enrollment, as nearly 9M sign up for 2018 coverage

Healthcare.gov (MGN)

The government says about 8.8 million people have signed up for coverage next year under the Affordable Care Act. A deadline surge last week appears to account for the surprisingly strong numbers.

Thursday's update came via Twitter from Seema Verma, head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Total national sign-ups won't be known for weeks, as some states with later deadlines continue to enroll customers.

The latest enrollment numbers come a day after President Donald Trump proclaimed that the GOP tax bill "essentially repealed Obamacare." But the tax overhaul only repealed the health law's fines on people who don't carry health insurance, starting in 2019.

Other major elements of the Obama-era law remain in place, including Medicaid expansion and protection for people with pre-existing conditions.

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