WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama singles out recent improvements in the economy and says 2014 could be a 'breakthrough year' for the United States.
Obama highlighted reports Friday that the economy grew at a 4.1 percent annual rate from July through September, higher than previously believed.
The economic news, while modest, has been a glimmer of light for Obama in an otherwise difficult year.
Obama also voiced support for proposed legislation that would extend unemployment benefits by three months. The benefits expire later this month for about 1.3 million Americans.
He says jobless assistance should be the first order of business for Congress in January.
President Barack Obama says health insurance sign-ups have surged now that the government's website is working better.
More than a million people have picked a plan since Oct. 1, Obama said Friday, a big jump from the end of November when just 365,000 had signed up.
But HealthCare.gov was down again part of the day.
Unusually heavy web traffic is expected this weekend because of Monday's deadline to sign up so coverage can take effect Jan. 1.
Insurers say the government is still sending them inaccurate data, creating a risk when patients seek care.
Administration officials are scrambling to prevent coverage problems, especially among more than 4 million people whose individual policies were canceled this fall.
Separately, officials said 3.9 million people have qualified for coverage through expanded Medicaid.