- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 5, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) - A new study estimates that fewer than 2 million people have newly enrolled in Medicaid as a result of President Barack Obama’s health care law.

The figures released Wednesday by the market-analysis firm Avalere Health are well below a statistic of 6 million people often cited by administration officials. The administration’s number also includes people renewing their coverage.

Medicaid is a safety-net health program for low-income people. About half the states have accepted a program expansion in the health law.

Avalere said it estimates that between 1.1 million and 1.8 million people were added to Medicaid rolls through December as a result of the law.

That includes people eligible for the expanded version of the program, as well as some who were already eligible but had not previously enrolled.