Sebelius: 'Our work is far from over'

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen SebeliusKathleen SebeliusSebelius on GOP healthcare plan: 'I'm not sure what the goal is here' Obama's health secretary to be first female president of American University Leaked email: Podesta pushed Tom Steyer for Obama’s Cabinet MORE celebrated surpassing the 7 million ObamaCare enrollees goal Tuesday but told staff the work is not over.

In a note obtained by CNN, Sebelius told her department’s employees that she appreciated their hard work on the healthcare law. 

"Today, as we mark the end of the first open enrollment period for the Health Insurance Marketplace, I want to thank you for the progress we’ve made, together," Sebelius wrote Tuesday afternoon, according to CNN.

Sebelius applauded the expansion of coverage through Medicaid and that 3 million young people could stay on their parents’ insurance.

"I know that this law has been at the center of much debate and discourse in Washington, but what this enrollment demonstrates is that the Affordable Care Act is working and much needed," she said. 

In the afternoon, President Obama announced the administration had surpassed its goal of enrolling 7 million people by March 31, and said it reached 7.1 million. 

The achievement came after the administration received heavy blowback over technical glitches that plagued the federal portal in the months after it launched in October.

"Our work is far from over,” Sebelius wrote to her staff. “But I hope you will take a moment to pause and celebrate — be proud of the difference you are making in the lives of your fellow Americans.”

The administration recently announced a grace period that allows people who checked off a “special enrollment” box to still enroll past the March 31 deadline. People without health insurance who failed to sign up will face a tax penalty.