(Jonathan Bachman/Reuters)

A few weeks back, the Associated Press reported on an internal Obama administration memo projecting that 500,000 people would enroll under the health-care law by the end of October.

What wasn't made clear in that story was whether that half-million number referred to people buying private insurance, or also included those signing up for Medicaid. That would make a big difference as to whether the administration was hitting projections: About 530,000 people have enrolled under the health-care law, but just about 90,000 have signed up for private plans (49,000 through state-based marketplaces and an estimated 40,000 through HealthCare.gov).

Late Tuesday, an administration official gave us some clarity: The projection in the Associated Press story only applies to private plans. And that would put the federal government way behind their projected sign-up rate.