This afternoon President Obama, with a grinning Vice President Biden behind him, announced in the White House Rose Garden that sign-ups for his signature health law had exceeded original projections.
Some 7.1 million Americans have signed up for Obamacare, the president said, by far exceeding the revised projection of 6 million insured after the disastrous roll out of the HealthCare.gov website in October.
The president was clearly enjoying delivering the news: “This law is doing what it’s supposed to do,” he said. “It’s working. It’s helping people from coast to coast.” He seemed bemused by the continuing efforts of Republicans do undo the legislation. “Why are folks working so hard for people not to have health insurance? Why are they so mad about the idea of people having health insurance?”
Republicans were quick to jump on what a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner called Obama’s “victory lap.” “This law continues to harm the American people,” said Boehner spokesman Michael Steel. “Every promise the president made has been broken: healthcare costs are rising, not falling. Americans are losing the doctors and plans that they like – especially seniors suffering under President Obama’s Medicare cuts. Small businesses are afraid to hire new workers, hobbling our economic growth. That’s why we must replace this fundamentally flawed law.”
But Obama had already brushed off such criticisms.
“Many of the tall tales have been debunked. There are still no death panels. Armageddon has not arrived. Instead this law has helped millions of Americans. The debate over repealing this law is over. The Affordable Care Act is here to stay.”
Here’s what some reporters, supporters and critics were tweeting during his remarks:
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Obama: 7.1 million Americans sign up for health care, despite lost weeks at the start.— Phil Elliott (@Philip_Elliott) April 1, 2014
The Biden faces behind Obama = priceless.— Chris Cillizza (@TheFix) April 1, 2014
All of Obama’s examples of the poor getting healthcare coverage could have happened by expanding previous programs not ending the good ones.— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) April 1, 2014
Obama quotes letter from person who got insurance: “I felt like a human being again.” Reminder of how rotten it is to be afraid.— Amy Davidson (@tnyCloseRead) April 1, 2014
Every time Obama comes out to try to defend #Obamacare his high-pitched squealing voice tells me he’s desperate— Jim Lockwood Show (@jimlockwoodshow) April 1, 2014
The happy mood at the White House now that 7.1 million people have enrolled in Affordable Care Act via @cparsons https://t.co/aj9LpWA4AF— Maeve Reston (@MaeveReston) April 1, 2014
Obama warns ACA opponents “history is not kind” to those who seek to block progress— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) April 1, 2014
Spoiler: No. MT @chucktodd: Politically aggressive speech from POTUS. Will D’s running in tough races borrow same rhetoric on the trail?— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) April 1, 2014
“There will be days when the website stumbles. I guarantee it,” @BarackObama says, will be front-page news for media. Snap.— Charles Ornstein (@charlesornstein) April 1, 2014
This is Obama’s “Mission Accomplished” speech. Take a picture.— Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) April 1, 2014