Obama: 7.1 Million Now Signed Up For Obamacare

Photo courtesy of CBS News.

Photo courtesy of CBS News.

CBS News – Before open enrollment closed at midnight Monday night, 7.1 million signed up for private insurance coverage via the Obamacare marketplaces, President Obama announced Tuesday from the White House Rose Garden, with Vice President Joe Biden by his side.

The president the milestone moment to declare that, in spite of split public opinion and continued Republican opposition, the law is without question a good thing for the nation.

“Under this law the share of Americans with insurance is up, and the growth of health care costs is down. And that’s good for our middle class, and that’s good for our fiscal future,” he said. “All told, because of this law millions of our citizens know the economic security of health insurance who didn’t just a few years ago, and that’s something to be proud of, regardless of your politics or your feelings about me.”

The administration managed to meet its initial enrollment goals after a “remarkable surge” on HealthCare.gov in the final days of the six-month open enrollment period, White House spokesman Jay Carney explained earlier. On Monday alone, more than 200,000 people signed up on HealthCare.gov, the site that serves as the portal to Obamacare for 36 states.

The administration did not give any new information on the demographic breakdown of the enrollees, nor did it reveal how many enrollees were previously insured — two pieces of data that could give more insight into how successful the new marketplaces will be.

After HealthCare.gov’s disastrous launch in October, it seemed highly unlikely that the administration would enroll 7 million Americans in private insurance through the new marketplaces, as it aimed to do. Carney noted Tuesday that doubts about the central component of the Affordable Care Act predate the website problems.

“I have seen people say meaningful health care reform could not be done more times than I could count,” he said.

He also noted the Republican Party’s stalwart opposition to the program, from its inception through the ongoing midterm campaigns. “Republicans have spent millions on false ads, they’ve blocked Medicaid expansion in dozens of states… they’ve shut down the government,” he said. “That effort could not stop this law from working.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Tuesday maintained that the Affordable Care Act is a “catastrophe for the country.”

“What we do know is that all across the country our constituents are having an unpleasant interaction with Obamacare,” he told reporters. “Whether they can sign up for a policy or not, what they are discovering is higher premiums [and] higher deductibles.”

Mr. Obama on Tuesday scolded Republicans for their continued opposition.

“Why are folks working so hard for people not to have health insurance?” he asked. “Many of the tall tales that have been told about this law have been debunked — there are still no death panels, armageddon has not arrived.

The president also put the debate in a historical context, remarking, “In the end, history is not kind to those who would deny Americans their basic economic security.”

Mr. Obama did acknowledge that “the law’s not perfect.”

“We’ve had to make adjustments along the way… and yes, at times this reform has been contentious and confusing, and obviously it’s had its share of critics,” he said. “That’s what change looks like in a democracy. Change is hard… but this law is doing what it’s supposed to do.”

The president also predicted more challenges in implementing the law. However, he said, “If we can stop refighting old political battles that keep us gridlocked, we can actually make the law work better for everybody.”

Democratic leaders in Congress similarly hailed the law’s success while acknowledging it is not perfect.

“This is a big bill, and if we had working partners as we used to with Republicans, there are other things we could do to work on this,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said of the law. “But [Republicans] have been determined to do nothing”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., similarly chastised the continued Republican opposition to the law. She said Democrats were committed to the ACA’s principles even as the law faltered and will stay committed to them, even through the election season.

“While the website didn’t work [initially], the principles of the legislation were very, very important and we’re wedded to them as we go forward,” she said.

25 comments

  • Tom Sambo

    Lie after lie. Those of you gullible enough to believe this made up number of 7.1 million are the main reason this country is going down the toilet. You believe anything and everything you hear from these criminals. You beleive anything this lousy, so-called news site writes (or attempts to since very few have shown that ability). You believe without any thought of hearing, and giiving credibility to, a counter argument – no intellectual curiousity whatsoever. So, when the “blank” hits the fan and Obama runs out of other people’s money, what are you going to do then? I’m sure you won’t believe the bank when they tell you your money is gone, wiped out. Or that your welfare check isn’t in the mail. No, you’ll believe the lying snake oil salesman who has taken siege of this once great nation and turned it into the laughing stock of the world. And you’ll forgive him because he didn’t mean to do this. How could the first black president be responsible for his actions? How can we hold Barack Obama accountable for anything? Yes, that’s what you believe. But what does this all really matter as long as you have your pathetic cell phone with your pathetic Facebook and pathetic Twitter? And how could I forget – now you have health care. No you don’t. Because health insurance is not health care. That’s the next surprise. You self-absorbed fools allowed this all to happen. God help those who knew better.

    • arnold fudpucker

      Nice rant. I feel your pain and understand it completely. The productive people in this society are at their rope’s end. The backlash needs to begin. First step is to throw out the liberal bums and replace them with people who are not career politicians. We need to get term limits on the federal level to keep these selfish creeps from manipulating the system to their benefit.

  • Joe Delaney

    7.1 million signed up after 5 million lost their insurance. Who knows how many have actually paid the premiums and how many of that 7.1 are on subsidies i.e. we the tax payers are covering the cost for them. Was taking over a 6th of the economy really worth covering another 1 million when 50m are still uninsured? Lousy socialiats.

  • joesumone

    Now that the initial enrollment period is over, why not have an independent third party go through those name that signed up and verify who is authentic and who is fake. I’m pretty sure a Seymour Butz is on the list a few times.

  • Sarah 1

    Very sad to read the comments. I was without health coverage due to a childhood illness and now I have excellent coverage at an affordable price. These are not lies.
    Every major first world country has health insurance and we were 27th in the world UNDER Puerto Rico in health coverage and care of her citizens.
    If Romney had been elected and surpassed seven million participants in health care the conservative folks would be dancing in the street. It is very sad you mistreat this president and you can rant all day that you are not racist but it comes out in every hateful word you type.
    Kudos to our president who has maintained his dignity in the current political climate of our country.
    I hope you aren’t pew sitters on Sunday and the rest of the week, haters of anyone who doesn’t agree with you,

  • Joe Delaney

    Sarah, crying racism an extremely weak argument in the face of facts. If thats all you have then your argument clearly fails. Premiums have gone up more since obamacare than the previous 8 years put together. 5 million who were happy w their plans have been booted to make way for a plan where tax payers get to front the cost. This sort of continued spending and redistribution will crash the economy. The government was never supposed to feed and cloth us. And i dare you to go to any of those countries that supposedly have better systems than us and find better care in reality. It will not happen I promise you.

    • Sarah 1

      Mr. Delaney I assure I am well traveled and have current knowledge of health coverage in other countries.
      I am not ‘crying’ racism, the words are stated evidence. Stop watching Fox News and look your information up in factually responsible sites.
      Hearsay does not warrant facts. Even Fox News apologized yesterday for erroneously featuring untrue news about the Affordable Care Act. I was surprised but the conservatives can get on board or be left behind.
      Again, thank you to the Arkansas Republican House for passing health care marketplace in Arkansas. We will not forget your help in our poor state.
      Also sir you did not respnd to my Romney suggestion?

  • Joe Delaney

    And in Which country, in your travels, did you find had better healthcare pray tell? Your arguments are indeed cute. Racism and Fox News. No facts, just emotion. Please do enjoy that healthcare that was provided to you at the cost of 5 million folks who lost their insurance, a massive defict, and through the money that us productive folks pay in taxes. Indeed you should be proud of your dependence. At least according to our dear leader. Im not going to speculate about Romney whatifs.

    • Sarah 1

      Your rhetoric using condescending language of a misogynist such as ‘crying, ‘cute’, ‘dependence’ and ‘emotion’ does not fly with me.  You have rudeness rather than facts.
      Per my new insurance I am paying an affordable premium based on my age. Thankfully pre-existing conditions was not prohibitive in my insurance choice.
      Germany and Japan actually have excellent health benefits and they spend much less per person and their longevity exceeds our citizenry.  Carnegie Mellon professor Paul Fischbeck figured that by the time American patients are 85-years old, health care costs between $40,000 – $45,000 was spent per person. Germany, the next highest nation in expenditures only spends $10,000 on their citizens yet they live much longer and are much healthier. 

      Your comment about the deficit is interesting. The massive deficit began in 2002,  including Medicare Prescription Plan unfunded by former President Bush as well as two wars on a credit card, the bank bailout, the housing debacle, an unprecedented depression beginning in 2007, and then it was all dumped on President Obama’s lap in his new presidency.

       Of course I am sure you have studied the facts but the war was trumped up by Mr. Bush’s cabinet and Vice President. The conservatives immediately complained about the ‘debt’ as soon as Obama was sworn in. Well now you know where the debt came from, Economics 101. 

  • Joe Delaney

    I agree that bush was completely an out of control spender but obama and the socialiats have run up the $17 trillion we’re in the hole now. Again though, i do love the classics “its Bush’s fault!” Extremely cute. Such a victim. And again, im very happy that you have age appropriate healthcare now and i hope very much that you’re actually the one paying for it. How about those 5 million that were paying for it on their own and lost their policies so you can have yours? Neither Germany nor Japan’s systems service over 300 million people like ours. The shear volume of people that the US services skews the numbers a bit. Their systems may be adequate but I still challenge the notion that their care is superior. You may be right avout what older people pay for care even though medicare and medicaid both should absorb much of that cost. However, under the new system, those older folks are going to be subject to an auctarial approach to care. That being, they wont have to spend much because the sysytem wont pay to help someone get from 84 to 85. So much for independence and choice.

  • Kevin

    Sarah I’ll give it to you real simple I’ll take away the facts and figures and all the political bs. Health insurance and health care or anything in this crazy world doesn’t just become magically affordable or cheaper. Someone has to pay for it and I’ll bet its the taxpayer although I’m sure you have some wild explanation. Bottom line I really don’t care what kind of hardship, misfortune, bad luck, etc etc..that you or anyone else has I don’t want one penny of my tax dollars going towards your or their health care and I also don’t one penny of yours going towards mine.

  • Sarah 1

    Cute? Stop with the misogyny.

    There is NO actuarial approach for our elderly. STOP with the fear-mongering.

    The Affordable Care Act mandates that health insurance plans include certain services within all of their policies. If they do not include certain policies, they are no longer legal under the ACA and must begin to provide those services to the people insured under policies that don’t meet those standards or discontinue those policies. Certain insurance companies would rather discontinue those policies and as a a consequence, the people insured under those policies are being dropped from them.  
     
    You have to realize that this is the choice of the companies to drop consumers because they would rather stop receiving their business than improve their standards as per government regulation. The aim of creating these standards is to mitigate the corruption in health insurance and prevent basic services from being insured by exorbitant policies only (these instances target people with specific health needs despite the fact the services needed to accommodate those needs aren’t expensive themselves). This isn’t a facade, but it also isn’t a consequence of an evil socialistic government trying to give healthcare to everyone by taking healthcare from some. It’s a consequence of capitalism and capitalists trying to keep their profit margins wide and refusing to provide a standard set of services to all their consumers. 

    I will not reply to you again. You do not have a mind to learn, you have your mindset and facts obviously do not matter.

  • Sarah 1

    Kevin: I appreciate your honesty and being forthright.

    How do you feel about your tax dollars going to build six million dollar bridges in Alaska? Bridges that go nowhere?

    How do you feel about Senator John Boener working 167 days per year yet drawing a pay package of $223,500.00 which does not include the stipends for home rental or purchase, staff, vehicles, at a total of $477,874.00 which does not include any travel, hotel etc? Or a fantastic retirement package that begins at $60 grand a year. Most retirees are trying to get by on twelve to twenty thousand a year and being jerked around for needing food stamps.

    The NIH spent $422,340.00 to study male prostitutes in Vietnam, is that okay with you?

    Yet you come on a local news website and complain about taxpayers helping citizens of the United States with medical costs?

    This may be difficult to understand but with the Affordable Care Act medical costs will decline making costs affordable for everyone the way it should have always been. Remember when a doctor would come to your home to see a sick child and he charged twenty-five dollars? Well there is no feasible reason physicians should earn fifty times what the average worker earns.

  • Kevin

    Sarah I can go on all day with wasted tax money the point is INDIVIDUALS I’ll say it again INDIVIDUALS one more time INDIVIDUALS who get something for nothing, one more time, Something for nothing. I work and work and work and guess what no tax refund for me I had to pay in then I go to walmart and see all those food stamp cards getting scanned people getting free health care free phones free child care free freee free free. Guess what my reward is for not needing help from the government. NOTHING let me say it one more time for you NOTHING. So for working hard I get Nothing. Oh and FYI Doctors get paid 50 times more cause their education cost 50x more and its not easy. How about becoming one and stop zapping my tax dollars.

  • Sarah 1

    Kevin how can you equate medical care and feeding the poor to the useless waste of taxpayer dollars. A bridge to nowhere in Alaska? Come on? Individuals are more important than corporations, tax havens, etc. Our country was built on the backs of people, or individuals as you call them. If you are seeing people using food stamp cards, getting free phones, free child care, why not look the other way? Why not shop in an upscale shop? Judging these people who are down on their luck is venomous. You don’t know their circumstances.

    Once I got a little annoyed when this huge Hummer parked in a handicapped space. The guy flipped the cardboard hang tag up on the rear view mirror. Then he walked around to the passenger rear door and lifted a very elderly and frail woman out and carried her in the store, later on I saw them and she was in a chair/shopper.

    Maybe your heart needs to be searched? Do I help individuals or do I help corporations with huge retirements, a jet to buzz around the Canary Islands, and making ten to twenty thousand dollars a week from the stock market? I have went to bat with you before Kevin and I know you are a good person. You may be angry at the wrong people.

    I have cracked many books.

  • Kevin

    Wow I’m glad I live in Arkansas I cant imagine living in California where everyone is like you.

  • Kevin

    What else can I say Bob, Sarah spouts off something she heard from some liberal news network. I never spout off things I hear on the news and pretend I know them like you guys do. I seriously doubt Sarah or anyone has actually read the healthcare law. I’m stating obvious things such has nothing on earth magically gets cheaper. If you can think of something that is cheaper now then it was 10 years ago please let me know.

  • Kevin

    Sarah spouts off all those silly things like I’m really gonna look it up so it may or may not be true what she says. Sarah basically defeats the whole purpose of an argument with some of these silly facts. Some people watch liberal hippie news and some people watch conservative news the facts they state will be completely different there is no such thing as honest news these days so I try to avoid stating “facts” from either and keep it what we actually see and experience.

  • Kevin

    FYI Sarah yes someone getting something for nothing such as food stamps etc is way worse then building a bridge to no where. I bet If you look into it the bridge originally wasn’t going to go to nowhere but the EPA probably stopped construction (to do an endagered fly) to what it was supposed to go to. Liberal websites probably say one thing Conservative websites another. You gotta watch them all Sarah or you get one sided stories.

  • Sarah 1

    Kevin’s words: “. If you can think of something that is cheaper now then it was 10 years ago please let me know.”
    My list:
    Televisons, smart phones, car batteries, Harley Davison Motorcyles, Levi’s jeans, keyboards, computers, school supplies, typing paper, DVD players, CD players, radios, children’s wagons, various toys, Wal-Mart stock, trades on Wall Street, checking accounts, homes have come down in price as well. Most people lost equity in their homes in 2007. In Springdale a three bedroom one bath brick could be purchased for thirty grand, Nike tennis shoes, bayer aspirin, airline tickets. There’s more but this should keep you busy for a few minutes.

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