President Barack Obama on Thursday announced that 8 million people have enrolled in private health-insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act. He also said that 35% of the sign-ups were in the crucial age range of 18 to 35, and said the numbers proved Republicans had been “wrong” on the issue.
Obama criticised Republicans who he said “can’t bring themselves to admit that the Affordable Care Act is working” and argued the GOP push to repeal Obamacare had come at the expense of productive conversations about creating jobs, improving the economy and raising the minimum wage.
“The point is the repeal debate is and should be over. The Affordable Care Act is working,” Obama said in a press conference from the White House briefing room.
When he opened up the press conference to questions from reporters, Obama was asked whether flaws in the healthcare law can be improved. He said they could, but that it would be more difficult if Republicans maintained their opposition to Obamacare.
“It is absolutely possible, but it will require a change in attitude on the part of the Republicans,” he said.
Obama went on to denounce “certain” Republicans who believe making the Affordable Care Act “better” is “a concession to me.” In that “environment,” Obama said it would be difficult to improve the law.
“I recognise that their party is going through the stages of grief; anger, denial, all that stuff,” Obama said of Republicans. “We’re not at acceptance yet.”
He went on to predict the GOP wouldn’t change its tune until after the mid-term elections in November.
Obama is continuing to take questions from the White House press corps now. You can watch the press conference live here.
This post is being updated.
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