WASHINGTON — President Obama took his second Affordable Care Act victory lap of the month Thursday, announcing enrollments rose to 8 million in the first enrollment period and calling on Republicans to drop their attacks on the law and “move on.”
“The point is the repeal debate is, and should be, over,” Obama said.
It is a marked turnaround from past press events on the Affordable Care Act, when the president apologized for failures on the enrollment website. Obama’s last two appearances at the mics to address the law — first on April 1 and then again on Thursday — were all about how successful the law has been. The president once again turned to his critics and told Republicans it was time to drop their calls for repeal.
“I think we can all agree that it’s well past time to move on,” he said. The president said despite data showing enrollments have beat projections and reports showing the law is having a positive impact on health care costs, Republicans “still can’t bring themselves to admit that the Affordable Care Act is working.”
Obama did not mention the ongoing delays in big portions of the law, such as the mandate requiring employers to offer care and requirements that insurance companies stop offering plans created after Obamacare was signed into law that do not meet minimum Affordable Care Act coverage rules.
The White House was quick to capitalize on the 8 million sign-ups news, blasting out infographics with the hashtag #ACAWorks to reporters as Obama took to the White House briefing room to tout the law.
Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, one of Obamacare’s strongest opponents, didn’t wait for Obama to finish speaking before rejecting his call that the country move on from the Affordable Care Act debate.
“The repeal debate is far from over,” he tweeted. “#FullRepeal.”