Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
March 30, 2015

Obama Boasts Health Care Enrollment Hits 8 Million, Talks Immigration, Highways (Updated)

(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images File Photo)

(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images File Photo)

Updated 4:38 p.m. | President Barack Obama said Thursday that 8 million people have signed up for health insurance coverage in the marketplaces set up through the Affordable Care Act, and whacked Republicans for “endless, fruitless repeal efforts.”

We are “now covering more people at less cost,” Obama told reporters gathered for an impromptu statement in the Brady Briefing Room. “The bottom line is … this thing is working.”

The president also said the data show 35 percent of people who signed up are under the age of 35, a critical factor to the exchanges working and keeping costs down.

Obama went after Republicans, saying “they were wrong” to try and get rid of his signature domestic achievement and that they “have no alternative answer for millions of Americans.”

“I find it strange that the Republican position on this law is still stuck in the same place that it has always been. They still can’t bring themselves to admit the Affordable Care Act is working,” Obama said.

He said he believes Republicans are going through “the stages of grief … anger, denial and all that stuff. They’re not at acceptance yet.”

“We’re not at acceptance yet, but at some point my assumption is, is that there will be an interest to figure out how we make this work in the best way possible,” Obama added in response to a question about to work to fix flaws in the underlying law.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was quick to respond to the president’s remarks, saying that Obama had omitted any mention about “the millions of Americans who were deceived about what Obamacare would mean for them and their families.” The Kentucky Republican said “countless” Americans have been “forced out of the plans they had and liked, are now shouldering dramatically higher premiums, and can no longer use the doctors and hospitals they choose.”

McConnell closed his statement by calling for a repeal of the ACA and a replacement: “It’s long past time for Washington Democrats to work with us to remedy the mess they created — and that means repealing this law and replacing it with real reforms that actually lower costs.”

During his brief news conference, Obama said he is “puzzled” by the GOP stance on the health care law. The president said “this isn’t about me,” but because Obamacare is the “primary agenda item” in the Republican platform he doesn’t predict that will ease before November.

He said he expects insurance premiums to rise, but noted that health care spending has increased more slowly than it has in recent years.

Obama also pushed for an agreement on infrastructure, an issue he suggested would be a better focal point than the health care law.

“I think that I speak for all Democrats in saying we would much prefer a constructive conversation with the Republicans about how do we get some stuff done, and — and let’s focus on some areas where the American people really care about,” Obama said, pivoting to transportation. “Why aren’t we coming up with a way to make sure that we’re rebuilding our roads and our bridges and improving our air traffic control system. There’s no reason that has to be political. There really isn’t any ideological disagreement on that.”

“I guarantee you, after this winter if you look at the potholes that are the size of canyons all across big chunks of the United States that people would like to see an infrastructure bill,” he said. “Let’s get it done.”

In the Senate, Environment and Public Works Committee leaders have announced a tentative path forward for a highway bill reauthorization, but there’s an open question how the Finance Committee will make up a serious funding shortfall (roughly $16 billion per year above the funding provided by the Highway Trust Fund).

Obama also discussed the situation in Ukraine and bipartisan immigration legislation he believes House Republicans should put for a vote on the floor.

He described his Wednesday immigration-related conversation with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., as “pleasant,” prompting laughter because Cantor had complained in a statement late Wednesday that the president does not know how to work with Congress.

The president said he understands it is “hard politics” for the GOP but that overhauling the “broken” immigration system is necessary. “The only way to truly fix it is through congressional action,” Obama said. He said he would review policy “one more time” to see if there is any more executive action that can be taken to ease deportations and the hardship on families. But it was clear he puts the onus on Congress.

“It’s a matter of political will,” Obama said. “It’s no longer a matter of policy.”

Related stories: 

White House, on Obamacare High, Ranks POTUS With LBJ

Obama, Democrats Have 7 Million Reasons for a Victory Lap

Get breaking news alerts from Roll Call on your iPhone or in your inbox.

  • oysterbay

    Nothing, I say nothing that this fraud says can be believed. Spin, spin spin, and then declare victory. The most inept WH ever!!!!

  • Layla

    Political will? Tell THAT to the millions who have LOST their health insurance because of what you have done. Tell that to those undergoing treatment for cancer now being denied their meds and doctors.

    My God, your arrogance is astounding.

    • Ro

      And YOUR PATHALOGICAL LIES are Typical !of a FALSE News Ditto Head !

      SEEK MENTAL HELP !….SOON ! ( It’s COVERED by Obama Care ! ).

  • mrbill

    He’s a legend in hi own mind.

  • shamu9

    I’ll bet my last money that not 2 million have PAID the Premium!! The White House is now “The House Of Bull Sheite”!

  • Gyst53

    1) Pg 22 mandates that the
    Government will audit books of ALL EMPLOYERS that self insure. So every
    employer in the United States will be subjected to a health insurance audit
    just as all taxpayers are subject to audit. Of course, we will have to pay for
    an entire new bureaucracy to do this–the Internal Health Revenue Service?

    2) Pg 30, Sec 123 states that there will be a government committee that decides what treatments you are allowed and what your overall benefits are.

    3) Pg 29, lines 4-16 basically
    mandates the rationing of health care as is being done in Canada.

    4) Pg 42 recognizes the power of the
    Health Choices Commissioner to determine your health benefits. You will have no choice.

    5) Pg 50, section 152 states that
    free, taxpayer-paid health care will be given to the 30 million non-citizens in
    the USA, even illegal aliens.

    6) Pg 58 states that government will
    have possession of all your health care records & history including
    finances and you will have to have a National ID Health card.

    7) Pg 59, lines 21-24 gives direct
    access to your banks accounts to compel you to pay any out-of-pocket or premium costs electronically without your previous consent.

    Paradoxical Quote of the Day from Ben Stine: 4/10/14
    “Fathom the hypocrisy of a government that requires every citizen to prove they are insured (or pay a penalty)…but not everyone must prove they are a citizen.”
    Now add this, “Many of those who refuse, or are unable, to prove they are citizens will receive free insurance paid for by those forced to buy insurance because they are citizens.”
    AND SO ON and SO ON….

  • Ro

    Yes ! Mr.President IT IS Working !
    ( Even though My Premiums are To High !,But that’s another story. )

    And here is the TYPICAL republiCON(job) Response :

    La La La La La La La La La La….Obama Care Bad !….La La La La La Lla La La La La….I DON’T CARE about FACTS !….

    • Layla

      Ro, the FACTS are that several million lost the healthcare policies they already had because of this law. Why was that necessary?

      And lastly, this President couldn’t run a girl scout troop without dividing people and turning them against one another. He has been a huge disappointment in that regard.

      This country needs a President for us all.

  • brunsk42

    If it was working there wouldn’t have been 27 changes to it and the worst parts wouldn’t have been delayed until after the mid terms or 2016 after you leave office. You are basically handing this horse manure off for the next president to deal with……

  • Marcy Says

    He lied.. America is Rejecting Obama and his care package.!

  • Feler S23

    Trading the futures is where the new money is at the best website I’ve found so far is a place called Traders Superstore Google them and you should be able to find them. I have all four of their courses and now trading for myself. The futures is where all the action is now and I never knew how much money there is to make in trading the futures until now.

  • Santiago Alemedia

    Instead of finding more ways to circumvent immigration law, Mr. President, you could and should be finding ways to protect legal residents, legal immigration and making sure those in this country legally have jobs. The laws are already there, but you don’t care apparently about helping those whom you made an oath to when you took office. Many of us unemployed voted for you and now you turn your back on us and pander to illegals who have stolen our jobs.

  • drthomasedavis

    The GOP and the Boehner cabal are the real reason I am now an Independent Christian, Constitutional Conservative. This currently floundering do-nothing congress following in the footsteps of the two before are existing proof that the existing multi-party system does not function to the benefit of our republic. Rather than numerous attempts to repeal ‘Obamacare’ they should have repealed Obama. the lying, misleading, dysfunctional and blowhard excuse for the faux president he is. Every Democrat executive beginning with Jackson but excepting Truman, has been a disaster. The Republicans have been only a tad better. But without Ronald Reagan, they too would be equine excrement. We the people, the republic’s masters, have been egregious wronged. Wilson and his Socialist agenda, stupidity, philandering and monumental ego delivered the Income Tax, Federal Reserve and enactment of the XVII th Amendment handing the Chief Executive unintended leverage. FDR attempted to purloin the SCOTUS, deliberately circumvented the law and led us into a most costly war; JFK lied about “the Bay of Pigs” and disgraced the nation with his womanizing and notorious extra-marital affairs; LBJ the first “Stolen Valor” president and a major suspect in the assassination of Kennedy, also an arrogant, bullying braggart and notorious philanderer. None of us can ever forget the “No Class” Carter and “Slick Willy” Clinton, the lying Saxophone playing hippie, womanizer extraordinaire and impeached scoundrel. Politicians are a wretched lot, Lies, Pork, arrogance, nepotism, and dirty deals are their stock in trade.
    Dr. Thomas E. Davis, Colonel, USA (ret)

  • Truth Happens

    Why would anyone believe them? That would be defined as maximum gullibility. They have lied at every turn.

  • bjork

    I had Insurance!!! I loved it….His plan came a long and has put me in the poor house with medical bills that at one time would have been paid by my insurance. Got a sore hip and BAM… 1 shot 221.00 OMG! MRI (ME) 289.00 (INSU) 116.00 Emergency room 804.00 (ME) 789.70 (INSU) 14.35 – Inhaler was 20.00 now 47.50 and it goes on.

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...