• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
3m 17s

Obamacare “is working,” time to move past political fight, Obama says

By Stephanie Condon / CBS News 3:00 PM April 17, 2014

About 8 million Americans signed up for private insurance on the new Obamacare marketplaces, President Obama announced Thursday.

“This thing is working,” Mr. Obama said from the White House briefing room, scolding the Republican Party for keeping up its call to repeal the law. “I know every American isn’t going to agree with this law, but it’s well past time to move on as a country and focus our energy on the issues that people are most concerned about.”

The new enrollment data comes about two weeks after the six-month open enrollment period on the Obamacare marketplaces came to a close. The president pointed to other data points suggesting the law is working. For instance, 35 percent of those who signed up for private Obamacare plans are under 35 years old, the administration says. Health care experts have said that the marketplaces would need younger, healthier adults to make up about 40 percent of the marketplace in order for it to stay robust.

Mr. Obama also pointed to a recent report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office suggesting that its costs will be lower than expected. Furthermore, he noted, since the law was passed in 2010, health care spending has risen more slowly than at any other time in the past 50 years. The real Medicare cost per person has nearly stopped growing, he said, while the life of the Medicare trust fund has been extended by 10 years.

Mr. Obama said he found it “strange” that Republicans “still can’t bring themselves to admit the Affordable Care Act is working.”

“I recognize that their party is going through, you know, the stages of grief, right?” he said. “Anger and denial and all that stuff. And we’re not at acceptance yet. But at some point, my assumption is, is that there will be an interest to figure out, how do we make this work in the best way possible?”

He specifically chided Republican state leaders who have chosen not to expand Medicaid “for no other reason than political spite.”

In 2012, the Supreme Court let states opt out of the Obamacare policy of expanding Medicaid (a joint federal-state program) to everyone below 138 percent of the federal poverty line. So far, 26 states and the District of Columbia have decided to expand the program. Data shows that there are about 5 million people who fall in the “Medicaid gap” — their states have not expanded Medicaid, but they can’t afford private insurance on the Obamacare marketplace. Those 5 million, consequently, have been left without insurance.

“That’s wrong. It should stop,” Mr. Obama said Thursday. “Those folks should be able to get health insurance like everybody else.”

New data examining the rates of Americans without insurance has illustrated the clear disparity between red states and blue states.

The president on Thursday also reiterated that military options are not on the table in Ukraine.

“What we have to do is to create an environment in which irregular forces disarm, that the seizing of buildings cease, that a national dialogue by Ukrainians — not by Russians, not by Americans, or anybody else, but by Ukrainians – takes place, they move forward with reforms that meet the interests of the various groups within Ukraine, they move forward with elections, and they start getting their economic house in order,” he said.

While the U.S. and other nations belief Russia has had a part in the chaos there, he said “there is an opportunity for Russia to take a different approach.”

“We are encouraging them to do so. In the meantime, we’re going to prepare additional responses, should Russia fail to take a different course,” Mr. Obama said. “We’ve already had an impact on their economy. That is well-documented. It could get significantly worse.”

© 2014 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Latest Stories

  • News

    More Olympic woes for Rio as doping control lab shuts down

    by CBS News on Jun 28, 8:36

    Just over five weeks before the Summer Olympics get underway, Rio is still ill-prepared to host the games. Police say they are underpaid and Rio’s acting governor admits the games could be a “big failure” because of budget shortfalls. Now, the doping control lab that was set up to make sure athletes don’t cheat is closed, reports […]

  • Crime

    Fugitive sought by US marshals with warrant dies by suicide

    by Associated Press on Jun 28, 7:49

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – The U.S. Marshals office says a man sought on a federal warrant killed himself Monday night in Anchorage as officers approached his motorhome. Marshals say Brendan James Doyle shot himself at about 6 p.m. Doyle was being sought as a felon in possession of a firearm. Marshals and an Alaska State […]

  • News

    Native corporation seeks to invest more in southeast Alaska

    by Associated Press on Jun 28, 6:33

    KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) – A southeast Alaska Native corporation has announced it will hold its next annual shareholder meeting in a remote village on Prince of Wales Island as it looks to invest further throughout the region. The Ketchikan Daily News reports (http://bit.ly/28ZOwtM ) that Sealaska CEO Anthony Mallott says having the 2017 meeting in […]

  • Lifestyle

    Return of the RV: 5-star camping is on the rise

    by Liz Raines on Jun 27, 22:54

    Many out-of-staters are now picking wheels over water when it comes to making the most of an Alaskan summer. After taking a hit during the 2009 recession, the sale and rental of recreational vehicles (RV) is on the rise. According to Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), RV shipments nationwide dropped dramatically between the summers of […]

  • Sports

    Chinooks’ skipper beats the odds, returns to Alaska and the baseball diamond

    by Dave Goldman on Jun 27, 22:44

    Walk around Alaska long enough and someone will tell you they’re “living the dream.” Jon Groth can relate. The Chugiak Chinooks head baseball coach made a triumphant return to the diamond and his team after a season long absence in 2015. It could have been longer. Groth had led the Chinooks since 2012. But in the fall of 2014 he suffered a […]

  • Lifestyle

    ‘Parade of Bears’: Bright, colorful bears to find permanent homes in Anchorage

    by Shannon Ballard on Jun 27, 21:59

    Fifteen full-size bears arrived in Anchorage over the weekend. They’re not grizzlies or black bears—they’re made of fiberglass and are part of a public art exhibit, much like other animal statues that have been featured in major cities around the world. Local businesses paid about $1,750 to sponsor one of the bear sculptures and chose artists […]

  • Lifestyle

    Preventable deaths: What you can do if someone is overdosing on drugs

    by Alexis Fernandez on Jun 27, 21:53

    As the Anchorage Police Department tries to figure out what led up to the death of 45-year-old Darlene Kunayak, they want to encourage the public to call 911 if they see someone in a possible overdose situation. APD believes Kunayak died of a heroin overdose on May 7. Autopsy results showed no signs of foul […]

  • News

    Top command change coming to JBER

    by Bonney Bowman on Jun 27, 21:33

    In just two weeks, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson will have a new commander. Col. Brian Bruckbauer’s two-year post is coming to an end. He called Alaska a “dream assignment” and said leaving will be bittersweet for him and his family. As the so-called “Mayor of JBER”, Bruckbauer said when he first arrived in Alaska, handling the […]