• 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

    Anchorage man hopes to revitalize Ahtna language with new children’s book

    by Heather Hintze on Dec 17, 21:32

    It all starts with a story. “Ndoxe Tiziyaas?” asked Grant Rebne. That’s half of the title of his new children’s book, with the other half translating to English as “Where are you going?” Rebne hopes the book will inspire people to learn and preserve his native language, Ahtna. “Our language shows our culture,” Rebne said. “It’s who […]

  • News

    Alaska Zoo takes in orphaned bear cubs

    by Bonney Bowman on Dec 17, 21:21

    Two orphaned black bear cubs will have a second shot at life thanks to some TLC at the Alaska Zoo. One of the cubs, a 29-pound male, was found living under a porch in Eagle with an infected bite wound. The other, a 15-pound female, is from Kasilof. She was very underweight, according to zoo executives. […]

  • Weather

    Evening News weather, Dec. 17

    by KTVA Weather on Dec 17, 19:34

    Kenai Peninsula and Prince William Sound Sun starts to peek through towards Homer. Southeast Expect rain towards the south and mostly cloudy skies towards the north. Interior and North Slope In the Interior, skies will be mostly cloudy. On the North Slope, skies will be cloudy with early fog. Mat-Su Valley Sun makes a come […]

  • News

    2 Alaskan women receive Congressional Gold Medal for WWII service

    by Lauren Maxwell on Dec 17, 19:26

    Two Alaskan women share a special honor. Jean White and Jane Soeten were recently awarded a Congressional Gold Medal in Washington, D.C. for their volunteer service in the Civil Air Patrol during World War II. White is 93 years old and has lived in Anchorage for over 50 years. Soeten, 87, moved to Wasilla two years ago. […]

  • News

    200 baby turtles rescued at Anchorage airport

    by Shannon Ballard on Dec 17, 18:24

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seized more than 200 live, baby turtles that were being smuggled to China for the food and pet trade in September. As the turtles made their way through Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport in September, officials discovered them packed inside boots, according to the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium. As […]

  • News

    Sony cancels Christmas release of ‘The Interview’

    by CNN / AP on Dec 17, 15:59

    WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama says his administration is taking the cyberattack against Sony studios seriously. He says people should “go to the movies.” Sony said Wednesday it was canceling the Dec. 25 release of “The Interview” after many theaters said they would hold off on screening the film. Threats have been made against theaters […]

  • DayBreak

    On the couch with vlogger Cory Williams, Dec. 17

    by Daybreak Staff on Dec 17, 15:04

    Video blogger Cory Williams, better known as DudeLikeHELLA, returned to the original frozen lake that made the “coolest sound ever” when he skipped rocks on it. This time, however, he was welcomed by the scariest sounds ever, he says. “I start walking out and then all of a sudden these crazy noises, like the Loch […]

  • News

    Anchorage police seek help finding 13-year-old runaway

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Dec 17, 15:03

    Anchorage police are seeking the public’s help finding a 13-year-old runaway. Kayleas Gray was last seen at her Chugach Way residence Tuesday night. She was reported missing Wednesday morning around 8 a.m., according to a statement from the Anchorage Police Department. Neither friends nor family have seen or heard from Kayleas since, police say. Kayleas is […]