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Health care sign-ups surge – will they save Dems?

  • President Barack Obama , accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden speaks about the Affordable Care Act, Tuesday, April 1, 2014, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

    President Barack Obama , accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden speaks about the Affordable Care Act, Tuesday, April 1, 2014, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

  • President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden, speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 1, 2014, about the Affordable Care Act. The deadline to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act passed at midnight Monday night. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

    President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden, speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 1, 2014, about the Affordable Care Act. The deadline to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act passed at midnight Monday night. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

  • President Barack Obama, followed Vice President Joe Biden, arrives speak in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 1, 2014, about the Affordable Care Act. The deadline to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act passed at midnight Monday night. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

    President Barack Obama, followed Vice President Joe Biden, arrives speak in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 1, 2014, about the Affordable Care Act. The deadline to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act passed at midnight Monday night. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

  • President Barack Obama walks from the Oval Office to the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 1, 2014, to speak about the Affordable Care Act.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

    President Barack Obama walks from the Oval Office to the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 1, 2014, to speak about the Affordable Care Act. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

  • President Barack Obama arrives to speak in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 1, 2014, about the Affordable Care Act. The deadline to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act passed at midnight Monday night. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

    President Barack Obama arrives to speak in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 1, 2014, about the Affordable Care Act. The deadline to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act passed at midnight Monday night. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

  • Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sits in the audience as she waits for President Barack Obama to make a statement on the Affordable Care Act, Tuesday, April 1, 2014, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

    Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sits in the audience as she waits for President Barack Obama to make a statement on the Affordable Care Act, Tuesday, April 1, 2014, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

  • President Barack Obama, followed Vice President Joe Biden, arrives speak in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 1, 2014, about the Affordable Care Act. The deadline to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act passed at midnight Monday night. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

    President Barack Obama, followed Vice President Joe Biden, arrives speak in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 1, 2014, about the Affordable Care Act. The deadline to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act passed at midnight Monday night. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

  • President Barack Obama , accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden speaks about the Affordable Care Act, Tuesday, April 1, 2014, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
  • President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden, speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 1, 2014, about the Affordable Care Act. The deadline to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act passed at midnight Monday night. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
  • President Barack Obama, followed Vice President Joe Biden, arrives speak in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 1, 2014, about the Affordable Care Act. The deadline to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act passed at midnight Monday night. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
  • President Barack Obama walks from the Oval Office to the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 1, 2014, to speak about the Affordable Care Act.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
  • President Barack Obama arrives to speak in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 1, 2014, about the Affordable Care Act. The deadline to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act passed at midnight Monday night. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
  • Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sits in the audience as she waits for President Barack Obama to make a statement on the Affordable Care Act, Tuesday, April 1, 2014, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
  • President Barack Obama, followed Vice President Joe Biden, arrives speak in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 1, 2014, about the Affordable Care Act. The deadline to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act passed at midnight Monday night. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Mocking his critics, President Obama boasted yesterday that 7.1 million people have signed up for his health care law, an unexpected comeback after a disastrous rollout sent his poll numbers plummeting and stirred fears among Democrats facing re-election this fall.

“The debate over repealing this law is over,” he declared.

Despite lingering problems with the website, a late wave of enrollments pushed sign-ups higher than critics and even the White House had believed possible. Still, the administration hasn’t determined how many of those people have closed the deal by paying their first month’s premiums. Also unclear is how many were previously uninsured – the real test of Obama’s health care overhaul. The law also expanded coverage for low-income people through Medicaid, but only about half of the states have agreed to implement that option.

The administration also hasn’t yet released an updated demographic breakdown of enrollees, such as the number of younger people whose participation is critical to the law’s success.

The late enrollment surge may do little to change the political dynamics heading into the midterm elections, particularly for Democrats running in conservative states where the health law and the president himself remain deeply unpopular. Even Obama’s advisers acknowledge that the public’s views on the law are unlikely to shift significantly between now and November.

Still, with millions of people now receiving health benefits under the law, Democrats see an opportunity to undercut Republicans still pushing to repeal Obamacare. And GOP lawmakers, wary of overplaying their political hand, are indeed grappling with whether to press forward with repeal or narrow their focus on replacing the law with different health measures.

In a preview of his party’s midterm messaging, Obama declared that while the health law isn’t perfect, “the Affordable Care Act is here to stay.”

“Why are folks working so hard for people to not have health insurance? Why are they so mad about the idea of people having health insurance?” he asked a group of administration officials and supportive members of Congress in the White House Rose Garden.

Underscoring his point, Obama quoted from letters he said he had received from people helped by the law. But Republicans responded in a new round of their own quotes from people complaining about rapidly rising rates.

“The band may be playing in the White House, but hearts aren’t light for Americans struggling to afford Obamacare’s higher costs,” said a release from the Senate Republican Communications Center.

The president’s remarks amounted to a victory lap for an administration that botched the start of the long-planned enrollment period for the insurance marketplaces at the center of the landmark law. The enrollment website was riddled with technical problems, and a flurry of private policy cancellations forced Obama to recant his pledge that Americans who liked their health insurance plans could keep them.

The Congressional Budget Office had originally estimated that 7 million people would enroll in the health exchanges this year, the CBO lowered those expectations to 6 million due to the website woes. Even inside the White House, that first estimate looked out of reach until recently.

Politically, the law has created huge headaches for some Democrats facing re-election in November, helping to wipe away the party’s prospects for taking control of the House and putting its Senate majority in jeopardy.

Geoff Garin, a Democratic pollster, said the politics behind Obamacare will shift as more Americans feel personally invested in the overhaul – either because they’re getting care through the exchanges, staying on their parents’ plans or benefiting from patient protections.

Still, he said the law is likely to remain unpopular in states where Democrats are fighting many of their toughest races, including Louisiana, Arkansas and Alaska. White House officials have encouraged candidates from those states to emphasize their eagerness to fix parts of the law that aren’t working rather than shy away from the measure as a whole.

One senator who appears to be following that blueprint is Mary Landrieu, a Louisiana Democrat facing a difficult re-election fight. Landrieu said of the law yesterday, “I continue to push to make it work even better.”

Most public polling shows the law’s opponents outnumber supporters, and nearly all surveys show it attracts few backers outside the ranks of the Democratic Party. For example, just 3 percent of Republicans and 12 percent of independents said they backed it in the latest AP-GfK poll. Democrats have also lost their advantage as the party more trusted to handle health care.

However, polling also suggests that most Americans oppose repealing the law and instead favor changes. Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida said that offers Democrats an opportunity to paint Republicans as working to deny Americans something they already have.

“Now Republicans will be trying to take those benefits away from 7 million people,” she said in an interview.

Seeking to head off that argument, some Republican leaders are encouraging want their party to focus more on replacing the health law than repealing it. Among their considerations is whether to offer a comprehensive proposal or piecemeal measures, as well as whether to keep the more popular elements of Obama’s law such as leaving children on their parents’ plans until age 26.

But the desire among Republicans to fully dismantle Obama’s signature achievement remains tempting, especially for Tea Party members who have significant clout in the House. Speaker John Boehner declared Monday that House Republicans will keep working to repeal the law, and he announced yet another vote this week to undo a portion.

The Tea Party-aligned group Americans for Prosperity announced plans yesterday to spend more than $500,000 on television assailing Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor, one of this year’s most vulnerable Democrats. The ad features a man lamenting how his health plan was canceled and is part of a $35 million Obamacare onslaught the group has launched since September against Democrats including Pryor, Alaska Sen. Mark Begich and North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan.

AFP’s president, Tim Phillips, said, “We’re first and foremost holding accountable for this law the senators who voted for it.”

Both parties had closely watched a special House race in Florida last month for signs of the health law’s political implications. Democrat Alex Sink accused her opponent of championing a return to the days when insurance companies had free reign. She lost – to Republican David Jolly, who aired ads and fortified his campaign website with promises to “replace Obamacare.”

Strange when the numbers were low in the early months, the right wingers were ready to accept the White House numbers but when the numbers are high they won't accept them The wouldn't believe the employment numbers when they dropped in 2012 and they wouldn't believe the polls that Obama was going to win. Heck, Karl Rove wouldn't even believe the numbers after Romney lost. These are people that live in a world of fantasy and refuse to face reality if is something they don't want to believe like children. I

It will be critically important for supporters of healthcare reform like the ACA to stay ahead of the rightwing flack excreted since 2009, and that has only increased in volume and intensity since the website faltered. Now that the numbers are in, and the ACA has met its initial enrollment target, Democratic politicians who voted for the ACA need to remember they have spines, own their votes proudly, and remind voters of the many positive attributes of this reform act. The ACA is far from perfect, but it's the most comprehensive effort at reform of our broken healthcare/ insurance system in decades. Eventually, we'll arrive at single-payer, universal coverage: recall Churchill's quote about counting on the U.S. to do the right thing--after exhausting all other options. We've about exhausted those options. Barring a turn to the hard right in this country that lasts more than one congressional cycle, we could see single-payer in the next administration. But a turn to the hard right lasting longer would be, in concert with recent Supreme Court decisions, the final phase in turning the nation into an oligarchy/kleptocracy, akin to Russia, and spell the end to what's left of our fragile democracy. Oligarchs like the Kochs are working diligently to undermine messy democracy--it gets in the way of business as usual. More of us need to "get in the way".

"we could see single-payer in the next administration"...really? So when Obama states "The debate over repealing this law is over," Obama said. "The Affordable Care Act is here to stay." ...its just another in a long list of lies about Obamacare?

Reading your posts Bruce, is pretty much always the same. You never own up to anything your party does. Except to state they do everything right. You also would get the impression that big money influence in Politics just comes from one Party. Evidently you never heard of Soros, Hollywood and Unions that influence your party. I do hope the Dem candidates will own the ACA. From what I have read though, they are running away from it. They are not running away from it because Reps dislike it, they are running away from it because more and more Dems are disliking it.

57% of the big money donated by Repubs and 43% by Dems in last election.

Ladies and Gentlemen: the first two posts are examples of...........sour grapes.

yep..you're first!

Yeah, it is funny how they could not come up with the numbers of how many folks have paid their premiums, how many folks signed up that already had insurance , how many were renewing their Medicaid and the age groups of the signups. Yet they are out there doing the victory dance that the ACA is on it's way. They really do count on folks being dumb as dirt.

Funny, I've always thought it was the far right that depended on folks "being dumb as dirt". That's why they're always busy trying to destroy public education by lying about it, and promoting vouchers and privatization, or making up stories about voter fraud everywhere, or inventing and repeating endless conspiracy theories about climate science, Benghazi, Obama's background and education. And on and on. How do they find the time?

VOTER FRAUD IS REAL. "Dems’ Voter-Fraud Denial How do you address a problem they insist doesn’t exist?" North Carolina’s Board of Elections .... found 35,750 voters in her state whose first and last names and full date of birth match with someone in another state who also voted in the 2012 election. Remember: In 2008, Barack Obama only carried North Carolina by 14,177 votes out of 2.3 million cast." That my friend is VOTER FRAUD

You are right on target. In fact, that number of the same name and social security number is just one person and that name and social appears over 150,000 times in four states. ABC news covered that in about 10 seconds, never read it in the Monitor? Moreover, states are trying to purge voter rolls of dead people and the DOJ is fighting it. Democrats and progressives are great at pointing the finger but not acknowledging real FRAUD. The press is part of the issue as well.

The GOP is using false and misleading claims of "voter fraud" to justify its efforts at suppressing the vote. Why? Because the GOP knows that's the only way it can continue to hold onto many of the Red states--Texas for example--that are or will be majority non-white soon. When the facts on the claims of voter fraud are examined in detail, the claims of the posters above can be seen for the fabrications they are. In NC, in 2012, "nearly 7 million ballots were cast in the general and two primary elections. Of those 6,947,317 ballots, the state Board of Elections said 121 alleged cases of voter fraud were referred to the appropriate district attorney's office.That means of the nearly 7 million votes cast, voter fraud accounted for 0.00174 percent of the ballots. Looking back at the 2010 election cycle -- which was not a presidential year -- 3.79 million ballots were cast and only 28 cases of voter fraud were turned over to the appropriate DA's office. So in 2010, voter fraud accounted for 0.000738 percent of ballots cast." http://www.wncn.com/story/22934120/widespread-voter-fraud-not-an-issue-in-nc-data-shows "The notion that the board found over 35,000 cases of voter fraud—or even one case—is flatly false. With the investigation not yet even underway, the board, headed by Republican Kim Strach, hasn’t come close to concluding that any specific case involved double voting.  And there are very good reasons why it’s held off. First, it helps to understand statistics. The political scientist Michael McDonald and election law scholar Justin Levitt have shown in a detailed statistical study that the number of people who share a name and birthdate is much higher than it might at first appear. (Just for fun, take the RNC’s Spicer. Though his name is less common than many, online records show 20 different Sean Spicers who were born on September 23rd, his birthday.) That statistical reality, McDonald and Levitt conclude, has big implications for how to treat potential cases of illegal voting. http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/voter-fraud-north-carolina-not-so-fast-0 The cross-check of North Carolina voters was conducted by the office of Kris Kobach, the controversial Secretary of State in Kansas. A long-time Republican political operative, Kobach is known nationally as the architect of legislation cracking down on immigrants in Arizona and elsewhere, as well as severe voting restrictions. Kobach launched the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program in 2005 as a free service to states -- almost exclusively those led by Republican lawmakers -- to flag voters who may be casting ballots in multiple states in the same election, which is a felony. Kobach and the state officials who have embraced his cross-check program say it has been a "success" in rooting out fraud, but there's little evidence to support the claim. When asked in October 2013, Kobach's office couldn't provide any evidence of a single instance in which the Interstate Crosscheck's data had led to an actual legal charge of voter fraud. In another PowerPoint [pdf] by Kobach's office boosting the Interstate Crosscheck, a slide highlights the program's alleged "Success in Kansas." But the data points only to 14 cases "referred for prosecution" out of millions of voter records analyzed, and doesn't confirm any where charges where actually raised, much less a voter convicted. Across the country, the pattern is the same: A (usually Republican-led) state joins Kobach's program, runs a check and announces large numbers of potential voting irregularities. But when it comes to proving actual fraud, the claims are quickly undermined. http://www.southernstudies.org/2014/04/whos-driving-north-carolinas-latest-voter-fraud-hy.html

For Bruce. Sources you used: www.southernstudies.org: The Institute for Southern Studies is a non-profit media and research center based in Durham, North Carolina that advocates for progressive political and social causes in the Southern United States". Source: MSNBC-cherry picked source and more biased than FOX could ever be. Moreover, if ONE person is disenfrachised because of sloppy voter practices it is an issue. The bottom line is that you need an ID for everything but the only logical reason that progressives would not want an ID is because they want to cheat. Illegals do vote but they should not.

Public Education is not being destroyed by lies. You cannot lie about test results, you can make excuses for those results, but the bottom line is our kids are not learning the basics. Common Core will make that process even more complicated just like all the new programs have done. Our schools are focused on social issues, and taking over parenting roles. Schools are basically expensive day care centers. Great teachers are not rewarded, and lousy teachers are allowed to keep their jobs. Any conspiracy theories have been generated by this administration hiding information. They do not provide information when requested. When caught, they state they miss spoke or what they said was taken out of context. They play the I had no clue till I read it in the paper game. We still do not know what happened in Benghazi, Lerner takes the fifth and Hillary did not see that memo. No info coming forth here, yet you folks on the left are fine with that. Dumb as dirt is appropriate, considering the left wants to stay comfortably numb about fixing anything, but instead seeks to promote their agenda, even if parts of that agenda do not work or end up adding more problems.

The last time I checked, private and charter school students were much more accomplished and tested better than "public" school students. Our education compared to many Asian countries is substandard, we focus too much on social agenda and less on what they need to learn. North Carolina has been investigating and found one name and social security number appears on voter rolls over 4 states 150,000 times, that is not voter fraud. Climate science is NOT settled, I posted the other day, facts proving that, scientists are baffled by statistics. Benghazi is an issue as while it was happening, Obama was out fundraising, good job Barry! Well we know that Obama got ahead through preferences and no one seems able to produce his grades......that would be interesting....not a deal breaker but he sure has demonstrated that he is not the most intelligent person in the world.

Not quite. On test scores (ignoring the fact that we've NEVER been at or near the top of international tests, and also ignoring the fact that these tests are mostly multiple choice, and rely on drill and kill--at which the top scoring countries excel, that is not the same as learning to think critically or creatively. http://commonhealth.wbur.org/2013/12/standard-test-fluid-skills A closer look at test scores, adjusting for social class, bumps the U.S. up considerably--poverty matters, and we have a lot of it, and its victims get tested a lot: "If U.S.
adolescents had a social class distribution that was similar to the
distribution in countries to which the United States is frequently
compared, average reading scores in the United States would be
higher than average reading scores in the similar post-industrial
countries we examined (France, Germany, and the United Kingdom),
and average math scores in the United States would be about the
same as average math scores in similar post-industrial countries. “A re-estimated U.S. average PISA score that adjusted for a student
population in the United States that is more disadvantaged than
populations in otherwise similar post-industrial countries, and for
the over-sampling of students from the most-disadvantaged schools
in a recent U.S. international assessment sample, finds that the
U.S. average score in both reading and mathematics would be higher
than official reports indicate (in the case of mathematics,
substantially higher). “This re-estimate would also improve the
U.S. place in the international ranking of all OECD countries,
bringing the U.S. average score to sixth in reading and 13th in
math. Conventional ranking reports based on PISA, which make no
adjustments for social class composition or for sampling errors,
and which rank countries irrespective of whether score differences
are large enough to be meaningful, report that the U.S. average
score is 14th in reading and 25th in math." http://www.epi.org/blog/international-tests-achievement-gaps-gains-american-students/ As for charter schools: They routinely toss out the kids who can't cut it--special ed, behavior issues. They drill and kill to get their test scores up. They suck at the public teat, while having little or no accountability for how they spend that money, while also getting lots of funding from foundations and hedge fund managers. Despite their diligence at cherry-picking their students and teaching to the tests, their results are often mediocre at best, and often worse. Here are some links below. If you were the slightest bit interested in the topic, rather than in continuing to "think what you already believe,” you would discover what can only be described as an assault on public education--one of the foundations of our democracy for nearly 2 centuries. Or as the opponents of public education call them--"government-run socialist schools". But that much--and little else--you already knew, as you cheerlead the continued assault on public education coming from all sides--Obama, Arne Duncan, ALEC, Walton Foundation, Gates Foundation, and on and on. http://politics.suntimes.com/article/chicago/push-charter-schools-little-difference-test-scores/mon-04072014-422am#bmb=1 http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/columns/column-charter-schools-fail-to-boost-achievement/2172950 http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/05/opinion/charter-school-refugees.html?ref=opinion&_r=2

Source: www.epi.org, from Wikipedia: "The Economic Policy Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit American think tank based in Washington, D.C.[2] EPI presents a liberal[3] viewpoint on economic issues. EPI has a sister organization, the EPI Policy Center, which is a 501(c)(4) organization" Source: wbur.org-public radio, left leaning slant and opinion. The epi.org quote was from a "blog" and therefore opinion.

If there is one thing we know to be true about Mr Obama, its that he's not above lying about Obamacare. Already the recipient of lie of the year, and then his defense of that lie also a whopper, I think we will have to wait and see if his claims hold true by someone more reputable.

Death Panels !!! Government takeover ! Job Killer ! Deficit Buster ! Lies of the decade.

I believe that honor goes to " the Iraqi's have weapons of mass destruction."

Sorry, wrong decade...Lie of this century?

That Bill Clinton was quite a liar...He also said he didnt have sexual relations with that woman...Miss Lewinsky. But getting back on point re Obama and Obamacare...neither of you two using nonsense arguments will change the fact Obama DID lie about Obamacare..and then did lie about the lie...just like our mothers always said would happen.

Well, let's be fair, it depends what the definition of "is" is.

Yes, Veritas, all true........Obamacare is dirty legislation, passed under dirty circumstances and it is killing jobs, controlled by the government, makes end of life decisions but refusing treatment and Democrats, progressives and Obama lied. You point?

And who would that be? Some of your top Republicans that have lied about it from the get go and prayed for it to fail because they have nothing else to run on?

Another nonsense argument. Obama has repeatedly lied about Obamacare...and has lied about his lies. I'd sooner take enrollment numbers from a used car salesman..Face it.,,Obama has no credibility when it comes to numbers and Obamacare.

While you of course have the "real" enrollment numbers, from the "real" sources of "real" facts. Except reality does have a liberal bias, forcing you down the rabbit hole of right-wing ideology more often than not.

If reality does have a liberal bias...the reality is Obama has received the "lie of the year"award for his lies about Obamacare, and lied about his lie to add insult to injury. Even the far left Kessler gave him 4 Pinocchios. Thats the problem with lying about your lies...no one believes you if you do tell the truth..and rightly so.

Go see the "Unknown known." if you want to find some real lies. A person can not lie unless they know they are lying. Obama was MISTAKEN, the insurers dropped the insured. It would have been a ridiculous lie for Obama to tell because the truth would come out as it did, Not that this will stop you and Itas and Rabbit from repeating yourselves over and over.

there is some real pretzel logic going on in that comment...laughable.

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