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In Thursday's press conference announcing that the Affordable Care Act had reached 8 million exchange enrollees, President Obama was asked whether that would mean Democrats would start campaigning on Obamacare. His answer in part:
I think that Democrats should forcefully defend and be proud of the fact that millions of people like the woman I just described who I saw in Pennsylvania yesterday we’re helping because of something we did. I don’t think we should apologize for it, and I don’t think we should be defensive about it. I think there is a strong, good, right story to tell.
He gave them the blueprint for telling that story, here:
[I]f the Republicans want to spend the entire next six months or year talking about repealing a bill that provides millions of people health insurance without providing any meaningful alternative, instead of wanting to talk about jobs and the economic situation of families all across the country, that's their prerogative. At some point I think they’ll make the transition. That's my hope, anyway. If not, we're just going to keep on doing what we're doing, which is making it work for people all across the country.
I'm sorry, I'm going to say one last thing about this, just because this does frustrate me: States that have chosen not to expand Medicaid for no other reason than political spite. You’ve got 5 million people who could be having health insurance right now at no cost to these states—zero cost to these states—other than ideological reasons. They have chosen not to provide health insurance for their citizens. That's wrong. It should stop. Those folks should be able to get health insurance like everybody else.
Democrats can stand behind Obamacare, making the case that it has helped millions of people. But that's just part of the story. The other side of it is that Republicans aren't just fighting to take all that away from the people who just got it—anywhere from 14 to 23 million people—they're keeping 5 million out of coverage. Simply because of politics. People are dying simply because of Republican politics.
Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 10:58 AM PDT.