A bit of a mystery here: The presidential seal has just been placed at the podium where Press Secretary Jay Carney normally delivers his daily press briefing, indicating the president will address the media. However there's no indication as of yet as to what he'll be talking about—or whether this will be a full-fledged press conference.
12:20 PM PT: Still no word on what the topic will be, but an ACA/Obamacare related announcement seems likely. MSNBC seems to suspect the same.
12:41 PM PT: Here's the president. He starts out by sending America's deepest condolences to the families of those whose lives were lost in the tragic ferry accident in South Korea.
12:43 PM PT: Now, onto the meat: "We now know that the number of Americans who have signed up for private insurance has now grown to 8 million people, 35 percent of whom are under age 35."
12:43 PM PT: "All told, experts say millions of Americans" who did not previously have insurance are now covered, Obama says.
12:44 PM PT: President Obama makes the case, citing CBO figures, that ACA will boost the economy by expanding health care security and reducing the growth in health care costs—and that the bill's price tag will be even lower than predicted.
12:46 PM PT: To sum it up: "This thing is working." He adds: "We now know for a fact that repealing the Affordable Care Act" would increase the deficit and harm health care. And he says he still cannot understand why Republicans refuse to accept this fact. "It's well past time to move on as a country and focus not he issue that the American most care about, and that's the economy." Endlessly seeking repeal "comes at a cost" says the president. "The repeal debate is and should be over." Focus on what matters instead, he says.
12:50 PM PT: First question comes from L.A. Times, on Ukraine and developments in Geneva talks. Obama says "we can't be sure of anything" but "there is the possibility" of a diplomatic solution. Of the meetings in Geneva: "Lengthy" and "vigorous" conversation. The question now, Obama says, is whether Russia will use its influence to restore the stability that its actions have eroded, but the jury is still out and will be for at least several days, he says.
12:51 PM PT: House GOP reacts:
Like 1998 all over again.