The health-care exchanges opened under the law enrolled 7 million people by the March 31 deadline, meeting expectations.
Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of Health and Human Services responsible for the fumbled roll-out, resigned April 11.
The final signup for the exchanges was extended to April 15 to accommodate people lining up at the 2014 cutoff date for the first year of open enrollment.
Today, President Barack Obama announced that enrollment in the first phase of the healthcare exchanges intended to offer coverage for the uninsured in America, the backbone of his signature Affordable Care Act of 2010, has reached 8 million.
Thirty five percent who have enrolled are under 35, he said.
“The Affordable Care Act is now covering more people at less cost than most people would have predicted a few months ago,” Obama said at a podium in the press briefing room of the White House this afternoon. It’s not only the exchanges that are working, he said: “Since the law took effect, health-care spending has risen more slowly than at any time in the last 15 years.”
“The share of Americans with health insurance is up, the cost of insurance is down,” he said. “No American with a pre-existing condition like asthma or cancer can be denied coverage.”
“This thing is working.”
Republicans “still can’t bring themselves to admit that the Affordable Care Act is working,” Obama said. “I know every American isn’t going to agree with this law, but I think we can all agree that it is well past time to move on… These endless, fruitless repeal efforts come at a cost.”
“Their party is going through the stages of grief,” he said, answering reporters’ questions. “They’re not at acceptance yet.”
“At some point,” he said, “they’ll make the transition.”