The Obama administration scored a big political achievement Tuesday, with 7.1 million people enrolling in the president’s signature healthcare program known as Obamacare.
“The Affordable Care Act hasn’t completely fixed our long-broken health-care system, but this law has made our health-care system a lot better,” Obama told administration officials, lawmakers and other supporters in the White House Rose Garden. “The debate over repealing this law is over.”
The administration has now reached the goal it set for itself before the exchanges opened on Oct. 1 2013.
That number does not include those in the exchanges signing up on the last day of enrollment, nor those who had yet to finish because of technical issues that are still occurring in some states programs.
Republicans were quick to release statements disputing the numbers — saying that it was likely some would not pay the first month’s premium.
But former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele admitted Tuesday night on Hardball that efforts to repeal the law would be even more difficult — and potentially troublesome for Republicans who want to make it an issue in this fall’s elections.
Still, the Republican-controlled House has voted some 55 times to repeal all or some of the law — which even withstood Supreme Court scrutiny.
The number of uninsured Americans is also dropping with the new law.
According to Gallup, 15.9 percent of U.S. residents lacked insurance in the first quarter of 2014, the lowest level since 2008.