Obama declares health care law is working - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Obama declares health care law is working

Posted: Updated:

WASHINGTON (AP) - Seeking to regroup from his health care law's disastrous rollout, President Barack Obama on Tuesday insisted that the sweeping overhaul is working and warned Republican critics that he would fight any efforts to strip away its protections.

"We're not repealing it as long as I'm president," Obama said during a health care event at the White House. "If I have to fight another three years to make sure this law works, then that's what I'll do."

Earlier Tuesday, the administration released a 50-state report saying that nearly 1.5 million people were found eligible for Medicaid during October. As website problems depressed sign-ups for subsidized private coverage, that safety-net program for low-income people saw a nearly 16 percent increase in states that have agreed to expand it, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

The White House is trying to cast the health care law in a positive light after the first two months of enrollment for the centerpiece insurance exchanges were marred with technical problems. With the majority of problems with the sign-up website resolved, by the accounting of administration officials, Obama and his team plan to spend much of December trying to remind Americans why the administration fought for the law in the first place.

"We believe that in America, nobody should have to worry about going broke because somebody in their family or they got sick," Obama said, flanked by people the White House says have benefited from the law.

Despite Obama's sunny presentation, officials are furiously working behind the scenes to rectify an unresolved issue with enrollment data that could become a significant headache after the first of the year. Insurers say much of the enrollment data they're receiving is practically useless, meaning some consumers might not be able to get access to benefits on Jan. 1, the date their coverage is scheduled to take effect.

The troubled rollout of the insurance exchanges has contributed to a drop in Obama's overall job approval rating, while also emboldening Republicans and putting Democratic lawmakers facing re-election on edge.

White House officials say that with the worst of the website problems behind them, the president will return to a familiar political argument: criticizing Republicans for opposing the "Obamacare" law without providing their own ideas for solving national health care woes.

"They sure haven't presented an alternative," Obama said. "You've got to tell us specifically what you'd do."

Despite the website troubles, the White House says it is buoyed by high online traffic. On Monday, officials said, the site received about 1 million visitors, though they would not detail how many of those had actually enrolled for insurance policies.

Medicaid sign-ups are proceeding on a separate track. While subsidized private coverage is available to middle class people in all 50 states, the expanded version of Medicaid currently is provided only in states that agreed to accept it. So far 25 states and Washington, D.C., have done so.

Tuesday's report showed that states that expanded their Medicaid programs saw a nearly 16 percent increase in applications during October. States that did not expand saw a smaller, 4-percent increase.

__

Associated Press writer Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar contributed to this report.

 

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • More From wfmj.comHot ClicksMore>>

  • In new walkouts, students look to turn outrage to action

    In new walkouts, students look to turn outrage to action

    Saturday, April 21 2018 9:27 AM EDT2018-04-21 13:27:03 GMT
    (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File). FILE - In this March 14, 2018 file photo, young demonstrators hold a rally in front of the White House in Washington. Another wave of school walkouts is expected as students honor victims of gun violence and push for gu...(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File). FILE - In this March 14, 2018 file photo, young demonstrators hold a rally in front of the White House in Washington. Another wave of school walkouts is expected as students honor victims of gun violence and push for gu...
    Another wave of school walkouts is expected as students honor victims of gun violence and push for gun control.More >>
    Another wave of school walkouts is expected as students honor victims of gun violence and push for gun control.More >>
  • High holiday: Pot fans join 420 smoke-out in San Francisco

    High holiday: Pot fans join 420 smoke-out in San Francisco

    Saturday, April 21 2018 9:04 AM EDT2018-04-21 13:04:26 GMT
    (AP Photo/Josh Edelson). Kenny Boynton smokes a joint  San Francisco, Calif., on Friday, April 20, 2018.  Thousands of marijuana enthusiasts flocked to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park for the annual April 20 celebration of cannabis that culminated wit...(AP Photo/Josh Edelson). Kenny Boynton smokes a joint San Francisco, Calif., on Friday, April 20, 2018. Thousands of marijuana enthusiasts flocked to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park for the annual April 20 celebration of cannabis that culminated wit...
    Thousands of marijuana enthusiasts flocked to San Francisco's Golden Gate Park for the annual April 20 high holiday that culminated with the crowd sparking up at 4:20 p.m.More >>
    Thousands of marijuana enthusiasts flocked to San Francisco's Golden Gate Park for the annual April 20 high holiday that culminated with the crowd sparking up at 4:20 p.m.More >>
  • Trump lawyer must say why he wants porn star's case delayed

    Trump lawyer must say why he wants porn star's case delayed

    Saturday, April 21 2018 9:04 AM EDT2018-04-21 13:04:22 GMT
    (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, file). FILE - In this April 16, 2018, file photo, adult film actress Stormy Daniels speaks outside federal court in New York. A federal judge is set to hear arguments about whether to delay the case of Daniels, who claims she h...(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, file). FILE - In this April 16, 2018, file photo, adult film actress Stormy Daniels speaks outside federal court in New York. A federal judge is set to hear arguments about whether to delay the case of Daniels, who claims she h...
    President Donald Trump's lawyer, whose office was raided by the FBI last week, is seeking to delay a court case brought by a porn actress who claims she had an affair with the president.More >>
    President Donald Trump's lawyer, whose office was raided by the FBI last week, is seeking to delay a court case brought by a porn actress who claims she had an affair with the president.More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms