No, it wasn’t an April Fool’s joke. The Obama administration scored 7 million enrollees by its March 31 deadline. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testified in Congress last year that the health care program would be successful if it hit this mark, and the victory laps are here.
In an afternoon press conference, President Obama addressed a cheering crowd, saying that despite several lost weeks out of the gate, 7.1 million have signed up for the Affordable Care Act and, “There’s no reason to go back.” (Sebelius did not join Obama and Biden on the dais.)
— Josh Lederman (@joshledermanAP) April 1, 2014
He jabbed his critics for spending millions of dollars on attack ads, and he blamed governors in some states for not expanding Medicaid coverage."Why are people working so hard for people not to have health insurance?"
Cue the ebullient tweeters:
— DCCC (@dccc) April 1, 2014
Today there are more than 7 million new reasons why health care reform matters. Thanks for fighting for it: http://t.co/8dH2WvMheB
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) April 1, 2014
Are Republicans still pushing to repeal the lifeline for millions of newly-insured Americans? #7MillionAndCounting
— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) April 1, 2014
Yet there’s a healthy dose of skepticism online. Many are asking questions about other important numbers – like the 47 million people who will remain uninsured according to the CBO. No information is available on how many enrollees have paid for their new health care, or on the number of people who signed up who were uninsured.
If Obamacare will hit 7 million sign-ups as the AP report, that is one serious last month surge. pic.twitter.com/8fsijgs8rL
— Sarah Kliff (@sarahkliff) April 1, 2014
— Ben Howe (@BenHowe) April 1, 2014
The Obamacare numbers are shovel ready redlines that you can keep if you like. #LapDogMedia
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) April 1, 2014
— Reince Priebus (@Reince) March 31, 2014
— Matt Wuerker (@wuerker) April 1, 2014
For those “Breaking Bad” fans out there, yes, there is an ObamaCare tie-in. One tweeter wonders if lead character Walter White, high school chemistry teacher turned meth dealer, could have avoided his pivot to the dark side.
— Shahid Kamal Ahmad (@shahidkamal) April 1, 2014
Who knows. But we’re sure glad he went bad.
Another day, another Koch brothers hit from Harry Reid.
— Jon Ralston (@RalstonReports) March 31, 2014
Is this strategy going to keep going until the midterms are over? As Nevada journo Jon Ralston says … ugh.
Lauren Ashburn joined the network in 2013 and currently serves as a Washington-based contributor for FOX News Channel (FNC). On MediaBuzz with Howard Kurtz, Ashburn contributes commentary on the state of the news media shaping current events, their role in politics, cultures, business, and tech. Click here for more information on Lauren Ashburn.