President Obama came out swinging in a surprise news conference yesterday afternoon. The President discussed Ukraine, but he focused on healthcare. The President said 8 million people have now enrolled in ObamaCare. He also slammed Republicans for continuing to block Medicaid expansion in some states, and for continuing to try and repeal his signature legislation. President Obama said of Republicans,
"They still can't bring themselves to admit that the Affordable Care Act is working. They said nobody would sign up; they were wrong about that. They said it would be unaffordable for the country; they were wrong about that. They were wrong to keep trying to repeal a law that is working when they have no alternative answer for millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions who'd be denied coverage again or every woman who'd be charged more for just being a woman again. I know every American isn't going to agree with this law, but I think we can agree that it's well past time to move on as a country and refocus our energy on the issues that the American people are most concerned about, and that continues to be the economy, because these endless, fruitless repeal efforts come at a cost."
Republicans were quick to call foul. Senator Barrasso of Wyoming typified the reactions. In a statement, he said
"While the President repeatedly pats himself on the back over the number of people that were forced to sign up for his insurance scheme, millions of Americans are experiencing real and significant repercussions. The President has now taken to mocking those that point out the negative consequences. The impacts are very real.
It's clear that the President remains totally focused on coverage instead of care. He is either ignoring reports from across the country-or he isn't hearing them. Either way, he is out of touch with Americans who have lost their doctor, had their insurance cancelled and watched their premiums spike all because of this failing law."
We'll have some analysis of the new numbers and the politics of it all as we go through the show today.
Meantime, The Associated Press reports today Democratic strategists are now advising Dems NOT to talk about the economy. Hopefully we can figure out what it's all about.
The President also talked about the sinking of that ferry off the coast of South Korea. They are investigating what happened to the ship to cause it to sink. At least 28 are dead, and 270 are still missing (and feared dead). Police say a high school vice principal rescued from the doomed ferry was found hanged, and prosecutors are asking a local court for an arrest warrant for the captain of the doomed vessel.
Despite a diplomatic deal between the U.S., Ukraine, the E.U. and Russia, Ukrainian militia loyal to Russia aren't abandoning buildings they've taken over in Eastern Ukraine. President Obama sounded a skeptical tone about diplomacy in his news conference yesterday. The President saying "we have to be prepared to potentially respond to what continue to be, you know, efforts of interference by the Russians in eastern and southern Ukraine."
12 are dead in an avalanche on Mount Everest.
Another day of searching for an American Navy sub hunting the Indian Ocean floor for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
Good Friday ceremonies and services going on today to honor the life of Jesus Christ. The Easter holiday and Jewish Passover coincide this year.
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