With repairs to the Health Insurance Marketplace at healthcare.gov beginning to show promise, President Barack Obama on Tuesday attempted to change the narrative of the faulty federal online exchange and to push back against Republican opposition, with a defiant vow to make the Affordable Care Act — and its centerpiece online exchange — work even if it takes the rest of his term.
As Obama launched a new campaign to highlight the health law — with plans to emphasize a different benefit each day — he accused Republicans of being interested only in repeal without offering an alternative plan.
“My main message today is, ‘We’re not going back,’” Obama said in an afternoon address at the White House. “That seems to be the only alternative that Obamacare’s critics have.
“You’ve got good ideas? Bring ’em to me,” he said. “But we’re not repealing it as long as I’m president.”
Republican opponents of the law say the website troubles are a symptom of bigger problems.
“The American people have been learning about the impact Obamacare will have on individuals and families in the form of higher premiums, disrupted insurance and lost jobs,” Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday. “And they’re becoming increasingly aware of the fact Obamacare is broken beyond repair.”
The only fix, he said, is “full repeal followed by step-by-step, patient-centered reforms that drive down costs.”