Apr 02, 2014

By Jane Brown

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The U.S. President says his embattled signature healthcare program is “here to stay” after more than 7 million Americans signed up by last night’s midnight deadline.  Barack Obama told reporters the law, nicknamed Obamacare, represented progress and benefitted the economy.  “This law has made our healthcare system a lot better,” Obama said at the White House yesterday, adding that it would lower overall healthcare costs.  Though the reform had at times been “contentious and confusing,” he said, “that’s part of what change looks like in a democracy.  Change is hard.  Fixing what is broken is hard.”

Barack Obama is also praising the achievement of overcoming lost weeks at the start of sign-ups last fall.  The total surpasses a threshold that had once been in doubt because of computer setbacks at the start of sign-ups in the fall.

Republicans who see Obamacare as an inappropriate government intrusion into the healthcare industry and an affront to personal liberty, are not expected to relent in their opposition to the law.  The law also remains controversial among the American public, as some people have seen their insurance costs rise or their old plans cancelled, and others object to having to purchase insurance at all.  The Republicans hope to tap into voter discontent with the law in November’s midterm elections.

(BBC News/The Associated Press)

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