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Obama launches health care enrollment push

President Obama has kicked off a new effort to encourage as many Americans as possible to sign up for health insurance.
President Obama Makes Statement On Affordable Care Act
U.S. President Barack Obama embraces Monica Weeks, who introduced him and also benefitted from provisions of the Affordable Care Act, on Dec. 3, 2013 in Washington, DC.

President Obama kicked off a new push to promote the Affordable Care Act on Tuesday, an effort he will continue through the end of the year in an effort to encourage as many Americans as possible to sign up for health insurance.

In remarks at the White House, flanked by Americans who have personally benefited from the law, the president trumpeted the many improvements made to since its troubled debut on Oct. 1. He also implored Americans to revisit the site to explore health plan options.

“We need people now that we’re getting the technology fixed," Obama said. "We need you to go back and take a look at what’s going on, because it can make a difference in your lives and lives of your families. Maybe it won't make a difference if you’re feeling healthy, but if someone in your family, heaven forbid, gets sick, you’ll see the difference.” 

White House officials announced Sunday that the administration met a self-imposed Nov. 30 deadline to fix the glitch-plagued site, claiming around 400 software bugs have been fixed and that the site can now handle 50,000 users at a time.

Still, Republicans have not relented in their crusade to upend the law. Before Obama even spoke Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell criticized the appearance, saying “another campaign-style event won’t solve the myriad problems facing consumers under Obamacre.” And House Speaker John Boehner argued that Obamacare is “not just a broken website,” adding, “This bill is fundamentally flawed.”

Obama pushed back hard on the Republican assault he described as "rooting for the law to fail."

“We’re not repealing it as long as I’m president. We will make it work for all Americans,” Obama said. He challenged critics across the aisle to put forward a viable alternative to the health care law. 

“Despite all the millions of people who are benefitting from it, you still think this law is a bad idea, you’ve got to tell us specifically what you’d do different to cut costs, cover more people and make insurance more secure. You can’t just say the system was working with 41 million without health insurance.”

The Obama administration plans to hold an event every day until Dec. 23—the enrollment deadline for getting coverage by Jan. 1. Obama insisted is working better with each passing day, saying 500,000 Americans will be gaining healthcare coverage by the first of the year and that number will “keep on growing.”