(CNN) – President Barack Obama called on his fellow Democrats to "forcefully defend and be proud" of the fact that millions of people have signed up for health care insurance through the federal marketplaces, and faulted Republicans who are still angling to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
"I don't think we should apologize for it. I don't think we should be defensive about it. I think there is a strong, good, right story to tell," Obama said Thursday during a rare appearance at the daily White House news conference.
Updated 7:27 a.m. ET, 4/17/2014
Wakefield, Virginia (CNN) - Mark Warner was weaving his way through the crowd on a chilly Wednesday afternoon at the Shad Planking, the annual Virginia fish fry that brings beer-sipping politicos together in the tall pines of southeastern Virginia, when a burly man sporting an NRA sticker approached.
“Senator, did you read the Affordable Care Act before you voted for it?” he asked.
Warner, his brow furrowed earnestly, was prepared.
The Sunday political talk shows waded into controversial territory. Missed them? We've got you covered with the most important parts of Sunday’s political chatter.
2014: Sitting side by side on CNN’s “State of the Union” - a rarity these days on political shows, where members of opposing parties often appear during different segments to talk about the same topics - Rep. Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and Rep. Greg Walden, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, addressed the challenges they both face in the upcoming midterm elections.
(CNN) – Kathleen Sebelius, the outgoing health and human services secretary, said the decision to step down from her post was hers - not the Obama administration's.
After seeing Obamacare through its botched rollout and the eight-week fix period, and past the 7 million sign-up goal after the open enrollment deadline, Sebelius announced last week she would step down, saying Sunday it was a "logical time to leave."
The Sunday political talk shows covered all the top political news of the week, ranging from the deadly shooting at Fort Hood, to a report about interrogation methods at the CIA, to the Affordable Care Act.
If you missed any of the Sunday political chatter, we've got you covered:
Washington (CNN) - A day after the White House claimed victory in its Obamacare enrollment numbers, the group tasked with electing Democrats to the House acknowledged it's still a "tough climate" for Democrats in this year's midterms, but also insisted they still plan to campaign on the health care law.
But Rep. Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said an even bigger focus this year will be renewed attempts by Democrats to clobber Republican Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan on the campaign trail.
Washington (CNN) - Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a possible contender for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, waved off the Obama administration's jubilance over this week’s news that more than 7 million people have signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
“So what that under the threat of a government mandate they are able to get to this target of 7.1 million?” Jindal said Wednesday.
Our morning look Inside Politics:
7.1 million enrolled: President Obama on Tuesday crowed in the Rose Garden about meeting the health care law’s open enrollment goal for private insurance. And he had a message for Republicans who continue to oppose it.
Here’s the good, long, meaty quote from Obama’s speech:
“This law is doing what it’s supposed to do. It’s working. It’s helping people from coast to coast, all of which makes the lengths to which critics have gone to scare people, or undermine the law, or try to repeal the law without offering any plausible alternative so hard to understand. I’ve got to admit, I don’t get it. Why are folks working so hard for people not to have health insurance? Why are they so mad about the idea of folks having health insurance? Many of the tall tales that have been told about this law have been debunked. There are still no death panels. Armageddon has not arrived. Instead, this law is helping millions of Americans, and in the coming years it will help millions more.”
Washington (CNN) - With Obamacare enrollment surpassing the key 7 million mark and the website able to handle record traffic while only experiencing some glitches, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius showed her appreciation to her department's employees.
"Today, as we mark the end of the first open enrollment period for the Health Insurance Marketplace, I want to thank you for the progress we’ve made, together," Sebelius wrote the staff Tuesday afternoon in a note obtained by CNN.
This marks a moment of vindication for Sebelius, who came under withering criticism last fall for the botched rollout of the HealthCare.gov website and some calls for her resignation.