White House spokesman Jay Carney used a late surge of Obamacare signs-ups to rally Democratic politicians and advocates behind the claim that the program is on solid ground and safe from GOP opposition.
“We’re confident that were going to be where we need to be,” he told reporters during the March 31 daily press conference.
“We will be significantly above six million … [even though] we were in a bad place in October and November,” he said.
With so many people enrolled, “it is a hard case for Republicans to make that in a better world … all those millions of Americans didn’t have insurance,” he claimed.
Carney is trying to rally Democrats’ support for Obamacare, amid political polls showing that the GOP could make major gains in the Senate in November.
Polls also show the Obamacare program is unpopular and expensive, partly because it has imposed such massive changes on Americans’ health care for modest benefits.
In February, a survey by McKinsey & Co. estimated that only 27 percent of new enrollees lacked health care prior to the the Democrats’ creation of Obamacare. Up to five million people lost insurance plans because of Obamcare’s complex rules, which use monthly premiums from young, healthy and wealthy people to subsidize medical care for older, sick people.
In the press conference, Carney evaded multiple questions about Obamacare data, including the number of people who have actually paid their monthly premium. “We don’t have those figures,” he said. “When we do, we’ll get them to you.”
He also punted when he was asked about the number of people in the six million who have signed up after their previous health insurance was canceled by Obama’s regulation. “In some cases, it is hard to measure this,” he said. “What we know is that their will be more people … who did not have [insurance] before,” he said.
Carney argued that the companies working under Obamacare are signing up enough health and young people to offset the likely costs of caring for unhealthy and older people. “We are very comfortable. … [We have] the kind of [demographic] breakdown that we needed demographically for the marketplaces to function effectively,” he said.
Carney also touted a new poll by the pro-Obamacare Kaiser Family Foundation, which shows Obamacare’s unfavorable ratings at 46 percent, down from 50 percent in December. The favorable ratings slipped up to 33 percent to 38 percent.
A new poll by ABC and The Washington Post showed 49 percent support, and 48 percent opposition, for Obamacare.