Health care sign-ups hit 8 million

WASHINGTON – The number of Americans who signed up for private health insurance has grown to 8 million, President Barack Obama said Thursday.

Obama addressed the nation Thursday to discuss the latest statistics of the Affordable Care Act.

He said law is “now covering more people at less cost than most would have predicted just a few months ago.”

He continued with a critic of the opponents of the Affordable Care Act.

“They said nobody would sign up; they were wrong about that. They said it would be unaffordable for the country; they were wrong about that,” the President said. “I find it strange that the Republican position on this law is still stuck in the same place that it has always been. They still can’t bring themselves to admit that the Affordable Care Act is working.”

“They were wrong to keep trying to repeal a law that is working when they have no alternative answer for millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions who’d be denied coverage again,” Obama said.

His comments marked a strong contrast to the tone he took last November as his administration was trying to smooth over the rocky rollout of the federal website, as well as a broken promise that anyone who liked their insurance would be able to keep it under the new law.

Vulnerable Democrats have since tried to place distance between themselves and the health care law, an outcome Obama somewhat anticipated last fall.

“There is no doubt that our failure to roll out the ACA smoothly has put a burden on Democrats, whether they’re running or not, because they stood up and supported this effort through thick and thin,” the President said at a press briefing.

The President added that he felt “deeply responsible for making it harder for them rather than easier for them.”

But after the administration ended up exceeding its original goal of 7 million sign-ups by the end of March, the President and the White House have not been shy in celebrating a victory.

—- CNN contributed to this report.