But the one thing he forgot to say in touting the seven million Obamacare enrollee number was to say "April Fools!" (UK Daily Mail).
A triumphant President Barack Obama declared Tuesday his signature medical insurance overhaul a success, saying it has made America's health care system 'a lot better' in a Rose Garden press conference.
But buried in the 7.1 million enrollments he announced in a heavily staged appearance is a more unsettling reality.
...The president took no questions from reporters, but celebrated the end of a rocky six-month open-enrollment period by taking pot shots at Republicans who have opposed the law from the beginning as a government-run seizure of one-seventh of the U.S. economy.
'The debate over repealing this law is over,' he insisted. 'The Affordable Care Act is here to stay.'
The president also chided conservatives 'who have based their entire political agenda on repealing it,' and praised congressional Democrats for their partisan passage of the law without a single GOP vote.
White House press secretary Jay Carney stopped short of saying 'I told you so,' but chided a sparse press corps in the briefing room at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for ever doubting that the Obamacare system would enroll more than 7 million Americans.
'At midnight last night we surpassed everyone's expectations,' he boasted, 'at least everyone in this room.'
While he took great pains to emphasize that the total would grow – saying 'we're still waiting on data from state exchanges' – he dodged tough questions about other statistics that reporters thought he should have had at the ready.
Those numbers included how many Americans have paid for their insurance policies, and are actually insured. Also, he had no answer to the thorny question of how few signups represented people who had no insurance before the Affordable Care Act took effect.
...The Affordable Care Act carried with it the promise of covering 'every American,' and it appears to have fallen tremendously short.
The unpublished RAND study – only the Los Angeles Times has seen it – found that just 23 per cent of new enrollees had no insurance before signing up.
And of those newly insured Americans, just 53 per cent have paid their first month's premiums.
If those numbers hold, the actual net gain of paid policies among Americans who lacked medical insurance in the pre-Obamacare days would be just 858,298.
Obama's Rose Garden speech included an acknowledgement that the Affordable Care Act 'has had its share of problems,' and has at times been 'contentious and confusing ... That's part of what change looks like in a Democracy.'
But 'there are still no death panels,' he joked amid laughter. 'Armageddon has not arrived.'
A standing ovation greeted him after his speech. A White House aide said the crowd consisted of '"organizations and stakeholder groups who helped lead the enrollment and outreach efforts, as well as Hill lawmakers and staff from HHS, CMS and other agencies involved in implementing the ACA.'
Not among them: Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathlen Sebelius, the administration official most responsible for the Obamacare program's implementation. She also did not appear in the White House press briefing room earlier in the afternoon.
But Carney and White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough distributed donuts to reporters in the press center on Tuesday morning – presumably without checking with the first lady – and eagerly pitched talking points to journalists writing about the milestone day.
Questions remain about the effectiveness and affordability of Obama's plan, which he sold to congressional Democrats and the American people as a scheme to cover the uninsured, and about how the law is contributing to the spiraling cost of medical care.
It is one thing that the President and his party, who shamelessly and falsely accused President Bush of manufacturing lies about WMDs to go to war in Iraq, can lie with such impunity and regularity about our economy, unemployment and health care. It is another thing entirely when the supposed watchdog media become nothing but trained seals clapping at approval without examining everything this President says, and inquring people have to turn to a British news source for the truth about what this Regime says.