Hours ago, a triumphant President Obama opened a can of whoop-ass on opponents of the Affordable Care Act as he announced 7.1 million Americans have already signed up for health insurance through the exchanges - beating even the best estimates of 7 million. The number is likely to inch even higher as individuals who began their application before yesterday's deadline are allowed to finish their sign-ups. Just months ago, pundits were Very Seriously (TM) postulating that it won't even cross 5 million.
The president openly called out Republican governors for obstructing the health care law and keeping millions more who could get health insurance today from getting it (5 million, to be exact, is the number of people GOP governors are denying health care to by refusing a fully federally funded expansion of Medicaid).
"The debate over repealing the Affordable Care Act is over," declared a buoyed Obama, to a standing ovation and to the visible excitement of the best Vice President America has ever had, Joe Biden. The president called on opponents of health reform to explain why they thought well over 15 million people should lose their insurance (combined numbers from exchanges, Medicaid enrollments and young adults able to stay on their parents' plans), more than 100 million Americans should have new benefits like no-copay preventive care taken away from them, and why 8 million seniors should give up $10 billion in savings from the ACA's Medicare Part D reforms.
The president has reason to smile. He and his administration fended off unprecedented Right and Left wing ideological opposition to enact the law, had to fight of ramped up opposition and an uncooperative House that seems to have only one order of business: hold ACA repeal votes, and had to come back from a difficult launch of the exchanges. But the president and his team never lost heart, never lost their nerve, and never gave up on behalf of millions of Americans who needed him. The president came through when the least of these, the voiceless needed him to be their voice, their advocate, their president.
And today, thanks to this man's leadership, we stand here. We stand here having decimated every argument every ideological wingbat made against health care reform. We stand here having won a victory over the forces that would rather let people die than help them get health care. But more importantly, we stand here today because Obama cares.