Topics: Obamacare

Obama: 'The repeal debate is and should be over'

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Joel Gehrke,Barack Obama,Obamacare,Republican Party,Health Care,2014 Elections

President Obama declared an end to the debate about Obamacare, even as Republicans gear up to retake the Senate on a platform built around repealing the law.

"The repeal debate is and should be over," Obama told reporters Thursday. "The Affordable Care Act is working and I know the American people don't want us spending the next two years fighting the settled political battles of the last five years."

A recent Quinnipiac survey cuts against Obama's claim. "American voters oppose the Affordable Care Act 55 percent to 41 percent and 40 percent are less likely to vote for a candidate who supports Obamacare, while 27 percent are more likely and 31 percent say this will not affect their vote," the pollster found on April 2. The same survey showed Obama's personal job approval numbers underwater, at 42 percent approval and 50 percent disapproval.

Moments after declaring the debate over, Obama acknowledged that Republicans disagree. "Their party is going through the stages of grief -- anger and denial, [Republicans are] not at acceptance yet," he said. "It seems as if [repeal] is the primary agenda item in the Republican political platform."

The Republican National Committee plans to build a list of people who lost their old insurance plans due to Obamacare as part of voter outreach in 2014.

"Getting that information [on plan cancellations] and having good data as to who votes, who doesn't vote, voter registration, party affiliation, consumer characteristics, cross-referenced with that kind of information, I think, is important for us to have," RNC chairman Reince Priebus told the Washington Examiner in March.

Obama emphasized that he is upset with Republican governors who have chosen not to expand Medicaid under Obamacare.

"This does frustrate me: States that have chosen not to expand Medicaid for no other reason than political spite," he said.

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