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Topics: Obamacare

Obama: GOP going through 'stages of grief' over Obamacare

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Politics,White House,Barack Obama,Obamacare,Republican Party,Health Care,PennAve,Meghashyam Mali

President Obama mocked Republican opponents of his health care law on Thursday, saying that they were going through the “stages of grief” and that critics should accept that the law is here to stay.

“I recognize that their party is going through, you know, the stages of grief, right?,” said Obama during a press briefing at the White House. “Anger and denial and all that stuff and it -- we're not at acceptance yet -- but at some point, my assumption is, is that there will be an interest to figure out how do we make this work in the best way possible.”

Obama announced Thursday that 8 million consumers had signed up for Obamacare's insurance exchanges and said that the successful enrollment period should end the debate over the law's future.

Republicans, though, say they will press ahead with efforts to undo his signature domestic initiative.

Obama said that he was open to changing parts of the law to make it work better, but said that would “require a change in attitude on the part of the Republicans.”

“I have always said from the outset that on any large piece of legislation like this, there are going to be things that need to be improved, need to be tweaked,” said Obama.

“The challenge we have is, is that if you have certain members in the Republican Party whose view is making it work better is a concession to me, then it's hard in that environment to actually get it done,” he added.

The president said he hoped that after the midterm primary season, Republican lawmakers -- many of whom are being challenged from the right -- would be willing to work with him on improving the health law.

“If in fact this is working for a lot of people, but there are still improvements to make, why are we still having a conversation about repealing the whole thing? And why are we having folks say that any efforts to improve it are somehow handing Obama a victory,” said Obama.

“This isn't about me. And my hope is, is that we start moving beyond that,” the president said. “My suspicion is that probably will not happen until after November because it seems as if this is the primary agenda item in the Republican political platform.”

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