Obama: 8M Have Signed Up for Insurance
He urges Democratic candidates to embrace it
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 17, 2014 4:16 PM CDT
President Obama speaks in the briefing room of the White House Thursday.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(Newser) – President Obama made an unscheduled stop at the White House briefing room today to boast about a new ObamaCare milestone—8 million enrollees. That exceeds the original projection of 7.5 million, reports the Washington Post. "This thing is working," said Obama. The president added that 35% of enrollees are 35 or younger, though he apparently misspoke because a White House fact sheet had a lower figure of 28%. Either way, it's off the goal of 38%. Still, one of Obama's main messages today was that Democrats should embrace ObamaCare in the midterms, notes Politico.

“I don’t think we should apologize for it,” he said. “I don’t think we should be defensive about it. I think there is a strong, good, right story to tell. What the other side is doing and what the other side is offering would strip away protections from those families, and from hundreds of millions of people who had health insurance before the law passed." Obama also spoke about today's deal with Russia aimed at reducing tensions in Ukraine, and the AP reports that he sounded a note of skepticism. "The question now becomes, will in fact they use the influence that they've exerted in a disruptive way to restore some order?"