Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) on Monday mounted a defense of Obamacare, declaring that enrollment in the law's insurance exchanges was "picking up speed" after a "rocky" rollout.
Speaking on the Senate floor, he said it was time for Republicans to give up their "fantasy" of repeal.
"It's time for my Republican colleagues to give up their fantasy of repealing the law that's already benefiting tens of millions of Americans and start working with us to make the Affordable Care Act succeed instead," he said.
Here's the portion of his remarks on Obamacare:
"I remind my Republican colleagues that the Affordable Care Act is the law and has been the law of the land for four years. And it was upheld by the Supreme Court. As Democrats have predicted for months, enrollment in the Affordable Care Act exchanges is picking up speed as we approach the new year. As americans learn more about the benefits of this law, more and more of them are logging on to shop for affordable quality insurance through the state and national exchanges. The rollout of the national Affordable Care Act was rocky, to say the least, when it came out. Congress had to make crucial improvements to other landmark programs such as social security and medicare when they were first enacted as well. These big legislative deals can has some wrinkles in them. It doesn't mean Social Security is bad. It doesn't mean that Medicare is bad. It means they're hard to get started, and it's just the same as Obamacare.
But now I repeat, Mr. President, many of the major problems with the health care law have been fixed hundreds of thousands of Americans are logging on every day to research plans that they think could work for them and sign up for insurance that they know they need. States that embrace the affordable care act, such as kentucky and washington, have also reported successes with their exchanges. And thanks to the health care law and a few short weeks, no one can ever again be denied insurance just because they have a preexisting condition. Because they are a cancer survivor, because they live with diabetes, because they had acne growing up or they're a woman. Because of this landmark law, insurance companies can no longer cancel your policy when you get sick, charge you more -- I repeat -- because you're a woman or set an arbitrary limit on care that you receive. Millions of seniors have saved billions of dollars on medicine because of the affordable care act. Why? Because it closed the gap in prescription drug coverage, the so-called doughnut hole. Millions of young people stayed on their parents health plans and 17 million americans will qualify for tax credits to purchase the coverage they need and coverage they deserve.
There are still problems with the Affordable Care Act, and we can make it better if we work together. But we can't improve the law without help from some reasonable Republicans. It's time for my Republican colleagues to give up their fantasy of repealing the law that's already benefiting tens of millions of americans and start working with us to make the Affordable Care Act succeed instead."