WASHINGTON, April 1 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday hailed the progress made in his healthcare reform program, popularly known as Obamacare, which has seen more than 7 million people across the country sign up during the six-month enrollment period.
"Six months ago today, a big part of the Affordable Care Act kicked in as healthcare.gov and state insurance marketplaces went live," he said at the Rose Garden of the White House, adding that millions of Americans finally had the same chance to buy quality and affordable health care.
"Last night, the first open-enrollment period under this law came to an end. And despite several lost weeks out of the gate because of problems with the website, 7.1 million Americans have now signed up for private insurance plans through these marketplaces," the president said.
"In these first six months, we've taken a big step forward. And just as importantly, this law is bringing greater security to Americans who already have coverage."
Under the law, the percentage of Americans with healthcare insurance is up and the growth of healthcare costs is down, which is good news for the middle class and America's fiscal future.
The president pointed out that millions of Americans remained uncovered in part because governors in some states have deliberately refused to expand coverage under this law for political reasons.
"But we're going to work on that. And we'll work to get more Americans covered with each passing year," he added.
Obamacare's sign-up system, overwhelmed by computer problems when launched last fall, has been working much better in recent months. The website figures indicate it has been operating at full capacity, but closed to new applicants twice on March 31, the deadline day, due to a flood of last-minute applicants causing technical problems to the fragile system.