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The White House Blames These Two Factors for Obamacare's Unpopularity

Health
The Healthcare.gov website is displayed on a laptop computer arranged for a photograph in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Nov. 4, 2013. The race to construct an online insurance exchange by Oct. 1 spurred the Obama administration to use an expedited bidding system that limited its choice of a builder to just four companies, including CGI Group Inc. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Conceding that the Affordable Care Act is not as popular as the administration would like, White House press secretary Josh Earnest had a simple explanation as to why: dishonest Republicans and a confused public.

“The fact is, we’ve seen the Republicans lie to the American public for years about it,” Earnest told reporters Thursday. “They’ve spent hundreds of millions of dollars to propagate those lies. The fact that there is a little bit of confusion is not surprising to me.”

The Healthcare.gov website is displayed on a laptop computer arranged for a photograph in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Nov. 4, 2013. The race to construct an online insurance exchange by Oct. 1 spurred the Obama administration to use an expedited bidding system that limited its choice of a builder to just four companies, including CGI Group Inc. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Open enrollment for the Obamacare exchanges, or marketplaces, begins Nov. 1. However, Earnest said that because of the GOP's dishonesty, there might be fewer people signing up than there should be.

“It’s irresponsible that we continue to see Republicans spend so much time and energy lying about the Affordable Care Act,” Earnest said. “It doesn’t just have political consequences, it has potentially real life consequences.”

Earnest said not to judge the success of the controversial law by polling results.

“In terms of the success of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, I wouldn’t consult poll numbers, I would actually consult the 17.6 million Americans who have gained coverage since the law went into effect,” Earnest said.

Asked about double-digit premium hikes, Earnest said, “Double-digit increases were quite common prior to the Affordable Care Act going into effect.” He added, “Eighty-four percent of the people who received plans through the marketplace received financial assistance to make it affordable to them. “

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