President makes case for ObamaCare in swing-state Wisconsin

President makes case for ObamaCare in swing-state Wisconsin
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President Obama is building up Democrats’ case for preserving his healthcare law, arming the party with fresh data about its success and heavier attacks against the GOP’s replacement plans.

In Milwaukee on Thursday, Obama announced a new enrollment tally that shows 20 million people have gained coverage since 2013, an increase of 2.3 million people since last fall.

The uninsured rate has dropped 43 percent between fall 2013 and spring 2016 among an unprecedented spike in coverage.

Obama delivered a 20-minute speech in Milwaukee to celebrate the city’s victory in the White House healthcare sign-up challenge this year. About 75 percent of the city’s uninsured people who were eligible for ObamaCare signed up for coverage, the most of the 20 cities participating in the challenge.

In the speech, Obama also touted new data on value-based payments in Medicare, which officials credited to ObamaCare –, and the declining number of patients being readmitted to hospitals nationwide. And just as he began speaking, the administration released a 14-page summary of the coverage expansions under the law.

Obama also used the speech to come out swinging against congressional Republicans and predicted the grim future of healthcare access if anyone other than a Democrat follows him into the Oval Office.

“Congressional Republicans have tried and failed to undermine it about 60 times. They’ve told you what they’ll replace it with about zero times,” Obama said.

“They sure won’t tell you what would happen if they actually repeal it. Twenty million people would have their insurance taken away from them,” he added, as the crowd cheered.

He made the case for his law a day after GOP presidential front-runner Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden slams Trump over golf gif hitting Clinton Trump Jr. declines further Secret Service protection: report Report: Mueller warned Manafort to expect an indictment MORE released an outline of his own healthcare plan, which quickly captured national headlines.

Speaker Paul RyanPaul RyanRyan: Graham-Cassidy 'best, last chance' to repeal ObamaCare Ryan: Americans want to see Trump talking with Dem leaders Overnight Finance: CBO to release limited analysis of ObamaCare repeal bill | DOJ investigates Equifax stock sales | House weighs tougher rules for banks dealing with North Korea MORE (R-Wis.) recently tasked four GOP chairmen to come up with a replacement plan for the law, though top Republicans have acknowledged it’s unlikely to be ready before 2017.

Obama dished out personal attacks against Ryan, as well as Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) and Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonSenate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Sen. Cassidy plans to bring down Medicaid Senate committee schedules hearing on health care block grants MORE (R-Wis.), who is facing a tough reelection this fall.  

Just hours before the next GOP debate, Obama derided the Republican Party for failing to come up with its own healthcare agenda in the six years since the reform law’s passage.

He argued that Republican resistance to the law is just about politics, calling it an “issue of ideology.”

“ ‘We’re just against it,’”  he said, mocking Republican leaders.  “Facts, evidence don’t comport with their conviction that the Affordable Care Act means an end to the American way. Repeal has been a rallying cry,” he said.

Despite his partisan attacks, Obama had been greeted by Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, a Republican.

And before his remarks, Obama had lunch with several people who wrote to him with personal stories about the benefits of his healthcare law.

One of the attendees was Brent Brown of Mosinee, who actively campaigned against Obama in two elections but wrote to the president to tell him ObamaCare saved his life after he was diagnosed with a costly autoimmune disease.

"To be able to introduce him, and to apologize to him, to give him the respect and honor he deserves is something I will cherish forever," Brown, a Republican, said, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.