The Note’s Must-Reads for Wednesday, April 2, 2014

By Will Cantine

Apr 2, 2014 4:20am

The Note’s Must-Reads are a round-up of today’s political headlines and stories from ABC News and the top U.S. newspapers. Posted Monday through Friday right here at www.abcnews.com

Compiled by ABC News’ Jayce Henderson, Will Cantine, Jordan Mazza  and Janine Elliott

IMMIGRATION
ABC News’ Katherine Faulders: “Rand Paul Says GOP Must Get ‘Beyond Deportation’” Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., delivered the opening remarks today at the launch of the Media Research Center’s first ever Spanish-language media watchdog, ‘MRC Latino.’  Worried that a left-leaning political bias may already be present in the Spanish-language media in the United States, MRC Latino’s aim is to be a champion among journalistic integrity. LINK

AFFORDABLE CARE ACT
The Wall Street Journal’s Colleen McCain Nelson and Louis Radnofsky: “More Than Seven Million Sign Up For Health Coverage, Obama Says” President Barack Obama, applauding the news that 7.1 million people signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, set the stage Tuesday for Democrats to move beyond the law’s rocky rollout and go on the offense. Speaking in the White House Rose Garden, the president offered one of his most forceful defenses of the law in months after a surge in sign-ups Monday pushed enrollment past the seven million mark. LINK

USA Today’s Aamer Madhani: “First Take: Obama Basks After ACA Enrollment Turnaround” The sharp partisan debate over the merits of President Obama’s signature health care law isn’t about to end.  But with the president’s announcement on Tuesday that more than 7.1 million Americans have signed up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act, he has managed a remarkable comeback that not so long ago looked implausible. LINK

Politico’s Edward-Isaac Dovere and Carrie Budoff Brown: “Behind The Obamacare Surprise” There was a word White House officials had for Monday, the final day of Obamacare enrollment: “S—t-tastic.” “S—t,” because they couldn’t believe that the website had crashed again, and they couldn’t get it back for hours. “-Tastic” because this time, the problems were actually because of traffic so high that it caught even the most optimistic people in the White House by surprise.
They were a long way from October. LINK

The Washington Post’s Amy Goldstein and Juliet Eilperin: “More Than 7 Million Have Enrolled Under Affordable Care Act, White House Says​” President Obama announced Tuesday that 7.1 million Americans have signed up for health plans under the Affordable Care Act, the most ambitious federal effort in nearly half a century to widen access to coverage. The tally, which signified a sharp turnaround from the troubled beginnings of enrollment last fall, was driven upward by a late rush of consumers seeking coverage in the days and hours before the deadline of midnight Monday to select health plans for 2014. LINK

Bloomberg’s Margaret Talev, Angela Greiling Keane and Alex Wayne: “Obama Says 7.1 Million Health Sign-Ups Rebut Criticism” President Barack Obama’s declaration that 7.1 million health-plan enrollments serve as a rebuke to critics of his signature law won’t diminish the opposition nor stop the scrutiny of the overhaul’s effect. “The Affordable Care Act hasn’t completely fixed our long-broken health-care system, but this law has made our health-care system a lot better,” Obama told administration officials, lawmakers and other supporters in the White House Rose Garden. “The debate over repealing this law is over.” LINK

The New York Daily News’ James Warren: “President Obama Said 7.1M Americans Signed Up For Obamacare, Exceeding Expectations” With an I-told-you-so swagger, President Obama said Tuesday that 7.1 million Americans signed up for health insurance by Monday’s deadline – exceeding the original White House goal under Obamacare. “In the first six months, we’ve taken a big step forward,” he said amid cheers of supporters in the White House Rose Garden. “The truth is even more want to sign up.” The 7.1 million sign-up figure does not include anyone who enrolled Monday in 14 states with their own online insurance marketplaces. LINK

The Hill’s Elise Viebeck and Justin Sink: “ObamaCare Comeback?” The Obama administration on Tuesday celebrated its announcement that 7.1 million people had enrolled in health insurance through ObamaCare. The surprising final number exceeded an important benchmark and represented a significant achievement for the administration after a troubled rollout of the law handed midterm election-year momentum to Republicans. An ebullient President Obama announced the new figure in the Rose Garden, where he also took a confrontational tone with congressional Republican leaders who this week said they still wanted to repeal the law. LINK

The Los Angeles Times’ Maeve Reston: “Maryland To Overhaul Healthcare Exchange With Help From Connecticut” The board of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange voted Tuesday night to overhaul its troubled healthcare website by adopting the smooth-running technology platform developed by Connecticut. Maryland has spent about $125.5 million operating and building its exchange, but in late February the state severed its $193-million contract with prime technology contractor Noridian Healthcare Solutions after struggling with technical problems that led to thousands of lost and stuck applications, as well as long wait times for frustrated consumers. LINK

The Washington Times’ Dave Boyer: “Despite Obamacare Cheers, Bumps For Democrats On Campaign Trail Still Hard Pressed” Despite President Obama’s proclamation of victory Tuesday for health care enrollments, Democrats face an uphill battle in midterm elections over the law, which remains unpopular with many Americans. Nine out of 10 major polls in the past month show that Obamacare is viewed negatively by a majority of voters. It’s a prime reason that many Democratic incumbents don’t want to be seen with Mr. Obama on the campaign trail in their states. Republicans vow to continue efforts to change or repeal the law, which they see as an issue that motivates their base. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO
Obama Applauds Affordable Care ActLINK

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