Tuesday morning, CNN Newsroom joined the administration in celebrating Obamacare’s reported 7.1 million enrollees. White House Correspondent Jim Acosta declared that “if Obamacare were a patient” the touted enrollment number would be “a pretty miraculous recovery,” and that Obama’s “alternative media strategy did work.”
Anchor Carol Costello led into Acosta’s celebratory report by calling the enrollment figures a “huge Obamacare milestone” and stating that clearly the “strategic push on television and radio and Twiitter”—specifically citing the Galifianakis (whose name she struggles with a bit) Funny or Die interview—to be a great success. After playing a clip of Obama's “Between Two Ferns” interview to add to the festivities, Costello invited on Acosta, who enthusiastically echoed the administration’s “victory lap” talking points:
Acosta: You know Carol,... if Obamacare were a patient, this would be a pretty miraculous recovery, when you consider the fact that this program, this website, HealthCare.gov, was almost pulled offline by the President himself during that disastrous rollout in October and November. But of course they got things back on track—they got the website working. And now, according to a senior administration official, yes, they are on track to hit seven million signing up, as of this week. And that is... pretty big news over here at the White House. They're reacting with a lot of glee and happiness, I can tell you. And a lot of this is due to—check out these numbers: 4.8 million visits to HealthCare.gov, and 2 million calls to the call centers that they had set up. That is just yesterday, people flooding in to buy insurance before that deadline day of yesterday for enrolling in Obamacare.
Acosta then went on to detail the frantic push by administration officials in the final six weeks, including 300 radio interviews, with Valerie Garrett alone performing 80.
Acosta: Those Web videos, like the one you just showed with Zach Galifianakis, attracted 30 million views in the last six weeks. And they had about 100 celebrities and athletes tweeting out their support for Obamacare. So, for all of those people out there who were, you know, sort of complaining that they didn't go to through traditional media—which is something you heard over here at the White House, among people in the press corps, there was some grumbling about that—this alternative media strategy did work in many ways for this White House.
Only at the end of his comments did Acosta mention the uncertainty about the actual number of paying enrollees, a point many analysts, including Charles Krauthammer, have made since Monday.