President Barack Obama on Thursday announced that 8 million people have enrolled in private health-insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act. He said 35% of the sign-ups were in the crucial age group of 18- to 35-year-olds. Obama said the numbers proved Republicans had been "wrong" on the issue.

Obama criticized Republicans he said "can’t bring themselves to admit that the Affordable Care Act is working" and argued the GOP push to repeal Obamacare had come at the expense of productive conversations about creating jobs, improving the economy and raising the minimum wage. 

"The point is the repeal debate is and should be over. The Affordable Care Act is working," Obama said in a press conference from the White House briefing room.

When he opened up the press conference to questions from reporters, Obama was asked whether flaws in the health-care law could be improved. He said they could, but that it would be more difficult if Republicans maintained their opposition to Obamacare.

"It is absolutely possible, but it will require a change in attitude on the part of the Republicans," he said. 

Obama went on to denounce "certain" Republicans who believe making the Affordable Care Act "better" is "a concession to me." In that environment, Obama said it would be difficult to improve the law. 

"I recognize that their party is going through the stages of grief — anger, denial, all that stuff," Obama said of Republicans. "We're not at acceptance yet." 

He went on to predict the GOP wouldn't change its tune until after the midterm elections in November.

This post was updated at 4:15 pm.

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