Washington — After the Obama administration announced Tuesday that more than 7 million Americans have registered for health insurance through state exchanges, Sen. Chris Murphy took aim at GOP opponents of Obamacare.

“All of the naysayers have been proven wrong,” Murphy said. “We are beating expectations.”

As the main cheerleader of the ACA in the Senate, Murphy led a press conference of Senate Democrats who gave anecdotal evidence of the Affordable Care Act’s success, citing incidents where constituents were helped by the health care law.

The deadline for enrolling in insurance through state exchanges was midnight Monday. On Tuesday, the Obama administration announced that 7.1 Americans have enrolled through the exchanges – surpassing an administration goal of 7 million. That prompted President Obama to say, “The Affordable Care Act is here to stay.”

For the last few weeks Murphy has had the job of rebutting GOP charges that the ACA is hurting people and finding examples of people who have been helped.

“I’m sure that they hoped it was an April Fool’s joke,” Murphy said of the enrollment numbers.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said, “As more people enroll, the more popular it’s going to be.”

A Washington Post poll released this week showed 49 percent of respondents support and 48 percent oppose the ACA.

Schumer said Murphy volunteered for the job of chief defender of the ACA.

“And why not?” Schumer asked. “He’s a smart guy and very energetic.”

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Ana has written about politics and policy in Washington, D.C.. for Gannett, Thompson Reuters and UPI. She was a special correspondent for the Miami Herald, and a regular contributor to The New York TImes, Advertising Age and several other publications. She has also worked in broadcast journalism, for CNN and several local NPR stations. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Journalism.

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