‘It Wasn’t Perfect, But It Was Better’: Obama Defends Health Law, Calls Repeal Efforts Aggravating
Former President Barack Obama spoke about the frustration of watching "people trying to undo that hard-won progress for the 50th or 60th time with bills that would raise costs or reduce coverage."
The Associated Press:
Obama: GOP’s Efforts To Repeal Health Care ‘Aggravating’
Former President Barack Obama on Wednesday called repeated Republican efforts to repeal his signature health care law “aggravating” as he urged people not to be discouraged by unsteady progress as they work on pressing global issues. Speaking at a summit hosted by billionaires Bill and Melinda Gates to coincide with the United Nations General Assembly, the Democrat said the real problems facing the world “can’t discourage any of us from the belief that individually and collectively, we can make a difference.” (Hajela, 9/20)
The Washington Post:
Obama Says Repealing The ACA Would Inflict ‘Real Human Suffering’ On Americans
“It wasn’t perfect, but it was better,” the former president said of the ACA. “And so when I see people trying to undo that hard-won progress, for the 50th or 60th time, with bills that would raise costs or reduce coverage, or roll back protections for older Americans, people with preexisting conditions, the cancer survivor, the expectant mom, or the child with autism, or asthma, for whom coverage will once again will be unattainable, it is aggravating.” (Eilperin, 9/20)
Obama Says It’s ‘Frustrating’ To Keep Fighting GOP Efforts To Repeal Obamacare
He said that efforts done without any “plain common sense rationale” were especially frustrating. But Obama said that setbacks are part of progress and that young liberals should continue to fight. (Prignano, 9/20)
Obama Argues Against Dark Worldview, Defends Health Care Law
"We have to reject the notion that we are suddenly gripped by forces that we cannot control," Obama said at a Goalkeepers conference, a gathering of young, international activists sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (which is among NPR's financial supporters). "[We've] got to embrace the longer and more optimistic view of history and the role that we play in it. And if you are skeptical of such optimism, I will say something that may sound controversial. ... By just about every measure, America is better and the world is better than it was 50 years ago, 30 years ago, or even 10 years ago. And I know that statement doesn't jibe with the steady stream of bad news and cynicism that we're fed through television and Twitter. But it's true. Think about it: I was born at a time, for example, when women and people of color were systematically excluded from big chunks of American life. ... Even if we still have miles to travel and innumerable laws and hearts and minds to change, the shift in what this country is and what it means is astonishing, remarkable and it's happened, when you measure it against the scope of human history [snaps fingers] in an instant." (Montanaro, 9/20)
Obama Calls Constant GOP Efforts To Repeal Obamacare 'Aggravating'
Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, one of the Republicans pushing the latest effort to undo Obamacare, said after Obama's speech that it would be "unrealistic" to expect the former president to acknowledge problems with his namesake law. "It’s no surprise President Obama opposes sending money and power back to the states and closer to where the patients live," Graham said in a statement. "Obamacare was designed with the exact opposite goal in mind — which is to consolidate health care power and decision-making in Washington." (Dovere, 9/20)