Author Topic: Obama: No Fixes to Obamacare Until GOP has ‘Change in Attitude’  (Read 192 times)

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Obama: No Fixes to Obamacare Until GOP has ‘Change in Attitude’

Bridget Johnson

April 17, 2014 - 2:27 pm

President Obama stepped out at the White House daily briefing today to again berate Republicans for challenging Obamacare — in what appeared to be an attempt to get politicians to stop talking about the law’s negative effects before midterm elections.

Obama announced “as more data comes in, we now know that the number of Americans who’ve signed up for private insurance in the marketplaces has grown to 8 million people.”

“Before this law added new transparency and competition to the individual market, folks who’ve bought insurance on their own regularly saw double-digit increases in their premiums. That was the norm. And while we suspect that premiums will keep rising, as they have for decades, we also know that, since the law took effect, health care spending has risen more slowly than at any time in the past 50 years,” he said.

“…And this thing is working. I’ve said before, this law won’t solve all the problems in our healthcare system. We know we’ve got more work to do. But we now know for a fact that repealing the Affordable Care Act would increase the deficit, raise premiums for millions of Americans, and take insurance away from millions more, which is why, as I’ve said before, I find it strange that the Republican position on this law is still stuck in the same place that it has always been.”

Republicans, he charged, “still can’t bring themselves to admit that the Affordable Care Act is working. They said nobody would sign up; they were wrong about that. They said it would be unaffordable for the country; they were wrong about that. They were wrong to keep trying to repeal a law that is working when they have no alternative answer for millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions who’d be denied coverage again or every woman who’d be charged more for just being a woman again.”

“I know every American isn’t going to agree with this law, but I think we can agree that it’s well past time to move on as a country and refocus our energy on the issues that the American people are most concerned about, and that continues to be the economy, because these endless, fruitless repeal efforts come at a cost.”

Instead of taking dozens of votes to repeal, replace or otherwise fix Obamacare, Obama said, lawmakers could have taken votes “to create jobs by investing in things like infrastructure or innovation, or 50 votes to make it easier for middle-class families to send their kids to college, or 50 votes to raise the minimum wage or restore unemployment insurance that they let expire for folks working hard to find a new job.”

“The point is, the repeal debate is and should be over,” he added. “The Affordable Care Act is working. And I know the American people don’t want us spending the next two-and-a-half years re-fighting the settled political battles of the last five years. They sent us here to repair our economy, to rebuild our middle class, and to restore our founding promise of opportunity, not just for a few, but for all. And as president, that’s exactly what I intend to keep doing as long as I’m in this office.”

On House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) charge that Obama is without cause attacking the GOP on immigration reform, the president slightly smirked and said he “actually had a very pleasant conversation with Mr. Cantor yesterday.”

“I wished him happy Passover. And what I said to him privately is something that I would share with him — that I’ve said publicly, which is, there is bipartisan support for comprehensive immigration reform,” Obama added. “…I know there are Republicans in the House, as there are Republicans in the Senate, who know this is the right thing to do. I also know it’s hard politics for Republicans, because there are some in their base that are very opposed to this.”

Obama said any changes in Obamacare, such as those sought by the business community, would “require a change in attitude on the part of the Republicans.”

“The challenge we have is, is that if you have certain members in the Republican Party whose view is making it work better is a concession to me, then it’s hard in that environment to actually get it done,” he said. “And I recognize that their party is going through, you know, the stages of grief, right? Anger and denial and all that stuff. And we’re not at acceptance yet.”

Obama said he doesn’t predict his hoped-for GOP attitude adjustment until after November elections, “because it seems as if this is the primary agenda item in the Republican political platform.”

“And if the Republicans want to spend the entire next six months or a year talking about repealing a bill that provides millions of people health insurance without providing any meaningful alternative, instead of wanting to talk about jobs and the economic situation of families all across the country, that’s their prerogative. At some point, I think they’ll make the transition. That’s my hope, anyway.”

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), one of the GOP doctors in Congress, said that while Obama “repeatedly pats himself on the back over the number of people that were forced to sign up for his insurance scheme, millions of Americans are experiencing real and significant repercussions.”

“The President has now taken to mocking those that point out the negative consequences. The impacts are very real,” Barrasso said in a statement. “It’s clear that the President remains totally focused on coverage instead of care.  He is either ignoring reports from across the country—or he isn’t hearing them. Either way, he is out of touch with Americans who have lost their doctor, had their insurance cancelled and watched their premiums spike all because of this failing law.”

“This isn’t a political fight, as the president is fond of repeating. His latest victory lap is a hollow one for the millions of Americans that have suffered as a result of his policy.”

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Re: Obama: No Fixes to Obamacare Until GOP has ‘Change in Attitude’
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2014, 11:39:04 AM »

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