Former President Barack Obama mocked Republicans in a speech on Wednesday for repeated efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, his signature health care law also known as Obamacare.
As President Donald Trump attended sessions at the United Nations, former President stood in the theater of the Time Warner Center across town on Wednesday afternoon, urging people who share his worldview not to give up building an interconnected world, supporting the Paris climate accords, resisting xenophobia and, in the near-term, fighting to save Obamacare.
As Republicans attempt a last-ditch effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the former president Barack Obama said he recognizes the ACA as passed “was full of things that still need to be fixed.” But when he sees attempts to undo that legislation “without any demonstrable economic or actuarial or plain, common-sense rationale, it frustrates,” Obama said. The ACA passed under Obama’s leadership in 2010 and is widely seen as his greatest legislative achievement.
“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 or people with pre-existing conditions, the expecting mom or the child with autism or asthma for whom coverage would once again be almost unattainable, it is aggravating,” Obama said at an event hosted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in New York City.
“To take one example — here in America, over the past eight years, thousands upon thousands of Americans threw themselves into the collective effort of reforming our health care system,” he continued. “And against all odds, they made a difference. For the first time, more than ninety percent of Americans know the security of health insurance. Paying more for insurance, or being denied insurance because of a preexisting condition — that’s not a thing anymore. We got rid of that. People are alive today because we did. That’s progress.”