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Thursday, September 29, 2016

WATCH: Obama Declares Health Care Reform ‘Here To Stay’ In Pitch For Expanded Coverage

President Barack Obama declared that the Affordable Care Act “is here to stay,” and urged Americans not to be “bamboozled” by misinformation about the law, during a Friday afternoon event in the East Room of the White House.

Speaking at a Mother’s Day-inspired event, Obama reiterated the benefits of his signature legislative achievement, and pushed back against the notion that the law’s implementation will be a “train wreck,” as Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) recently predicted.

The president acknowledged that “there will be some mistakes and hiccups” in the transition process, but stressed that he is “110 percent committed to getting it done right.”

Obama also emphasized the benefits of the law that have already gone into effect, such as allowing people to remain on their parents’ health insurance until the age of 26, and preventing insurance companies from discriminating against those with pre-existing conditions. He took special note of the ways that women benefit from the law, saying, “I know there are a lot of moms out there who often go without the care that they need, or the checkups that they know they should get, because they’re worried about that co-pay that has to go to gas, or groceries, or that new soccer uniform instead — or worse, they know the unfairness of being charged more for their health care because they’re a woman.”

“You’re benefiting from it,” the president said. “You just may not know it.”

Obama’s remarks were the first in what is expected to be a string of high-profile events raising awareness of the details of the new law, and attempting to enroll seven million Americans in health insurance exchanges by the end of March. Ultimately, the White House hopes to register 30 million people within the next five years.

Obama warned that the law’s opponents will fight tooth and nail against its successful implementation. Although the Affordable Care Act has already survived scores of political challenges, Obama said it will continue to be attacked “at least through the next election.”

“Make sure you know what the actual facts are, because you stand to benefit if you’re not already benefiting from this thing,” Obama said. “Don’t be bamboozled.”

A portion of the president’s remarks is below; you can watch the full speech here.

  • Lynda Groom

    It is the law of land and all of those elected to office have sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution and defend the United States to the best of their ability. Some don’t seem to understand their oath. I wonder why?

  • sigrid28

    The president’s dual purpose speech, delivered just before Mother’s Day, was the perfect occasion to roll-out provisions of the ACA, in the presence of families who are already benefiting from them. Savvy media outlets will run the president’s speech all weekend, so the administration gets a two-for.

  • itsfun

    I don’t have a problem with health care for all, just don’t like the Obama care program. I think it causes more problems than it created. I personally know of one company that already has told its supervisors not to schedule anyone personnel for over 24 hours a week to avoid paying for Obama care.

    Why didn’t the congress just look as allowing everyone to be eligible for medicare. The system is already in place and works fairly well. I as a senior, now pay $100 a month, next year it goes up to $214 a month to help pay for Obamacare. It seems to me that if everyone was on medicare system, it would flourish with all the 20 – 50 year old folks paying into the system, because that age group doesn’t necessarily use a lot of hospital or surgery time. We wouldn’t be trying to understand thousands of pages of the new health care bill or threatening companies with fines or individuals with fines. If people couldn’t afford the $100 a month, then a compromise could be worked out. All the folks needing help now, will be getting Obama care anyway.

    I just don’t see the need to spend the $$ on a new system, when we have a working system now. The only reason I can see for the new system is to gain more and more control of our lives.

    • Companies that do no hire more than part timers are only hurting themselves! Cheap Bastards! It’s all about their bottom line!

    • Lynda Groom

      Our so-called working system as you’ve described it leaves out about 50 million people. That is hardly a working system. All of our economic competitors have one kind of improved health care or another that put us to shame. I’m sure that those and many of those who gain some bit of health care for the first time will be better getting some control of their own lives.
      BTW, Medicare for all was an option, but it could not get the votes. I believe such an outcome would have improved our system even further, but we had to start somewhere.

      • itsfun

        The system is working for me. As far as the 50 million you are talking about, my idea is make the system available for them. Then no one is left out. I know a lot of Canadians, they all hate their system.

        • korhal

          A Canadian friend of mine had his life saved by that system, so no, they don’t all hate it.

          • elw

            I know a lots of Canadians who are very happy with their medical system. I know some who plan to move back to Canada when they retire just for the medical care.

        • Juliet Neary

          Well, so long as it’s working for you, screw everyone else! After all, you’re the most important person in the universe.

          • itsfun

            now your talking! If it works for me, it must work for others

          • Juliet Neary

            It’s “you’re,” as is “you’re not very bright, are you?”

          • itsfun

            not very, how about you?

        • Anyone who tries to sell that “All my Canadian friends hate their health care system” crap is obviously trying to sell a lie. Weak try, itsfun.

        • Lynda Groom

          You might want to ask your Canadian friends if they would like ours. Recent polls show that the good folks up north are ‘satisfied, or very satisfied’ at a rate of 57%. In our country that number is 25%.

        • dtgraham

          I know a lot more Canadians than you do and I know that isn’t true. My wife has been in a Canadian hospital since late March. She has had successful spinal surgery and is still undergoing rehab. I visit her every evening and she’s receiving the best of everything as far as I can see. It’s all been outstanding and I can’t praise them highly enough. They’re in no rush to get rid of her and they’re going to work with her for as long as it takes. She may be in until mid summer. Her room mate has been in for 6 months. I’m just one person but I’ve met many others who’ve also praised the system.

          She’s disabled and we’ve already received a special medical bed for her free of charge and special toilet equipment for her, also free of charge. When she finally comes home, she’ll be provided with a free wheelchair and/or scooter device. Do you know what all of this is going to cost me ‘itsfun’? Zero. That’s right. Zero. There’s no bill. In Canada, there’s no such thing as having a health insurance policy for essential medical services. It’s just a right of citizenship. Do you know what my monthly health care premium to the government is? Zero. That’s right. Zero. There is no monthly health care premium. It’s all financed out of general taxation.

          It’s hardly perfect. It has it’s flaws and I know what they are, but what medical system doesn’t? I personally wouldn’t trade it for anything. Right now it seems like a miracle to me. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t feel some guilt over the cost of Theresa’s care. I didn’t know that I’d feel this way, but I’m still extremely grateful for the Canadian health care system and Tommy Douglas, who dreamed it up in the 1940’s. I’m able to give back financially in other ways and plan on it. Shows what’s possible when you get the private sector and profit motive completely out of it and get everyone contributing.

          The United States is the richest and most powerful nation in the world and could do something like this tomorrow. I hope Obamacare is just the start.

        • TZToronto

          I’m another Canadian (American, too) who loves the Canadian health care system. I never see a bill. I don’t pay a health care premium. I don’t pay a co-pay. I never have to ask an insurer if I’m covered. My pre-existing conditions are irrelevant. I don’t have to fight with anyone to get the benefits to which I am entitled. It’s a great system, and I know of no one here who hates it. Oh, some do seek care in the U.S., but these are usually wealthy people who just don’t want to wait their turn (which actually comes rather quickly). Heck, I get the same health care the Prime Minister gets!

    • FredAppell

      That sounds to me a lot like extortion and it’s nothing more than fear mongering. How can any company project that far into the future? The law hasn’t even fully taken affect yet and already some people can somehow magically determine that it will destroy us. Who are these people? If their that good than I would like to ask them what numbers to play for the next Power Ball.

    • elw

      The answer to your question as to why Congress just didn’t let everyone be eligible for Medicare is simple, the GOP would never have voted for that. How you know that the monthly premium for Medicare will double next year is beyond me since even The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, which administers the program, would not guess at what the 2014 premium hike will be at this time. I can guarantee you it will never, ever go up 100 dollars in one year. Medicare funds are not now and never will be used to pay for Obamacare. People who say that are lying to you. You should really stop spreading misinformation.

      • itsfun

        Obama care passed without a single vote from the GOP. My rates are going up, I have already received a letter from Medicare. I never suggested using Medicare funds to finance Obama care. I simply asked why couldn’t all people be made eligible for Medicare. How much did it cose US taxpayers in man hours (not to mention actural costs) to write this plan that has thousands and thousands of pages. The basic system for universal health care was already in place. No one ever said it wouldn’t need to be tweeked to enclude everyone. It was only a idea. It is easy to understand why nothing get done in DC. I just make a suggestion and am called all kinds of vial names. This treatment does not encouage one to work with others or even listen to them.Instead it creates hostility and refusal to work with others.

        • Barbara Morgan

          That is strange that you have received notice from Medicare that your rates would be going up next year while I haven’t. I am also on medicare and the stuff I have I gotten about medicare going up is from insurance companies that want me to change from medicare to them. Are you sure that what you have gotten is from medicare and not so company that is trying to get you change to them. The outside of the company’s envelope says”Important news about your next year medicare cost” Don’t believe what it is saying.

          • itsfun

            I am trying to find that letter now. I could be wrong, won’t be the first time. It seems now that my last letter from Social Security explaining my benefits may has said that. Am looking for now.

        • Juliet Neary

          I apologize for being a b*tch. I’ve been sick for almost two years, now, and I don’t have insurance because I’m too sick to work. It will be more than a year until I get a disability hearing. Oh, and I have a husband — also uninsured — who has severe apnea and bipolar disorder. Did I mention my autistic kids?

          I was doing everything I was supposed to. I carried insurance on the whole family, at more than $750 a month. I had short-term and long-disability. My husband was a stay at home dad, because of the kids having therapy every day. We didn’t have credit cards. We paid cash for our two minivans. And one greedy landlord renting us a house filled with stachybotrys mold took us from barely middle class to complete poverty.

          Now, I have medical bill collectors calling me every day. Our health care comes from an emergency room. And our family will never be able to escape from the hole we’ve been put in, through no fault of our own.

          I get so angry when people complain about the ACA, because “our health care system is just fine.” It’s not fine. And this may not be the best solution, but it’s the best one we could get, without cooperation from the dumb bastards across the aisle.

          • itsfun

            I am sorry you and yours have been sick and wish you all well. My first sentence was I have no problem with heath care. I believe we should all have a very very good health system. I just questioned the one that was passed and offered a suggestion. Again I wish you and yours well.

          • dtgraham

            I’m so sorry for you and your family Juliet. This is a human tragedy that I’ve read about too often from other posters here at the Memo. Like you, people do all the right things and still have their lives ruined through no fault of their own. Nothing will destroy people like sickness and not being able to afford health care.

            What’s the Republican answer to this? Take personality responsibility to not get sick and to not be born with autism. Right.

            Imagine if you and your family could easily get all the medical care you need to get healthy again, and it wouldn’t cost you anything. That’s all you’d need to get back on your feet again. If I lived in the U.S. I’d love to pay enough taxes, and have some of them go to give your family all the help you have to have right now, in a different medical system. Then maybe some day down the road you could help mine. That’s how health care should work. We pitch in and help each other. Juliet, it’s families like yours that make me a socialist.

            For God’s sake don’t give up hope. Life goes on and it will get better for you. Just keep on keepin’ on. Like one of my old work partners used to tell me often years ago, “never let the bastards get you down.”

          • Juliet Neary

            Thank you, so much! It’s easier to keep on going when we know there are still caring, decent people out there.

          • dtgraham

            Thanks Juliet. I like to think I’m not half bad but you’d never know it from the responses I get from some of the right wingers here. “Normally I’m opposed to abortion but, in your case, when you were born not only would I have been in favour of it, I would have personally performed it myself.” Stuff like that.

            Take care kiddo.

        • elw

          Actually it had one Republican vote from Representative Cao. If your rate is going up and you recieved a letter from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) this time of the year, the increase must be connected with having a large income. However, they would start charging income related increases the month after you received your notice. Other than that CMS increases the monthly premium annually never announces what the actually increase is until late
          November or early December and starts the new premium amount in January for everyone. The increase is connect to inflation and would never, ever reaches 100% increase level. In other words, there is something wrong with your story.
          You claimed in your original comment that your Medicare premium was going up due to Obamacare, now you are saying that you didn’t suggest using Medicare funds for Obamacare; I think you are very confused. I have not called you any names, just asked you to stop spreading misinformation. There are enough people doing that, we do not need more of them.

    • “When we have a working system now”? Seriously? Someone hasn’t been paying attention.

  • The people of this great nation do not want their hard earned tax dollars to be used for building more weapons of mass destruction.
    They want the money used for the purposes for it it was collected, to purchase those goods & services that we as individuals cannot purchase but collectively can, such as Universal Health Care INSURANCE.
    Let everyone regardless of age join the Medicare insurance program, Medicare would then actually take in significantly more than it pays out making it self sustaining, the way insurance was supposed to work..

  • There hasn’t been a law that hasn’t needed some work to iron out the kinks! This so worthwhile! Our healthcare system was the worst in the world!

    • Lynda Groom

      Exactly. The foes of the ACA make continual noises that make it seem impossible to improve the law. Of course there is nothing that holds lawmakers back from learning from mistakes…except ideology and agenda driven politics.

  • Hard line Republicans, consumed by hatred, intolerance, and ideological extremism, will not change their minds on Obamacare – or any other Democratic policy – regardless of how beneficial it is to them. I know Tea Party supporters who have relatives that have benefitten from the elimination of the pre-existing condition, from the elimination of insurance caps, and who are taking full advantage of dependents under 26 remaining in their parent’s company provided insurance, and they still believe Obamacare is a terrible healthcare approach that will destroy our draconian and expensive medical system. One of the tactics they use is to convince the naive that the recent increases in medical costs in the United States are caused by Obamacare, ignoring that (1) spiriling healthcare costs have been the norm for decades, and (2) that some employers are taking advantage of the ignorance that prevails on this issue to reduce their contributions and shift the cost of healthcare to the employees.

    • TZToronto

      Smart employers will realize that health care benefits will attract the best workers. If Company A decides to make most of their workers part-timers, many will seek employment with Company B, which hasn’t tried to skirt the law by making full-time employment part-time employment. The best will go where the best benefits are.

  • elw

    Hell, the Republicans are still fighting Medicare. They will never give up, but will never win the Obamacare battle anymore than they have won their battles against Medicare, birth control, legal abortion, women’s right to vote, segregation, and the many other battles they fight trying to prevent justice and equality for all. Obamacare is an improvement over the injustice of our employee based medical system; no one will give it up without a fight anymore than seniors will give up Medicare and women birth control. The GOP lost that war the minute the bill was passed. They are just to stupid to know it.