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.