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President Barack Obama painted an optimistic picture of the Affordable Care Act’s implementation, and slammed congressional Republicans’ neverending attempts to repeal the law and strip millions of Americans of its benefits during a Thursday morning speech at the White House.

After noting Wednesday’s announcement that insurance premiums are on track to drop at least 50 percent in New York, President Obama declared that “the Affordable Care Act is doing what it’s designed to do: deliver more choices, better benefits, a check on rising costs.”

The president focused on the value provided by the law, pointing out that “you’re already getting benefits, even if you don’t know that it’s because of the Affordable Care Act.” Obama pointed out that “health care costs have slowed drastically in a lot of areas” since the law was passed in 2010, and that because of the law 80 percent of all insurance revenue must now be spent on health care costs — resulting in lower premiums and better benefits.

Obama’s case was buttressed by a report released by the Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday, which forecast significantly lower than expected insurance costs in the state health care exchanges.

“That’s progress that we want to make sure that we’re seeing across the country,” he said. Still, the president acknowledged that “there’s still a lot of folks in this town who are rooting for this law to fail.”

“Yesterday, despite all the evidence that the law is working the way it was supposed to for middle-class Americans, Republicans in the House of Representatives voted for nearly the 40th time to dismantle it,” Obama lamented. “There’s a lot of work that Congress needs to do…and yet instead, we’re re-fighting these old battles.”

“Maybe they think it’s good politics,” he continued. “Some of them seem to think this law is about me. It’s not. I already have good health care,” he added jokingly.

“Affordable health care is not just some privilege for a few. It’s a right for everybody,” Obama said at the conclusion of his remarks. “That’s something everybody should support. That’s not something that should be subjected to politics.”

Video of President Obama’s remarks is below:

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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