Obama calls on Congress to show courage in health care debate

Ashley Carr
May 8, 2017

Though Obama did not explicitly call on Congress to protect Obamacare, he implored lawmakers to protect healthcare access for vulnerable Americans.

Throughout his post-presidency, Obama has been torn between the ideal of avoiding entanglement in messy politics and the reality of wanting to defend his inescapably political legacy.

Jack also praised Obama for his commitment to the environment and health care. He cited Obama's policy choices on healthcare reform, nuclear disarmament and gun control as reason for why he deserves the award. It was hard, it involved a sixth of the economy and all manner of stakeholders and interests.

Schlossberg said, "We saw this week that it's a lot easier to criticize and dismantle".

Obama continued that these individuals demonstrated courage by voting for the Affordable Care Act-a decision that cost many of them their seats in Congress.

"Many of them were new to Washington, had their entire careers ahead of them and in that very first term they had to take tough vote after tough vote because we were in crisis".

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"In many ways, the times that President Kennedy confronted were far more perilous than the ones we confront today", Obama said.

"They thought - and still think - it was worth it", he said. In selecting the former president for the award, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation lauded Obama for expanding health security to millions of Americans, which opponents of the bill passed by the House on Thursday argued could be lost if it becomes law.

The House bill faces an uncertain future in the Senate, which is expected to write its own version of the legislation.

Urging Republicans to vote against the GOP bill, Obama said that "it is my fervent hope ... that regardless of party, such courage is still possible". That today's members of Congress are willing to look at the facts and speak the truth, even when it bucks party dogmas. "And this kind of courage is required of all of us".

"Courage means not doing what is simply politically expedient but doing what [people] believe in their hearts is right", he said. "It was a call to citizenship as true as the words of our founding and a conviction that helped guide me to public service as a younger man - a belief in the possibilities of our democracy and the power of what we, the people, can do together".

David Letterman said he didn't need to hear Obama talk about the new president, but did want to hear Obama talk about inspiring a new generation to get involved.

Other reports by My Hot News

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