Subject: Pool Report #3
Tuesday Dec. 3, 2013 — Obama remarks on Affordable Care Act
President Obama entered the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at 2:44 pm and concluded his remarks at 2:59 pm. The president’s remarks were open press.
Flanked by 19 individuals whom the White House said benefited from health care reform, Obama promoted the law, saying the time has come to spread the word about its positive impact now that the website is working for the majority of people.
“My main message today is we’re not going back,” Obama said.
Obama was introduced on stage by Monica Weeks, who’s able to stay on her parents’ health insurance as a result of Obamacare. Afflicted with Crohn’s disease, Weeks said she’d have to pay between $12,000 to $15,000 for treatment without insurance.
POTUS said “for the all the day-to-day fights” in Washington over health care reform, stories like Weeks’ are a reminder for why the legislation was pursued in the first place.
Following the problems with healthcare.gov that have been acknowledged by the administration, Obama touted the current state of the website.
“Today, the website is working well for the vast majority of users,” Obama said. “More problems may pop up — as they always do when you’re launching something new — and when they do, we’ll fix those, too.”
Saying a half-million more Americans are poised to receive health insurance after one month of health care reform implementation, Obama noted many people are receiving coverage for the first time.
“That number is increasing every day and it is going to keep growing and growing and growing,” Obama said.
Criticizing opponents of the law, Obama said they have yet to articulate a path forward and seem to want to return to the way things were before the law was enacted — a path Obama said he won’t go down.
“I’ve always said, I will work with anybody to implement and improve this law effectively,” Obama said. “If you got good ideas, bring ‘em to me. Let’s go. But we’re not repealing it as long as I’m president.”
That last line elicited a massive applause from the audience of health care reform supporters, who gave the president a standing ovation.
At one point, a child in the audience cried out as Obama delivered his remarks. Obama responded by saying, “Yes. You agree with me.”
“Now that we’ve got the technology fixed, we need to go back and take a look at what’s really going on because it can make a difference in your lives and the lives of your families,” Obama said. “Maybe it won’t make a difference right now if you’re feeling healthy, but I promise you, if somebody in your family, Heaven forbid, gets sick, you’ll see the difference.”
After the completion of his remarks, Obama shook hands with each of the 19 people who were behind him on stage. Pool has placed a request in with the White House for their identities of these 19 people.