Obama Takes Early Obamacare Victory Lap

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Kevin Lamarque / REUTERS

President Barack Obama gestures as he delivers remarks on the Affordable Care Act at Prince George's Community College in Largo, Maryland September 26, 2013.

Five days before public health care exchanges begin accepting applicants nationwide, President Barack Obama took on a celebratory tone as he lobbied uninsured Americans to sign up for affordable health insurance.

“We are now only five days from finishing the job,” Obama said triumphantly in a campaign-style speech hyping the Affordable Care Act at Prince George’s Community College just outside Washington. With the most visible portion of the law, the individual mandate, kicking in on January 1 and the federally sponsored exchanges opening next week, Obama appeared unfazed by a wave of hiccups in its implementation.

Mocking Republicans for their escalating rhetoric on how dire the health care law will prove to be, Obama said one Republican’s assertion that it was the worst law in the nation’s history is an awfully tall order. “You had a state representative somewhere say that it’s as destructive to personal and individual liberty as the Fugitive Slave Act,” the president said as the audience booed. “Think about that. Affordable health care is worse than a law that lets slaveowners get their runaway slaves back.”

(MORECalculate Your Insurance Costs Under Obamacare)

Obama accused Republicans of being scared the law will work, summarizing the Republican position as, “We’ve got to shut this thing down before people realize they like it.” And if it succeeds, “it will mean everything they said wasn’t true and they were just playing politics,’ he said.

Running though a long list of benefits and coverage changes in the law, Obama criticized Republicans for trying to defund Obamacare as a condition of keeping the government running.

“The closer we’ve gotten to this date, the more irresponsible folks who are opposed to this law have become,” Obama said, lambasting those in Congress who are pushing the defund effort. “That’s not going to happen as long as I am president,” he added. “The Affordable Care Act is here to stay,” he said.

But Obama also cautioned that the law’s implementation will not likely be smooth. “Like any law, like any big product launch, there are going to be some glitches as this unfolds,” Obama said. “Somewhere around the country, there’s going to be a computer glitch and the website’s not working quite the way it’s supposed to, or something happens where there’s some error made somewhere—that will happen.”

Indeed, just as the event was wrapping up, the administration announced it was delaying a narrow section of the law. Small businesses looking to enroll in federal insurance exchanges won’t be able to fill out online applications on Oct. 1, when the rest of the program rolls out. The will be able to do so only on paper. And the Associated Press reported Thursday that the Spanish-language version of the Obamacare enrollment website, healthcare.gov, would not be ready on Tuesday, Oct. 1.

Yet a smiling president quipped that he is confident that in a few years, when the law is fully implemented, that Republicans will come around to embrace the law and say they—falsely—that they voted for it. “You watch, it will not be called Obamacare,” he said, chuckling. Comparing it to Medicare, Obama said, “One Republican warned that one of these days, you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it once was like in America when men were free. That was Ronald Reagan. And eventually Ronald Reagan came around to Medicare and thought it was pretty good and actually helped make it better.”

Capping the event, Obama walked off stage to shake hands, to music by his reelection muse, Bruce Springsteen.

–with reporting by Kate Pickert/New York

MOREWhat to Expect When the Obamacare Insurance Exchanges Open on Oct. 1

MORE: Watch here to see highlights from Obama’s speech:

653 comments
Percy
Percy

We have no choice but to pay for the health insurance of every member in Congress, even every Republican that stands against the working poor being able to see a doctor when they're ill. Senator Cruz's family doesn't have to worry about whose going to pay that big medical bill if a member of his family gets horribly ill. We all pay for that. He won't be sending that money back to his constituents, yet he stands against those much less fortunate having the same that he can take for granted.

Before Social Security, which we all pay into, there was a big uproar even though the elderly suffering a destitute, penniless death before them. Now today it could be said that the vast majority of elderly are pleased and relieved to be cared for in their old age. Yet we begrudge care for the millions of Americans who've had to claim medical bankruptcy or gone to the ER with stage 4 breast cancer because they couldn't afford what Senator Cruz will have for everyday for the rest of his life...peace of mind that the ones he loves will have the medical that everyone in our society should be able to take for granted.

Every industrialized society save our own decided that as a society it's only right to provide care for those who can no longer care for themselves. We are the American Society and we should take pride in the health of our citizens, not belittle the only program that's come along in decades which will provide the same medical care that every single Republic grandstanding against has for themselves. For shame using such an important, essential element of being human, medical care, as a stepping block for creating division in our country and gaining votes for themselves. It's truly perverse and inhumane.

Chunkdog1
Chunkdog1

This man is literally forcing, an entire country, to purchase something,  without any real choice or decision in the matter, and if we don't purchase it , we are punished for it.  Adding to that, the majority of the country, doesn't even want what he is offering.


And he has the nerve  to invoke the "slavery" card?  What a hypocrite. 


With the passing of this unworkable atrocity,  he now holds the title of the  biggest "slave master",  in American history.


1hotSam
1hotSam

I will leave u dems alone so u can have your fun....I can have a conversation until u get to be a pervert.

1hotSam
1hotSam

For those of u that love Obamacare...read the law.I read it.Don't argue with me unless u read it.It is a huge failure

fitty_three
fitty_three

@1hotSam  

You're a selfish little kid.  The part that applies to me are the Home Health Care provisions.

Read those, idjit.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@1hotSam Or better yet wait a few months and decide for your self. Unless of course you believe that 1hotSam is a healthcare and legal expert.

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

This graph does not claim absolute accuracy, but learn about the U.S. national debt today in 2017 can always be found here:  http://usdebtclock.org/

Debt Clock Time Mashine:

Thus the state debt according to optimistic forecasts 27 September 2017 will be over 20.6 trillion.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@1hotSam  

If she hasn't died in the three years I've been caring for her she won't die now.

I'm a loving husband, but not too patient with slots who wish her dead.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@mantisdragon91 

He just thinks cause he read it (I don't know anyone that could be that pedantic, but hells bells) that he's an expert.  He doesn't realize that there are parts of it that don't pertain to me.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@1hotSam 

In like spirit, I thank you for wishing my wife dead.

It's been a pleasure...

1hotSam
1hotSam

I cannot believe someone is so perverse like u.

1hotSam
1hotSam

u always talk to women that way?

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

Let me see if I follow this argument correctly:

Person 1: "If you read the law, you wouldn't support it"

Person 2: "I read the law, I support it.  I like quite a few things about it"

Person 1: "Not possible"

Person 2: "What do you think about this piece of the law?"

Person 1: "I don't need to discuss it"

You haven't made a single argument.  You just say "It's bad, it's bad, it's bad."  Dogma isn't an argument.  Come back when you have a real one

fitty_three
fitty_three

@1hotSam

Then you know that my experience is going to prevail.

No death panels, and as a matter of fact, I save the government about $2000 for each day I care for her.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@1hotSam

And don't know anything about it.

Tell me, what about the Home Health Care provisions, would you like to refresh your memblurry on those, slot?

fitty_three
fitty_three

@1hotSam  

I down you because you hate so blindly you'll wish my wife dead.

That's "not very nice", and of course, need I say that that is a euphemism?

But you are incredibly dense.  Which is also a euphemism.;)

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@1hotSam I'm downing you because you claim to be an expert on things you obviously know nothing about.

1hotSam
1hotSam

I pay my own way..so your downing me because I have a lower type job

fitty_three
fitty_three

@1hotSam

No just a guy whose not to happy that a Baby Ruth biting slot wished my wife was dead.

Other than that, we're ok, except that you're just plain stupid.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@1hotSam 

Hey, well now you're a victim! Yay!

Now bite that Baby Ruth, please.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@1hotSam

No.  There are things Obama p!sses me off about, too.  You realize that when you have to demonize to make your point stick, you've already lost?

Not to mention the fact that you need to stop sucking so much d!ck and get back to cleaning your pool.

No doubt there's a Baby Ruth floating in it somewhere;)

fitty_three
fitty_three

@1hotSam 

Did I mention that you're a long shoreline feature with sand on it?

No?

Well, you're a long shoreline feature with sand on it.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@1hotSam

You call yourself a lady.  I call you a slot.

And hey, with those "well wishes", I'm sure everyone that's sane here will agree.