Politics

Obama Defends Obamacare During Award Acceptance Speech

| by Jonathan Constante

FormerPresident Barack Obama defended Obamacare and refused to mention President Donald Trump's name while speaking in Boston.

Obama was honored with the JFK Profile in Courage Award on May 7, the Daily Mail reported. During his acceptance speech, he encouraged members of Congress to continue the fight for health care in America.

"I hope that current members of Congress recognize it takes little courage to aid those who are already powerful, already comfortable, already influential -- but it takes great courage to champion the vulnerable and the sick and the infirm," Obama said. "I hope they understand that courage means not simply doing what's politically expedient, but doing what, deep in our hearts, we know is right."

Obama also applauded the members of Congress who voted for Obamacare in 2009 and 2010. He said that several members risked and even lost their seats because of their votes for the health care reform law.

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"There was a reason why health care reform had not been accomplished before. It was hard," Obama said. "These men and women did the right thing. They did the hard thing. Theirs was a profile in courage. Because of that vote, 20 million people got health insurance who didn't have it before."

The speech came just days after the U.S. House Republicans passed a bill that would ultimately dismantle much of Obamacare. Obama did not mention Trump by his name.

The former president instead spoke about his "fervent hope" that members of Congress would come together and once again do the right thing.

"As everyone here now knows, this great debate is not settled but continues," Obama said. "And it is my fervent hope, and the hope of millions that, regardless of party, such courage is still possible.

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"That today's members of Congress, regardless of party, are willing to look at the facts and speak the truth even when it contradicts party positions."

Obama also called for citizens to stand up for what's right.

"For many Americans, I know that this feels like an uncertain and perilous time," Obama added. "At such moments, courage is necessary. At such moments, we need courage to stand up to hate, not just in others but in ourselves. At such moments, we need courage to stand up to dogma, not just in others, but in ourselves.

"Courage means not doing what is simply politically expedient but doing what [people] believe in their hearts is right. And this kind of courage is required of all of us."

The American Health Care Act passed the House of Representatives by a narrow 217 to 213 vote on May 4, Bustle reported. Trump said he is "so confident" the bill will pass the Senate.  

Sources: Daily Mail, Bustle / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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