President Barack Obama said Obamacare isn’t perfect, but he believes his landmark health-care law is working during a speech at Miami Dade University Thursday — a claim GOP lawmakers immediately lambasted as false.
“The Affordable Care Act has done what is was designed to do. It gave us affordable healthcare,” the president said, adding he thinks Republicans’ criticisms are “politically motivated.”
Obama went on to claim health-care costs have gone down overall since the ACA’s implementation, proposing money saved from the bill be allocated toward tax credits for Americans to buy insurance, which he says will bring down premiums. Obama said he is not at fault for higher out-of-pocket costs and alleged the media only reports the negatives of the law.
“It’s hard to get people focused on the facts, and even reporters who cover this stuff, and they do a good job, they are trying to follow all the debate, but a lot of times they just report premium increases, and everybody thinks, wow, my insurance rates are going up — it must be Obama’s fault,” he said. “Even though you don’t get health through Obamacare, you get it through your job, and even though your increases have gone up a lot slower or suddenly you’re paying a bigger co-pay. Thanks, Obama. Well no, I had nothing to do with that. ”
House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin slammed the remarks, noting the legislation’s slew of failures.
“After listening to the president’s speech, I’m not sure what health care law he’s talking about,” Ryan said in a statement. “He wondered out loud why there’s been such a fuss. It’s no secret: It’s because of Obamacare. That’s why we’ve seen record premium hikes. That’s why millions of people—including millennials—have lost their plans, or been forced to buy plans they don’t like. That’s why we’ve seen waste, fraud, and abuse. And at this point, one thing is clear: This law can’t be fixed.”
Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price, a practicing physician before being elected to Congress, agreed with Ryan’s sentiments, saying despite Obama’s rhetoric, it has largely been a flop.
“If the American people had a dime for every time the president offered another sales pitch for his disastrous health care law, they might actually be able to afford an Obamacare plan,” Price said in a statement. “Six years after the bill was rammed through Congress and three years after its ill-fated rollout, Obamacare is having the opposite effect of many of the promises the president has made in previous speeches.”
Republican lawmakers have repeatedly called for Obamacare to be repealed and replaced.
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