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Obama accuses Republicans of 'fixation' against health care law

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Friday launched an aggressive defense of his landmark healthcare law, attacking Republicans for seeking its repeal without offering a substitute for the millions of Americans who would be left uninsured.

With enrollment set to begin on Oct. 1 for individuals who want to receive health insurance under the 2010 law, Obama used a White House press conference to counter a massive Republican campaign to discredit and destroy the new program, including a threat by some Congressional Republicans to insist on repeal as a condition of funding the government.

“The really interesting question is why it is that my friends in the other party have made the idea of preventing these people from getting healthcare their holy grail,” Obama told reporters.

Saying that Republicans have “an ideological fixation” against Obamacare, the Democratic president added, “The one unifying principle in the Republican Party at the moment is making sure that 30 million people don’t have healthcare.”

Obama has been battling Republicans over universal health insurance since 2009, when he launched an effort in Congress to also clamp down on insurance companies’ ability to deny coverage to those with pre-existing medical conditions and place caps on individuals’ lifetime insurance benefits.

The enactment of the Democratic legislation in 2010 has been met with repeated attempts by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to kill the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell also has continued to hammer away against the law. On his 2014 re-election website, McConnell leads with the message: “It’s time to repeal Obamacare, root and branch!”

In response to Obama’s news conference remarks, Rory Cooper, a spokesman for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the second-ranking House Republican, said, “Obamacare increases costs, turns full-time jobs into part-time jobs and reduces the quality of care.”

Cooper urged passage of Republican legislation that would delay the startup of the health care sign-up program for individuals, just as Obama has done for certain employers.

In early July, the Obama administration, in a surprise announcment, said it was delaying until 2015 the requirement for employer-provided health insurance.

The “employer mandate” would level a $2,000 fine for every full-time employee without coverage. But the law exempts small companies with 30 workers or fewer.

The administration said the delay would give government and businesses more time to prepare for the program, while Republicans said it underscored that the law was unworkable.

Republicans attacked Obama for unilaterally delaying the provision of the law, saying he went beyond his presidential powers.

Defending his decision, Obama said it was done after consulting with “businesses all across the country.”

He added that “in a normal political environment” he would have preferred to telephone House Speaker John Boehner and seek a legislative “tweak” to the law to delay the employer mandate.

But having spent more than four years battling Republicans over healthcare, budget cuts, tax increases and immigration reform, Obama’s relations with Republicans in Congress are frayed.

“We’re not in a normal atmosphere around here when it comes to ‘Obamacare,’” he said.

Comments

kevin 1 year ago

What a joke. Obama and his liars created the law. It is your fault. You know what they say (call) a person who always blames someone else for everything they do not like?

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Haughton 1 year ago

"In early July, the Obama administration, in a surprise announcment, said it was delaying until 2015 the requirement for employer-provided health insurance.


In this particular incident in the Obamacare debacle, President BHO blamed business. Why leave that out?

The media has been trained to spead out the Obama blame game so that it doesn't appear that our Preident is a failure, and blaming everyone but himself.

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Haughton 1 year ago

Earlier this year, Illegal Aliens were featured in a commercial demanding to be covered under Obamacare. President BHO keeps encouraging Illegals to invade.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/aug/12/mexican-immigrants-find-magic-phrase-open-us-doors/

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