Iowa City, Iowa (CNN) - President Barack Obama hit the road Thursday to sell the merits of the newly enacted health care law, telling an enthusiastic Iowa crowd that the measure will lead to greater economic security for most Americans.
"This is your victory," Obama told an enthusiastic crowd at the University of Iowa. Health care reform "was about the future of our country.
And today ... that future looks stronger and more hopeful and brighter than it has in some time."
The crowd, in turn, repeatedly chanted Obama's campaign theme: "Yes, we can."
Obama held the campaign-style rally as the Senate passed a package of changes to the health care law. Congressional Democrats have promised to approve the changes before the end of the week. Top Republicans, meanwhile, are promising to push for a repeal of the measure.
In the "years to come, health care inflation, which has been rising about three times as fast as people's wages, will start slowing," Obama said. "We'll start reducing the waste in the system, from unnecessary tests to unwarranted insurance subsidies. So over time, Americans will save money."
The reform plan is a "common sense" law that politically is the "middle of the road," Obama asserted.
"It finally tells the insurance companies that in exchange for all the new customers they're about to get, they have to start playing by a new set of rules that treat everyone fairly and honestly. The days of the insurance industry running roughshod over the American people are over."
The president threw down the political gauntlet to Republicans, daring them to run in the midterm elections on a promise of rescinding the new law.
"They're actually going to run on a platform of repeal in November," he said. "Well, I say go for it. ... If they want to have that fight, I welcome that fight. Because I don't believe the American people are going to put the insurance industry back in the driver's seat.
We've been there already, and we're not going back. This country's moving forward."
Obama's speech was part of a White House plan to begin aggressively selling the benefits of his health care overhaul and give some political cover to Democratic lawmakers jittery about their political futures, according to Democratic officials familiar with the strategy.
The president is expected to make many such trips in the weeks ahead, following up on promises to push back on Republican attacks in the months leading up to November's midterm elections, the officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss the emerging White House strategy publicly.
Obama first launched his grass-roots campaign for a health care overhaul in a May 2007 visit to Iowa City.
Obama's victory in the January 2008 Iowa Democratic caucuses boosted him into front-runner status along with Hillary Clinton in the battle for the Democratic presidential nomination - a fight he ultimately won.
– CNN's Ed Henry, Alan Silverleib and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.
Even though you didn't back it?
if you listen to the media lately (one channel in particular I won't name) you would think that everyone was against healthcare reform. Well I think it's about time to show those of us who ARE in favor of this bill and back the president on this historic move. Perhaps its true that the "noisest wheel gets the most oil" but it may be time to ignore the lunatic bunch for a bit and focus more on the positives of it like the president is trying to do.
He is right. The bill is middle of the road. The Republicans kept crying about government healthcare so thanks to the right-wing activists...we don't have a public option yet.
Who is going to pay for it? But that seems the last question that is answered by this tax and spend government. Lets see, you regulate no pre-existing conditions, you regulate that insurance companies must pay 80-85% on claims, and you raise premium taxes on insurance companies. Anyone who thinks premiums are going down are idiots. The bottom line is Obama and democrats are liars.
Did he say "Even though you did not want this bill it is your victory because we know better than you do what is good for you?"
Disgusted with government March 25th, 2010 4:35 pm ET
"If America wanted Obama Care So Bad how come the threats on Congress??"
Ummm... because the "real Americans" are a bunch of misinformed, willfully ignorant, paranoid hicks with guns? Have a nice day!
This will prove to be very bad for america. They failed to correct anything, just include more people in a failed system. They needed to fix the source of high cost and they didn't even try. This plan is failure but if you are dumb enough to think that money falls from gov't trees that is fine. The US will face the Greek scenario long before we get to put this into action.
IVOTE – you may vote and you clearly voted in the guy that is driving this country into bankruptcy, but you obviously don't pay attention (or you just listen to MSNBC and the Daily KOOKS which in that case it would be more educational for you to NOT pay attention at all) because Limbaugh never said he was moving, he just said he would fly to other countries WHEN he needed HC so he didn't have to wait in line for the rationed care...
BUT shoot, he still has over 4 years before the services (or lack there of) kick in and yet we all (well those approximate 60% of filers that actually contribute tax revenues to the gov't rather than take from the pie) will have to start paying for your subpar care immediately....I got a great idea, how about you buy my car and start paying me monthly for it now, and in 5 years I will give it to you to use for the first time....sounds like a great deal doesn't it...well that is exactly what you fools are happy about....once again proving that liberalism is a mental disorder!
I dunno, "socialism" seems to be workin' out quite well for China. They're doing better than we are at this point. And their trains run on time. Maybe we should try it. Have a nice day!
victim of gop taliban – middle of the road....right...and so is cap & trade, card Check, expanding the gov't, the deficit and the debt to RECORD levels...all middle of the road when you as far out left nutjob such as yourself. I bet the NYT is too conservative for you also isn't...must stick with the huffington post and the daily kooks right?
Bill was pass partisan with bipartisan opposition. Remember, all Washington elites are exempt from this bill. Why pay for something we can get four years from now. It was victory for democrats but American peoples are the sure looser.
WOW Victim of gop taliban – middle of the road....right. – you probably think BLOWBERMAN is middle of the road also huh?..and so is cap & trade, card Check, expanding the gov't, the deficit and the debt to RECORD levels...all middle of the road when you as far out left nutjob such as yourself. I bet the NYT is too conservative for you also isn't...must stick with the huffington post and the daily kooks right?