Obama defends health care reform in Austin
July 17th, 2012
07:54 PM ET
2 years ago

Obama defends health care reform in Austin

Austin, Texas (CNN) - During his third fundraiser of the day Tuesday evening, President Barack Obama defended his top domestic policy achievement and pushed back against one of the most popular attack lines coming from his Republican opponents.

"We are not rolling back health care reform," Obama said. "The Supreme Court has spoken. We are moving forward."

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While the recent court decision ruling that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional was largely seen as a win for Democrats, it also delivered Republicans a brand new talking point. The Supreme Court had labeled the penalty on those choosing not to purchase health insurance as a tax, countering what the Obama administration had been arguing since the law was passed.

"If you've got health care, the only thing that now happens to you – you're not paying a tax – the only think that's happening to you is that you have more security because insurance companies can't jerk you around," Obama said, directly addressing Republicans who have already begun to use language from the Supreme Court's decision to attack him.

Under his law, young people can stay on their parents' insurance longer, seniors will pay less for prescription drugs and everyone will be given free preventive care, the president told the crowd of more than a thousand people crowded into the Austin Music Hall.

"If you don't have health care than we're going to help you get it," he continued. "And the only people who may have a problem with this law are folks who can afford health care but aren't buying it, waiting until they get sick and then going to the emergency room and expecting everybody else to pick up the tab. That's not responsibility. That's not consistent with who we are."

The supportive crowd – each of whom paid at least $250 dollars to hear the president speak and see country music singer Jerry Jeff Walker perform – cheered the president on in his defense of health care reform. They also applauded his decision to weigh in on an ongoing legal battle between Planned Parenthood and the state of Texas.

"Insurance companies can't charge women more than men now," Obama said. "Which reminds me, we're not – we're not ending funding for Planned Parenthood. I think women should have control of their own health care choices, just like men. We're not going backwards."

Like many conservative states, Texas has tried to block funding for Planned Parenthood clinics because the organization provides abortions. In return, Planned Parenthood sued the state, winning an injunction against the law by arguing that abortion is constitutional and Texas' efforts would block women's access to preventive health care.


Filed under: 2012 • President Obama • Texas
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    One fourth of Texans do not have health insurance. Perry should be impeached.

    July 17, 2012 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  2. moriya2k2

    Doesn't matter, since our state opted out of healthcare. I hate this place sometimes.

    July 17, 2012 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  3. Corey

    Wait till January. We'll see what happens then

    July 17, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  4. CoJo

    remember the GOP had 11 years to fix the health care system or at least make major improvements, but they did nothing. Absolutely nothing!!. I game to change my mind AFTER they come up with their plan. But they have already publicly stated, if they come with anything it will be a looong time coming.
    Even Marco Rubio stated (yesterday) that the health care system has been broken for a long time. Where is his solution? Shall we list all the GOP members that said the same thing?
    obviously there are things about obamacare that people like. Why did it take obamacare to get health insurance to improve? Why didn't GOP come up with those ideas long ago? If GOP had done their jobs some time during the past 11 years, maybe we would NOT have need obamacare. Nor would we have had a financial meltdown either.... Remember, it was Trump that said the Bush's time gave us Obama...GOP did not earn their big bucks

    July 17, 2012 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  5. CoJo

    ACA is a place to start. Even the GOP acknowledges the system has been broken for a long time. They put nothing forward to improvement the system. Just like the republicans forced a federal mandate on the states with NCLB, which was also poorly implemented and very costly, but everyone does agree, the idea is good and they are going to work on what parts didn't work. I'm game to change my mind after the GOP does their job and come put forth a better plan (even a non-mandated plan) but I highly doubt the GOP has the nerve to do something even Hillary attempted years ago. Yes she failed, but she tried. GOP has not even tried (good leaders try).

    July 17, 2012 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  6. Gurgyl

    This healthcare reformis long overdue. Hats off to John Roberts. God bless him!!!and OBAMA.

    July 17, 2012 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  7. MesaMax

    "Insurance companies can't charge women more than men now," Obama said. "Which reminds me, we're not – we're not ending funding for Planned Parenthood. I think women should have control of their own health care choices, just like men. We're not going backwards." So if women want to k i l l their babies, just go ahead and do it. That killing is a private matter between mother and baby. Okay, now I understand.

    July 17, 2012 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  8. Larry L

    Republicans want every provision of the law except they don't want to pay for it. If they choose not to take the insurance they pay the penalty – because the math absolutely won't work if the pool isn't large. The same people who reject the insurance will show up at the E.R. looking for free care.

    July 17, 2012 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  9. DagnyTag

    CBO: As many as 20 million Americans could lose their employer-provided coverage because of President Obama's healthcare reform law. It's cheaper for them to pay the penalty vs the new coverage mandates. What about, "You can keep your coverage if you like it"? Not if your employer drops you = LIE
    CBO: This bill now costs (and every year it will be more)....wait for it..........$2.7 Trillion. NOT "$1 Trillion" = LIE

    "And the only people who may have a problem with this law are folks who can afford health care but aren't buying it, waiting until they get sick and then going to the emergency room and expecting everybody else to pick up the tab." Blatant outright LIE. Why does he get to say this and why do people just believe this without question. It's false.

    Yes, maybe some people do this....BUT MANY DO NOT. Not having health insurance does not automatically, necessarily, by some magic inverse logic, mean that you will cost anyone a single dime. It's a LIE.

    TAX TAX TAX, SPEND SPEND SPEND, LIE LIE LIE, TAX TAX TAX, SPEND SPEND SPEND, LIE LIE LIE!!!!!!

    July 17, 2012 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  10. Ancient Texan

    There's a decent chance that sanity will return to the United States once Obama is removed from office and conservatives take control of the House and Senate. Then TRUE Healthcare Reform can take the place of this unmetigated diaster that is about to bankrupt the Nation.

    July 17, 2012 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  11. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    We know what Obama wants to do because it has been done. What the Republicans are planning is more like a... Well, we don't know because they haven't told anyone. If they want to let people not be covered and have the states cover more and more charity care for hospitals and watch it become unsustainable. Until we have everyone either covered with medical care and insurance, something needs to be done.

    July 17, 2012 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  12. Dennis

    Obama Lied, Health Care Died!
    Obama "It's not a Tax!"
    Supreme Court "It's a Tax!"

    You won't be able to keep your current health care, and Obama's Lie was so fractured by the entire Supreme Court Decision, i.e. States can't be forced to join, Obama's Law will NEVER be fully implemented. So Obama is LYING AGAIN when he says "We won't go Back!" because HE will HAVE to fix the mess, and it will NEVER be fixed!

    July 17, 2012 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  13. Really?

    "If you don't have health care than we're going to help you get it," he continued.

    Actually, the truth is: if you don't have health care we are going to force other people to pay for it. We are the government and we can do whatever we want with other people's money. We can even force you to buy c rap and eat it and if you don't want to we can make you pay a "penalty" or "tax". You can call it whatever you want but you will buy it and eat it or you will pay a "tax" or "penalty if you don't. Yeah, that is "hope and change" for you. Now make sure you vote for Obama again.

    July 17, 2012 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  14. Really?

    Gender war, race war, class war....... and he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize?! Go figure!

    July 17, 2012 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  15. Ed1

    I guess you would your buddies said pass it then we will read it how much is this going to cost the tax payers.

    Medicare will triple in two years, we will have to start paying sales tax on home sales, and what else is in the bill that will cost us only you will not tell us.

    You and your union buddies and many others will not have to comply with the mandates why so you could get the worthless bill passed that's why.

    The cost has more than doubled in two years and the cost keeps going up.

    When will the silent majority start speaking up vote in November and put a stop to the no account bill that will be the largest tax increase to the middle class ever.

    July 17, 2012 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  16. Four and The Door

    "We are not rolling back health care reform," Obama said. "The Supreme Court has spoken. We are moving forward."
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________
    And so it is time for Obama to understand that the American Voter is in charge. Be arrogant. We will choose. Romney 2012.

    July 18, 2012 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  17. Tubby the Tuba Texas

    Go Mr. President!

    July 18, 2012 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  18. Just a thought

    you got this Mr. President...your opponent is changing his magic undies right now...of which he has soiled himself – LOL Hey GOP/Trolls you better help your guy clean himself up, cause he's stinking up the joint.

    July 18, 2012 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  19. fernace

    Yay, my Prez was in my city today, taking Guv'nah Goodhair to task for what he's trying to do & already has done to womens healthcare! I'm so impressed by this president! He's had the roughest 4 years of his life, trying to breathe life into a demolished economy (courtesy of Bush), dealt w/the "birther" onslaught, been called every negative, ugly name in the book & held responsible for a congress that refused to work w/him, whose mission is to get him out asap! Yet he's still positive w/a great belief in the tenacity of the American people! I think the GOTP is jealous & angry that their roadblocks haven't worked! That's why all the high drama from their camp! I want to go forward w/his ideas rather than backwards w/the same old tried & failed or new & detrimental policies of the GOTP! Obama 2012!!

    July 18, 2012 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  20. Republicans - "The Not Intended to Be Factually Accurate" Party

    Latinos in Texas – - YOU`VE GOT TO VOTE HARD.

    Elect a latino Senator and help the president make the GOP spend a lot of $$ defending it.

    July 18, 2012 03:32 am at 3:32 am |
  21. Kevin

    Texas is like so many states in the south, trying to go back in time. It amazes me how people fall for the GOP lies, they always talk about governemnt staying out of "your" buisness, but turn right around and try to dicttate what you and your family decide to do about their reproductive rights. Let me make this clear to all the GOP/Tea party people abortion is "Legal" get over it. If you don't want to have one then don't but don't try to for your so called values onto anyone else.

    July 18, 2012 06:03 am at 6:03 am |
  22. Catmandew

    Obama you got an unfair tax thru and insulted those of us without insurance and pay the bill 20 years and always paid my bill even tho it was twice an insured person what an insult to millions of people like me!

    July 18, 2012 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
  23. Out Of Touch with reality

    the only one who needs reform is obama, the American people need to reform him back to kenya

    July 18, 2012 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  24. Gurgyl

    Any one who has brain will support this heatlthcare law, except GOP thugs that are sold out to insurance thieves. Obama12.

    July 18, 2012 07:32 am at 7:32 am |