Obama defends Obamacare, warns GOP against shutdown in weekly address
September 28th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
12 months ago

Obama defends Obamacare, warns GOP against shutdown in weekly address

Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama in his weekly Saturday address praised his signature health care legislation while lashing out at congressional Republicans who would seek to defund it.

Tuesday is going to be a big day, Obama tells viewers, because “it’s the day a big part of the Affordable Care Act kicks in” - the opening of new exchanges for private health insurance. He praised the accessibility to health insurance that the exchanges will provide.

But the exchanges' debut is not the only thing that happens Tuesday.

“It’s also the day that a group of far-right Republicans in Congress might choose to shut down the government and potentially damage the economy just because they don’t like this law,” Obama said.

Congress has a little over two-and-a-half days for both chambers to pass identical funding bills for the federal government.

The Senate passed a funding bill Friday and sent it back to the House. That version stripped House language that would have defunded Obamacare; it remains unclear what the House will do with the bill.

“Republicans in the House have been more concerned with appeasing an extreme faction of their party than working to pass a budget that creates new jobs or strengthens the middle class,” Obama warned.

“And in the next couple days, these Republicans will have to decide whether to join the Senate and keep the government open, or create a crisis that will hurt people for the sole purpose of advancing their ideological agenda,” he said.

The funding bill isn't the only issue at hand, Obama said. He warned against any attempt by Republicans to attach items of their agenda onto a bill authorizing the Treasury Department to increase the debt limit. Obama vowed once again not to negotiate over the debt limit - saying raising it to ensure the country can pay its bills is Congress' Constitutional responsibility - although he said he would negotiate over “our economic future.”

“I don’t know how to be more clear about this: No one gets to threaten the full faith and credit of the United States of America just to extract ideological concessions,” he said.


Filed under: Health care • President Obama
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Stuffit

    Is this another one of those red line things? If the government shuts down who will spy on us waste ou money and treat us with contempt and disdain?

    September 28, 2013 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  2. Tigas

    The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government can not pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies. Increasing America's debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that "the buck stops here." Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.
    BHO

    September 28, 2013 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  3. Dixie

    This bill is not ready. Why did the administration wait for three years to start to get things going? At this point the systems should be ready and tested, the people manning the phones should be trainned and secure. I'm nervous about giving out my information much less my kids. Why not postpone the rollout till the secuity is inplace?

    September 28, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  4. Anonymous

    Has anyone challenged Congress to give up their paychecks if they shut down the government? Would they?
    Of course not. Silly, little people playing with other people's lives.

    September 28, 2013 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  5. Hector Slagg

    Humm,
    It would appear, that Companies, that were required, by law, to provide Health Care now have an excuse to dump their Health Plan's. All because of the "Un-" Affordable Care Act. So it wlil now be up to the Tax Payer's to make up the difference to pay for health care.

    September 28, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  6. jpmichigan

    President stated," You can keep the insurance you have!." But he forgot the best part, it will cost you more. Higher premiums, higher co-pays and higher deductions. If you pick a cheaper insurance premium, then the increase in co-pay and deductions double or triple. Most people cannot afford it. For once why can't the government be HONEEST and FORTHRIGHT. No wonder they opt out. I hope Pelosi and the other Democrats that didn't read the bill but passed it, have to deal with having it. If the Republicans can do anything, I hope is to make Congress more responsible and take away their waiver to Obama Care.

    September 28, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  7. What's in that tea anyway?

    Good Job Mr. President....One has to wonder with all this complaining by the GOP/Tea clowns, if they actually missed the fact you won re-election last year and actually ran on the ACA, while your opponent ran away from RomneyCare. Funny how that works....Americans don't like the ACA but voted for you anyway. Can these knuckle draggin' Tea Trolls accept the fact we just had a national election and all their complaining in the world can't do away with the WILL OF THE PEOPLE...more people voted for the president than any of these Tea Fools now trying to change the outcome

    September 28, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  8. ED1

    When will Obama admit that his plan is not going to work.

    We will be the biggest part time employer in the world this bill stinks.

    I see you have already started with the blame game with FOX News this is your baby not FOX and it will plunge us deeper into debt it seems to me that's what you want for the people to become dependent on our Government. Guess what we are almost there.

    Again thanks for your great leadership skills and you continue to divide this country. A good leader would try to bring us together not divide us. Class warfare is all you know how to do.

    September 28, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  9. Larry in Houston

    To be perfectly honest – I'm not a huge fan of the community organizer in chief – with a Law degree. BUT, that being said, Obama is right on this one. If I was him, I wouldn't worry about trying to build what they call "a popularity contest" He's only got 2.5 yrs left, before he becomes the "Lame Bird" so to speak.

    The bottom line is this : it doesn't matter if he ends up with some of the republicans ideas, but when he presents them to the public, or congress, they continue to shut him down, and/or disagree with him. In other words, they (congress)would cut their nose to spite their face. Truly un-believeable.

    September 28, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  10. What a Shame

    Is anybody listening to Obama anymore? He is irrelivent since all he can do is try to sell the Americans on a garbage law. Why is he still trying to sell it? It's the law regardless of the majority of Americans who don't like it and don't want it. I guess this is what the incredible skills of a community organizer brings to the White House. How incredibly sad. Welcome to socialism everyone.

    September 28, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  11. freedom

    We're done with your threats and narcissism. You are not a leader, and definitely not worthy of the office you hold. You are not an imperial leader who can dictate to its subjects. We are a democracy, and will voice any opposition we see fit.

    September 28, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  12. streetcred

    "No one gets to threaten the full faith and credit of the United States of America just to extract ideological concessions." Really? He did when he rammed this train wreck of a law down the throats of Americans. What a hypocrite ... Can't get ridof this corupt administration fast enough.

    September 28, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  13. iizthatiiz

    Presidents do not write law. That is the province of the legislative branch. Obamacare was narrowly passed on a strictly partisan vote.

    The American people responsed to the passage of Obamacare by resoundingly throwing the Democrats out of the house in 2010. We purposely sent legislators to the house who promised us that they would overturn Obamacare.

    The peoples decision to overturn Obamacare was upheld in 2012. The Obama administration and the Democratic party must respect the will of the American people. Obamacare must be defunded and overturned.

    September 28, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  14. Donald

    If President had discovered that oxygen is the primary gas that our bodies require for energy production within it, the Republicans would tell people not to breathe it in because it will be bad for them in the long run. The sad part is, they would not have an alternative gas for mankind to breathe in.

    September 28, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  15. Donald

    As per iizthatiiz, "The American people responded to the passage of Obamacare by resoundingly throwing the Democrats out of the house in 2010. We purposely sent legislators to the house who promised us that they would overturn Obamacare".

    That may have been true due to misinformation and scare tactics by the Republicans. However, when people come to know the truth, they reelected the same President who was responsible for the passage of Obamacare and the same people who elected him will in 2014 vote out most the obstructionist Republicans who are not from safe districts. At that time the President will be able to do more positive reforms for the USA. The only problem is the left leaning extremists who would want to spend the country in oblivion without regard for the next generation. He will have to learn how keep them in line.

    September 28, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  16. ST

    I have not heard so far any sounding reason why republicans don't like ACA, just only it will kill jobs. What jobs? Can you tell us how many jobs you have created so far which will be killed? You campaigned in 2010 to create jobs, so far there is none, still you are talking about killing jobs??? Enough already, play your game to people who can't think themselves. BUT even with them, once they realise you have been playing with them, you will really, really be in BIG trouble, I can assure you.

    September 28, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  17. Gurgyl

    It is the law. Period.

    September 28, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  18. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    @Hector Slagg
    Humm,
    It would appear, that Companies, that were required, by law, to provide Health Care now have an excuse to dump their Health Plan's. All because of the "Un-" Affordable Care Act. So it wlil now be up to the Tax Payer's to make up the difference to pay for health care

    Dear Hector, yesterday you were "just sayin" the day before you were something else. Anyway, you are very wrong. When people are uninsured, guess who pays for their healthcare at the emergency room? THE TAX PAYER! I guess Faux "News" doesn't tell you that Huh?

    September 28, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  19. just me

    " the peoples decision to overturn Obamacare was upheld in 2012. " say what? The GOTP.Lost the presidential election, lost seats in the senate, and lost seats in the house. Sounds like you need to respect the will of the people.

    September 28, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  20. Marty, FL

    @iizthatiiz
    Are you for real? In case you missed it, the president was re-elected in 2012 on his healthcare law.

    If the TGOP shuts down our government or defaults on our nation's credit, Republicans deserve full blame for their irresponsible tea nonsense!

    September 28, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  21. Ken

    Buh'rack said..If I don't spend like a drunken sailor, who will...? maybe Michelle can have another 168 million dollar vacation...yepppp...

    September 28, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  22. budsview

    Obama to the country; “I don’t know how to be more clear about this: No one gets to threaten the full faith and credit of the United States of America just to extract ideological concessions,” except Me

    September 28, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  23. innocent-not

    We are the ONLY industrialized nation in the world that has no national health care plan.
    While the talking heads on the right side love to talk about the people who come down to the US for procedures they can't get done in Canada under their National Health Plan, they disregard how many people buy their pharmaceuticals from Canada and Mexico.
    MEXICO! Please! Does anyone realize how grossly over priced our pharmaceuticals are that people would rather risk the drug safety systems in Mexico than pay the astronomical prices our pharmaceutical company's charge.
    While I would prefer a single payer plan, the plan as it stands will do for a good start.

    September 28, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  24. Stuffit

    Why do the democrat liberals call hard working Americans who object to having their hard earned money confiscated and given to dope addicts and welfare frauds knuckle dragging TEAtrolls?

    September 28, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  25. Ron -IN

    MY advice to the President is plain and simple...HOLD FIRM...DO NOT NEGOTIATE AT ALL...This nation can not afford to have ANY PRESIDENT forced to settle budget disagreements outside the regular budget process!!! I KNEW this was going to happen this time because the President negotiated with them last time. They viewed this as a WEAKNESS and HE HAS to let them RUIN the credit rating of the Country to get them out of this bad habit. As a nation we decided not to negotiate with terrorist, the SAME PRINCIPLE applies here. If he negotiate this time, in 12 months this whole cycle will start up again, it is unhealthy for the world economy not just ours.

    Republicans..yes you won the House but to OVERTURN a law you need to win 2 out of 3 of the branches of government. You have not done that yet, and if you keep doing the things we are currently experiencing YOU WILL LOSE THE HOUSE once again!! The MINORITY does not get the rule the MAJORITY. Win some Senate seats or the White House, otherwise you need to realize you can influence but you can't control.

    September 28, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
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