Obama says Republicans want to 'confuse people'
August 17th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
9 years ago

Obama says Republicans want to 'confuse people'

(CNN) - President Barack Obama continued to promote his signature health care reform on Saturday and argued Republicans are trying to "confuse people" about the law.

His comments come as some GOP members in Congress have called for an effort to defund Obamacare in an upcoming budget deadline.

"A lot of Republicans seem to believe that if they can gum up the works and make this law fail, they'll somehow be sticking it to me. But they'd just be sticking it to you," the president said in his weekly address.

Read a transcript of his remarks below.

Hi, everybody. Over the past few weeks, I've been visiting with Americans across the country to talk about what we need to do to secure a better bargain for the middle class.

We need to rebuild an economy that rewards hard work and responsibility; an economy built firmly on the cornerstones of middle-class life. Good jobs. A good education. A home of your own. A secure retirement. And quality, affordable health care that's there when you need it.

Right now, we're well on our way to fully implementing the Affordable Care Act. And in the next few months, we'll reach a couple milestones with real meaning for millions of Americans.

If you're one of the 85% of Americans who already have insurance, you've already got new benefits and protections under this law that you didn't before. Free checkups, mammograms, and contraceptive care. Discounted prescription medicine on Medicare. The fact you can stay on your parents' plan until you turn 26. And much, much more. And it's okay if you're not a fan of the Affordable Care Act – you can take advantage of these things anyway.

If you don't have insurance, beginning on October 1st, private plans will actually compete for your business. You can comparison shop in an online marketplace, just like you would for cell phone plans or plane tickets. You may be eligible for new tax credits to help you afford the plan that's right for you. And if you're in the up to half of all Americans who've been sick or have a preexisting condition, this law means that beginning January 1st, insurance companies have to cover you – and they can't use your medical history to charge you more than anybody else.

You can find out more about the law, and how to sign up to buy your own coverage right now at HealthCare.gov. Tell your friends and neighbors without insurance about it, too. And tell your kids that there's a new, easy way to buy affordable plans specifically tailored to young people.

Many Members of Congress, in both parties, are working hard to inform their constituents about these benefits, protections, and affordable plans. But there's also a group of Republicans in Congress working hard to confuse people, and making empty promises that they'll either shut down the health care law, or, if they don't get their way, they'll shut down the government.

Think about that. They're actually having a debate between hurting Americans who will no longer be denied affordable care just because they've been sick – and harming the economy and millions of Americans in the process. And many Republicans are more concerned with how badly this debate will hurt them politically than they are with how badly it'll hurt the country.

A lot of Republicans seem to believe that if they can gum up the works and make this law fail, they'll somehow be sticking it to me. But they'd just be sticking it to you.

Some even say that if you call their office with questions about the law, they'll refuse to help. Call me old-fashioned – but that's lousy constituent service. And it's not what you deserve.

Your health insurance isn't something to play politics with. Our economy isn't something to play politics with. This isn't a game. This is about the economic security of millions of families.

See, in the states where governors and legislatures and insurers are working together to implement this law properly – states like California, New York, Colorado and Maryland – competition and consumer choice are actually making insurance affordable.

So I'm going to keep doing everything in my power to make sure this law works as it's supposed to. Because in the United States of America, health insurance isn't a privilege – it is your right. And we're going to keep it that way.

Thanks. And have a great weekend.

Filed under: Health care • President Obama
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. Scott

    OBAMA just does not get it, the people do not want ObamaCare. Its going to cost jobs, raise heath care cost, Obama from day one never gave a darn about the people of this country. Everything he does is for his so call legacy. Well here is his legacy. One of the worst Presidents in U.S. History.

    August 17, 2013 06:12 am at 6:12 am |
  2. W.G.

    The far right will do anything , say anything to make the American people suffer .
    We donĀ“t have to worry about foriegn terrorists destroying our country the republican
    party is doing that just fine .

    August 17, 2013 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  3. MaryM

    Keep talking republicans, just keep spewing those lies. That worked out so well for you in the last general election

    August 17, 2013 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  4. Rick McDaniel

    Obama wants to cover up his failings.........which is a tall order, indeed.

    August 17, 2013 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  5. DG

    Those evil Republicons are all that is wrong with our country. They were also against social security and medicare, but most Americans of all political persuasions have realized that social security and medicare were wonderful laws for the American people enacted by Democrats. The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is also a wonderful law for the American people. All the Republicons care about is the insurance lobby which rips the American people off both physically and financially. How could anyone vote Republicon? It's a total puzzle.

    August 17, 2013 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  6. Burt

    Wow...that sounds pretty reasonable to me! And the POTUS is correct with his description of 'Republicans' and their misinformation tactics and obstructionism.
    But...I can't wait to see how people from the 'right' will spin this around and end up calling him a dictator. And then say that they are not racsist, that they have 'legitimate cause' to hate the POTUS.

    August 17, 2013 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  7. ED1

    No you and your party has already done a great job of doing that.

    The GOP is trying to what they were elected trying to stop your out of control spending at our grandchildren expense.

    August 17, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  8. Just a thought

    You tell'em Mr. President. These GOP/Tea Trolls have no ideas except how to tank the economy and try to make you a 2 term president...Oh, Ok they accomplished both these things.

    August 17, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  9. Donkey Party

    The GOP wants to confuse AND lie. Remember when the GOP wanted to "repeal and replace"? Well, just like the whole "jobs, jobs, jobs" thing, it was nothing but a big fat lie to get elected.

    August 17, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  10. jpmichigan

    Only confusion that I see is coming from the President and his administration. One can check for ones self to see, members of Congress and the administration are the only ones allowed to keep what health care they have, which is paid for by American tax payers. Money is need to fund Affortable Healthcare, since it has been deemed a TAX by the Supreme Court, so breaks are given to all deemed by this administration, except the American tax payer .

    August 17, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  11. HenryMiller

    Basically, everything Obama has ever said about Obamacare has been a lie, and he's accusing the GOP of trying to "confuse people?"

    August 17, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  12. Norma Vessels

    A good, clear speech, Mr. President. I can't see how anyone can mistake what you just said, though some in Congress will give it a try. Keep on working for us, please. We can't rely on the Republicans in Congress to help us .. they just want to put their shoe on our heads. We need your strength until we can come together in the next election and get them out of Congress!

    August 17, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  13. Tampa Tim

    Libertarians have to make sure everyone is a miserable as they are. Lying makes them feel good.

    August 17, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  14. wendel

    republicans will not pull their heads out of the sand. WE are so done with them and their lies. Forward 2016.

    August 17, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  15. mtcawa1

    Is that why you (Obama) , congress and your staff protected yourselves against having to pay for Obamacare? You yammer on about 30 million people who will have to do without free care if the bill doesn't pass. Which 30 million are those, your 40 million illegals you outed of the shadows or the 30 million illegals still crossing the border? Even your staunchese supporters, the Unions, don't want your ego riddled Obamacare. All this is just to save face, your face.

    August 17, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  16. Been There

    Getting a good laugh out of the sheeple posting above who are mad that everyone will not lick Obama's face in unison like the lapdogs THEY are. They lie and lie and lie about the GOP and anyone who disagrees with their Leftist ideological groupthink, secure as the pathetic media shield Obama from any accountability to speak of. Listen up, you manipulated cretins: The Divider In Chief has done more to confuse people, purposefully, than any one hundred Republicans put together. Wake up, if you can. What's going on isn't pretty.

    August 17, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  17. onlyfacts

    I see by all the Obama haters statements, that the republican tactic of confusing people is working very well!

    August 17, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  18. don in albuquerque

    No they do not want to cover things up. It is easier to ignore them and play like they do not exist. You don't need to confuse people whom you already believe are just stupid.

    August 17, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  19. ThinkAgain

    I'm am SO THANKFUL I live in a state that has been working hard for these last two years to get our exchange up and running.

    And because of Obamacare, healthcare consumers will finally be able to compare prices and quality for the services they pay form, which very directly benefits them.

    And who's leading the charge on all this? HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANIES. They WANT consumers to find the best value, because in the end it SAVES the insurance company money.

    Just think: freedom of choice, comparison shopping, greater understanding of just what you're paying for and how much it will cost; isn't that kind of consumer power what supposed free-market capitalists are wanting?

    I guess not – if it means a "legislative victory" for the President ...

    August 17, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  20. ThinkAgain

    My only complain about the President is that he has been way too nice and conciliatory to the Repubs.

    President Obama needs to be more like FDR in taking names and handing out fannies ...

    August 17, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  21. smith

    Will see when law is fully ineffect what the pro`s and con` are . Right now both sides really don`t know so how can you say it`s terrible or a wonderful
    law. All I know is my taxes keep going up and Im not even close to the so called 1%

    August 17, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  22. justanaverageguy

    Gotta love how Obama tries to spin this stuff. He says that if repubs can make this law fail, that they'll somehow be sticking it to him, while inactuality, they'd be sticking it to us.

    The repubs don't care about the "us". They have always only cared about sticking it to Obama. And we the people suffer the consequences.

    Unprecedented obstruction by the repubs is based on ratial hatred of Obama. When the people of this country voted the first african american president into office based on his "hope and change" message, we couldn't have known what was to follow.

    Congressional repubs by and large don't give a damn about the middle class or this country's problems. They are obsessed with not allowing this president the legacy he wants. They'll do whatever they can to stop him, middle class and country be damned! This is madness!

    August 17, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  23. Just a thought

    It takes an extremely low intellect to support today's GOP/Tea Trolls. They buy into the faux and fools talking points; wholesale. These folks actually think the Limbergers, and Shammity's of the world actually know what's best for this country as opposed to the duly elected president. Hey Mouth Breathers, we refuse to let your foolishness destroy this country.

    August 17, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  24. Winston Smith

    The ones that listen to, or get their marching orders from the likes of Lush Plumprump, Sean Handittome, and Faux News, are the least informed maladjusted among the populace. They've been bought and sold like a cheap commodity.

    August 17, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  25. NameFrank Deery

    This 17k mess was authored by Pelosi and
    Reid, approved by Obama, who probably never read it. Duh?

    Republicans warned America this would happen. It has! This health care bill needs 10
    lawyers to help anyone decide on their roll.

    Obama is A Disaster media. Accept it and get our great nation. Back!

    August 17, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
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