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. Revolution

    How's it doing in the polls lol! Your options are a full time job or a part time job and obamacare. Take your meds libs!

    August 17, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  2. Derek

    If Republicans actually believed in Jesus, they would help the poor and chase out the true money changers...

    August 17, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  3. rs

    Mr. Obama is a diplomat- I'd just call Republicans liars and frauds. The ACA SAVES MONEY, it is REDUCING HEALTHCARE COSTS and if we look at the test state of Mass. and Romneycare- it works very, very well.
    So what motivates the GOP to throw Americans under the bus? Is it the cash from the insurance lobby? Is it hatred for the poor and middle class? Or is it simply their delusions, radical ideology?
    Republicans=wrong for America- again.

    August 17, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  4. Gio

    Obama can't talk about the NSA without lying through his teeth.

    But it's the Republicans that want to confuse people?

    August 17, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  5. Michigan patriot

    His lips were moving, and he was lying again. Health insurance won't go up? LIE!!! Mine just went up 25%. Sure, he is working hard to make it more affordable...LIE So, why the members of Congress don't want it? Duh! Come on people, wake up...

    August 17, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  6. Lynda/Minnesota

    Well, to give GOPerville credit, Mr. President, they tend to confuse themselves. I suspect GOP leadership ... you know, Limbaugh and Company ... take a great deal of credit for GOPervilles confusion ... and rightly so. It's not as if their million dollar contracts to spout "confusion" aren't on the line. Hate sells.

    Until such time as the needless hate is taken out of the GOP, I'll stick with Democrats. And, yeah. I don't see going back to the GOP anytime soon.

    August 17, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  7. California

    You mean like with Obamacare?

    Obamacare is a sham at best. Not even federal workers want it.

    August 17, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  8. Getoverit

    The people will figure it out. The Republicans are not lying to the people like you are, Mr. President.

    August 17, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  9. smith

    @rs-The reason the GOP and their folks are opposed to ACA is because it is a tax. A tax that if you already have health insurance you shouldn`t have to pay. Would you pay a stranger`s car payment just because you make more money than they do. No, of course not. That is their point.

    August 17, 2013 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  10. Steveo

    Just a thought
    "Do you get out there and say to other conservatives that we are to love all of God's children (everybody), Black, White, Gay, straight, no matter one's religion or creed. We are love each other as Christ loved us – right? You must really be conflicted"

    Did you bother to ask the NAACP, the CBC, Jesse or Al to speak up about that kid who got beat up on that school bus? They spoke up about Zimmerman, as they should have BUT where are they now? In short, you might just want to reconsider the throwing of stones my way!
    Steveo, as I said you seem very intelligent, sincere in your faith, but I think under false pretenses have earned the respect of Lynda/Minn. Contrary to your approach, I call out family members and friends during the years when Bush was in office as I believe something that you seem to forget "....judge not less ye be judged , refl the woman found in an adulterous act" Yes...to some degree have to agree with your patent statement "both parties do it" But NEVER EVER would I have allowed myself to be member of a party that advocate hatred and disrespect to a president of this great nation. My father fought and died for this country and to see the disrespect perpetrated by the GOP for Pres. Obama is nauseating, and here you are riding the accolaides of someone I have always admired reading her posts...Ms. Lynda/Minn. I just don't think you've some how earned such high praise with all your fence straddling. My bible says: "Be hot or cold but lukewarm, I spew you out of my mouth" So if you are a Conservative, you need to get off the fence and in line with your fellow members and continue to lie about President Obama...because that's all your party has. Now if that serves your faith, I just say WOW, that type of pretzeled faith must leave you extremely uncomfortable.
    Where do I begin? So you want to hold me fully accountable for a party? So does that mean I can hold YOU accountable for Clinton cheating on his wife? That would make you party to adultery, would it not? Do I get to hold you accountable for the plague on this nation, AKA abortion? Do I get to hold you accountable for the racism of the NAACP, the CBC, the Black Panthers? They are democrats! So by YOUR own standards to me, that makes just as culpable of racism, right?

    I see you're quoting scriptures, that is good. but here is a hint.. CONTEXT is key! NONE of the scriptures has ANYTHING To do with politics yet they all have something to do with a relationship with the Lord!
    It is clear to me by your rants, you have no room with moderation! You see only black and white. You, struggle with the notion that I don't always agree with the right. that somehow I have to hate Obama because some in the GOP does. Newsflash! SOME on the left hated Bush, I guess, and again by your standards, you hated bush too! You must hate because SOME in your party hates, You must cheat on your taxes because SOME in you party do the same, SOME in your party cheat on their spouses, can I hold you responsible?

    It does not matter what you think I have earned! I never stated i earned anything! I am sure the kind words from Lynda was because I identified myself as a Christian, I am sure it has nothing to do with politics! You will have to ask Lynda! As far as "judge not less ye be judged", you realize that is exactly what you are doing? You are judging me based on the actions of somebody else! All I know is ..I am certainly glad God does not judge me by your standards!

    "But NEVER EVER would I have allowed myself to be member of a party that advocate hatred and disrespect to a president of this great nation"

    But you did! It appears you don't remember the hatred spewed towards Bush or Reagan! I said before the hatred from both sides is wrong, I also stated McConnell was wrong! Feel free to have the last word and just know that I am comfortable in my skin! You are effectively saying I cannot be a Christian and a conservative (who votes ISSUES) at the same time. In order for me to believe that, all I need from you is the book, chapter, and verse in the Bible that states that.

    August 17, 2013 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  11. chad

    i thought republicans were boycotting nbc and cbs... go back to your fox channel for sensational tv and get out of here. obama is more genuine than your corporate, religious sociopathic hearts and minds can handle

    August 17, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  12. rs

    Obama can't talk about the NSA without lying through his teeth.

    But it's the Republicans that want to confuse people?
    The same NSA that is operating under the USA PATRIOT Act passed under the Bush Administration, written by Mr. Ashcroft?

    August 17, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  13. Steveo

    @Malory Archer
    Did you bother to ask the NAACP, the CBC, Jesse or Al to speak up about that kid who got beat up on that school bus? They spoke up about Zimmerman, as they should have BUT where are they now? In short, you might just want to reconsider the throwing of stones my way!


    Why? It was a retaliation assault on a school bus, and unlike Zimmerman making racially-tinged remarks to the 911 operator (we've all heard the recording of the call so don't even try to deny it) after he got out of car and started following Martin, there were no racial connotations in the beating on the bus. I realize your ilk is disparate to label the incident a hate crime, so perhaps you should look up the definition of hate crime and explain what about the bus attack fits that definition.
    What do you mean why? Because the victim is white? Aren't the reverends supposed to love everybody? Please explain the retaliation assault? Was because of drugs? If that is the case, it was about an illegal activity, a crime, which would make a black on white crime. Surely Jesse and Al would be involved! As far as a definition: didn't Al jump on the Tawana Brawley case as a hate crime? And he did so without evidence, so now you need evidence? The hypocrisy is overwhelming!

    August 17, 2013 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  14. nintex

    It's just sad to read the conservatives' posts on here. They do not understand what they are saying and they sound like the poor idiots they are who just listen to their heroes on Fox News, repeating the same old crap over and over and over again. Not a clue among them of how the Affordable Care Act is already starting to help people, and how much more it will help people in the years to come. Sad, just sad.

    August 17, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  15. berniecat@outlook.com

    health care is a RIGHT ! most countries give their citizens healthcare , and that's why their much more advanced than we are ,,, WOW the repuks of shame are disgusting , they don't care about us citizens at all , they represent the 1% and insurance corporatist plutocracy ! that the gop of shame today . many friends I have agree that the republic0ns are just liars and unpatriotic ,,,

    August 17, 2013 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  16. Shelia

    This insurance is offering everything I have no use for but yet have to pay for it.

    August 17, 2013 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  17. Ann Heaney

    I am with President Obama's health plan. Since national health insurance is new to our country there are bound to be new things that come up. The American people need to be patient while we get acclimated. Sometimes things are difficult in the beginning, but then they get better. I have had troubles beginning things myself in putting a theory into practice. This oc-
    cured when I first worked towards getting a master's degree and in other more personal ways. We need to change in-
    surance practices that prevent the chronically ill to heal. I have a chronic disease that is like diabetes. I need the medical coverage in order to survive. Without my Medicare I would not be able to pay for the essential medicines and appointments. Please President Obama. Continue to enforce Obamacare. National health insurance is in every developed country but our USA. I have your healthcare sticker on the back of my car.

    August 17, 2013 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  18. 1Joyce

    Does it bother any of you Obamacare supporters that Obama is picking and choosing who will be forced to use his healthcare plan? It is not true that "if we like our doctor or insurance plan we can keep it". He set this up for that promise to fail. He is enticing businesses to stop providing insurance simply by making the fine less that what it would cost to insure employees. Thus, we will NOT necessarily be able to keep the healthcare plan we like. Before this even passed, our doctors told us they would quit if Obamacare passed. They kept their word. We are now looking for new physicians. Look at all his cronies and unions who have been given reprives. I do not want government looking at my healthcare, and hiring God knows who to implement this. The people being hired to "help" us aren't even having a background check. Guess that goes with the new plan to not allow businesses to do background checks on potential employees. This is ripe for fraud. Sickening.

    August 17, 2013 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  19. old guy in West Virginia

    No repeal until we see the replacement legislation. What's that you say? The GOP has no plans for replacing Obamacare? (Hey, don't believe me; talk to Newt Gingrich, who says the same thing . . .). Put up or shut up, GOP.

    August 17, 2013 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  20. ChrisM

    Thank God I live in a state that ACTUALLY cares about their citizens and have stated building the ACA Insurance exchanges.
    I have already check with online with the exchange and it will save me Lots of money on my insurance premiums

    August 17, 2013 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  21. MesaMax

    This embarrassment of a president has the nerve to say that others are trying to confuse the public? That is rich. Really rich. This president who routinely and continually lies to the American people is an embarrassment. And America suffers..................

    August 17, 2013 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  22. Donkey Party

    Just read the comments from the right-wingers to see how amazingly ignorant, delusional, and totally detached from reality they are.

    August 17, 2013 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  23. ThinkAgain

    @Michigan patriot: "His lips were moving, and he was lying again. Health insurance won't go up? LIE!!! Mine just went up 25%. "

    Hey, Michigan, why don't you use that computer you're sitting in front of to do some research. ObamaCare does not increase insurance premiums directly. The law states that as of 2011, insurance companies are no longer be able to raise insurance premiums for the sake of profit (this is ObamaCare's rate review provision). If health insurance companies do raise premiums, they will have to justify rate hikes of over 10% to the state they operate in and then disclose this information immediately on their website and healthcare.gov. If the State does not have an effective rate review program, the Federal Government will step in.

    ObamaCare helps curb the increasing costs of premiums via the rate review provision, the 80/20 rule and other protections implemented in 2014.

    People with high-end plans may continue to see higher prices on their plans moving forward, while low to middle income Americans and employees will see an Average savings of 60% of their premiums due to subsidies, tax credits and up-front assistance. Customers in States utilizing rate review provisions and setting up an insurance exchanges are projected to save the most. Also, an estimated 13 million Americans have received rebates due to the 80/20 rule.

    Regarding Congress not wanting Obamacare: You can thank Sen. Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican, for putting a provision into the original law saying that Congressmen and their aides have to be covered by plans “created” by the law or “offered through an exchange. As usual, Grassley was playing politics, hoping the Dems would reject the amendment – but they didn't. And now the chicken has come home to roost.

    August 17, 2013 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  24. Mike Texoma

    Has Michigan adopted Medicaid expansion? Has Michigan implemented it statewide insurance exchange? If any place needs to get with the program, its Michigan. Instead, you "patriots" just want to curse the darkness you created.

    August 17, 2013 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  25. necronn99

    Confuse people. WOw you done that without breaking a sweat. Now blame the Republicans come on even that is low for you.

    August 18, 2013 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
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