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. Frank Klus

    Republicans have been sticking it to us year after year. What will happen if they withhold funding for the government unless they get their way. Could this be considered an act of insurrection?

    August 18, 2013 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
  2. Sandy

    That's been true for a number of years!

    August 18, 2013 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  3. MesaMax

    This from a president who does not answer any questions about his administration unless they are carefully scripted and controlled by his handlers. A president who will not face ordinary citizens nor answer any tough questions. And America suffers...............

    August 18, 2013 02:35 am at 2:35 am |
  4. kamarasune

    The only thing that's confusing is if this healthcare is all that good then why are so many special interest groups getting a presidential pass on it?

    August 18, 2013 05:57 am at 5:57 am |
  5. Oliver A. Dyer

    I am one who is willing to be as objective as possible regarding health care. Unfortunately all I see coming from the GOP is negative comments and more than 35 attempts to repeal Obama Care. How about a real alternative health care plan GOP? I would have appreciated that. Thus far under Obama Care I have received a premium rebate and my 17 year old will be able to stay under my plan thru age 26.

    So GOP put up something with substance or shut up! By the way how about using some of that "Voter ID", "Blocking More Extensive Background Checks for Gun Purchases", "Stand Your Ground", and "Anti-Abortion" energy on job creation.

    August 18, 2013 06:31 am at 6:31 am |

    The Guns Over People Shutdown Government tea potttie are reduced to begging. Priceless.

    August 18, 2013 06:56 am at 6:56 am |

    Best example. Look at what the Guns Over People Shutdown Government tea pottie have done to their FoxLies watching base.

    August 18, 2013 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  8. Marie MD

    Mr President, the only ones who believe the rethugs/teatrolls are the oil lowers of faux news and crazies lie limberger, insanity and mr gold beck.
    The same people with nothing in between their ears but dead air.

    August 18, 2013 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  9. Gurgyl

    GOP is bunch of Fools, ignore.

    August 18, 2013 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  10. Average American

    rs . Obama is a little man with a job that is way, way over his head and you are too stupid to realize.
    In the Hitler regime, you would be known as a Obama boot licker and brown shirt.

    August 18, 2013 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  11. Bigger Brain

    Fingers over keyboard spurting forth words as if they were truth lie just a readily. Believe in something more than your own greed and paranoia. Be a True American standing up for Truth, Justice and the American Way... not Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt fed by the unAmericans who own that faux new outlet and are feeding the division for megaprofits of the few. I still believe America is more!

    August 18, 2013 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  12. Steve

    Republicans? Confuse people? Mr (so called) President, you are the one confused, your (questionable) Affordable Healthcare Program is going to cost me an average of $368 more a month ($4,416 a year) than I am paying now. And no I am not rich, I make about $55,000 a year and after taxes and all deductions which leaves me about $28,000 a year to live on. ($2,333 a month). And yes, I know there are people making a lot less than me without Healthcare, But I worked for over 40 years to get here and I don't want it taken away from me now.

    August 18, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  13. Marcus

    @ Steve – 'Mr (so called) President'? And you still want to be taken seriously?
    Get over it man, pick a guy that was on the job before, ANYone. Would you call him 'Mr (so called) President' as well?
    Correct answer: EVERY man elected for the job (or in some cases for the role of vice-president that ended up filling the post when the other guy in the ticket died while serving his term) was the President.
    Including GWB (that SCOTUS ruling for his first term count as well).
    'Mr (so called) President'? Mr (so called) Steve...

    August 18, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  14. SRyan

    Confuse people huh? So exactly how many elements of AHCA are ready for implementation? Yeah...that's what I thought.

    August 18, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  15. ge

    looks like a lot of insurance companies benefits deniers are out of work on this site

    August 18, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  16. jharry

    The ACA means lost jobs and lost opportunities. And higher costs. More taxes. Less privacy.

    August 18, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  17. Thomas

    The big insurance companies will find a way to scam the system .

    We need more money , more professional golf courses .

    August 18, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  18. Berachah

    Confuse people! I voted for Obama, and I am totally confused by what he promised and what he does. Totally disillusioned. I feel like I voted for Obama and got Bush

    August 18, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  19. Evening Joe

    It would be nice to have a leader who actually led the the country rather than someone who constantly tried to blame, divide the country and circumvent the law.

    August 18, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  20. w l jones

    If the Rep. win the next president election we all would be better off dancing on the moon without a spacesuit on....doom!

    August 18, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  21. Ann Heaney

    When somebody is ill the humane thing is to let him/her be healed. This is why it is the government's role to take care of people. It is true that the healthier people and wealthier end up paying for the sick. But when we all pool our resources we can afford to take care of poor or sick citizens. Taxes are paid so that we can afford firemen, policeimen etc. A conservative would say this is socialized care. But nobody is going to stop funding this. The same is true in healthcare. "Socialized" medicine is the same thing. There are people who are in terrible debt who would not have been if every household contributed a small amount to avoid this. The same is true of people who opt out of getting the care in the first place. The same holds true here. I know several healthier people that would not object to helping their brothers and sisters. Please consider what I have said.

    August 18, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  22. Bruce

    The Dems have the corner on subterfuge and fraud when it comes to just about everything as they forward their destructive progressive agenda. Exceptions, rules, fiats and failures. Yeah right – the GOP is clueless how to stand on principle but then the Dems have the media in their pocket.

    August 18, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  23. annieL

    I want to wish all the good federal and state employees who are working to roll out the exchanges Godspeed! I'm sure the stress is high, the hours long. Republicans everywhere are hoping and even praying that you fail. But real people's lives depend on you doing a good job, so do your very best! Yes, WE CAN!

    August 18, 2013 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  24. TONE

    I think the gop are themselves confused because they never read the bill every thing about the bill came from the right wing media and there are no shining stars in terms of IQ over there. America listen to your President.

    August 19, 2013 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  25. Rudy NYC

    "You can comparison shop in an online marketplace, just like you would for cell phone plans or plane tickets."
    Pres. Obama's right. Republicans have been successfully trying to confuse people for years about the ACA and various other talking points. But, I think the idea that people can simply go online and sign up for health insurance ignores the fact that not everyone has access to the internet. In fact, I'd bet that most of those currently without health insurance are the very same people who do not have internet access.

    August 19, 2013 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
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