President Obama has a simple message for Obamacare critics: “we’re not going back.”
“If I’ve got to fight another three years to make sure this law works, then that’s what I’ll do,” he said at an event Tuesday afternoon.
The speech kicked off a new White House campaign to refocus the Obamacare narrative on the positives of the law, following two months of negative coverage of the troubled rollout of HealthCare.gov. Now that the consumer experience side of the exchange website is largely fixed, the administration plans to spend the next three weeks leading up to the first enrollment deadline on Dec. 23 by publicizing the benefits of the Affordable Care Act.
The President’s speech today was a more forceful defense of the law than has been given in recent weeks, and indicated a clear message going forward: the status quo is not an option.
“If you ask many of the opponents of this law what exactly they’d do differently, their answer seems to be, well, let’s go back to the way things used to be,” he said, explaining that the law’s opponents have yet to coalesce around a viable health care alternative.
“If, despite all the millions of people who are benefitting from it, you still think this law’s a bad idea, then you’ve got to tell us specifically what you’d do differently to cut costs, cover more people, make insurance more secure, Obama said. “You can’t just say that the system was working with 41 million people without health insurance.”
The administration’s strategy is to set up this dichotomy between what is available under Obamacare, and what was wrong with the status quo — the default comparison metric since Republicans have been heavy on calls for repeal without options to replace it.
Obama said the ACA is working and will continue to work better. While he welcomed suggestions for how to improve the law, he insisted repeal is not going to happen.
“Look, I’ve always said I will work with anybody to implement and improve this law effectively,” he continued. “But we’re not repealing it as long as I’m president. I want everybody to be clear about that. We will make it work for all Americans.”
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When it comes to name-calling among America's upper echelon of politicians, there may be perhaps no greater spat than the one currently going on between Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Donald Trump. While receiving an award Tuesday night, she continued a months-long feud with the presumptive GOP presidential nominee. Calling him a "small, insecure moneygrubber" who probably doesn't know three things about Dodd-Frank, she said he "will NEVER be president of the United States," according to her prepared remarks."We don't know what Trump pays in taxes because he is the first presidential nominee in 40 years to refuse to disclose his tax returns. Maybe he’s just a lousy businessman who doesn’t want you to find out that he’s worth a lot less money than he claims." It follows a long-line of Warren attacks over Twitter, Facebook and in interviews that Trump is a sexist, racist, narcissistic loser. In reply, Trump has called Warren either "goofy" or "the Indian"—referring to her controversial assertion of her Native American heritage.
The House on Tuesday voted 403-12 "to pass an overhaul to the nation’s chemical safety standards for the first time in four decades. The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act aims to answer years of complaints that the Environmental Protection Agency lacks the necessary authority to oversee and control the thousands of chemicals being produced and sold in the United States. It also significantly clamps down on states’ authorities, in an effort to stop a nationwide patchwork of chemical laws that industry says is difficult to deal with."
Citing the unpredictable nature of this primary season and the possible leverage they could bring at the convention, John Kasich is hanging onto his 161 delegates. "Kasich sent personal letters Monday to Republican officials in the 16 states and the District of Columbia where he won delegates, requesting that they stay bound to him in accordance with party rules."
Bernie Sanders "signed a letter Tuesday morning requesting a full and complete check and recanvass of the election results in Kentucky ... where he trails Hillary Clinton by less than one-half of 1 percent of the vote. The Sanders campaign said it has asked the Kentucky secretary of state to have election officials review electronic voting machines and absentee ballots from last week's primary in each of the state's 120 counties.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) “is the subject of an ongoing investigation by the FBI and … the Justice Department” for potentially improper contributions to his 2013 campaign, including while he was a Clinton Global Initiative board member. ... Among the McAuliffe donations that drew the interest of the investigators was $120,000 from” former Chinese legislator Wang Wenliang. “U.S. election law prohibits foreign nationals from donating to … elections. … But Wang holds U.S. permanent resident status.”