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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Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.
Not to be outdone by Jeffrey Goldberg's recent piece in The Atlantic about President Obama's foreign policy, the New York Times Magazine checks in with a longread on the president's economic legacy. In it, Obama is cognizant that the economic reality--73 straight months of growth--isn't matched by public perceptions. Some of that, he says, is due to a constant drumbeat from the right that "that denies any progress." But he also accepts some blame himself. “I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter,” he said, “then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”
Ronald Reagan's children and political allies took to the media and Twitter this week to chide funnyman Will Ferrell for his plans to play a dementia-addled Reagan in his second term in a new comedy entitled Reagan. In an open letter, Reagan's daughter Patti Davis tells Ferrell, who's also a producer on the movie, “Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have—I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.” Michael Reagan, the president's son, tweeted, "What an Outrag....Alzheimers is not joke...It kills..You should be ashamed all of you." And former Rep. Joe Walsh called it an example of "Hollywood taking a shot at conservatives again."
In a sign that she’s ready to put a longer-than-expected primary battle behind her, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) is no longer going on the air in upcoming primary states. “Team Clinton hasn’t spent a single cent in … California, Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon and West Virginia, while” Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “campaign has spent a little more than $1 million in those same states.” Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sanders’ "lone backer in the Senate, said the candidate should end his presidential campaign if he’s losing to Hillary Clinton after the primary season concludes in June, breaking sharply with the candidate who is vowing to take his insurgent bid to the party convention in Philadelphia.”