Chuck Todd of NBC News created a media firestorm last week when he blamed President Barack Obama “for not selling” the Affordable Care Act (“ACA“) a/k/a “Obamacare,” and said that media figures like himself had no responsibility to counter Republican lies about the ACA. Well, President Obama answered Chuck Todd and the Republican lie machine yesterday with a blazing speech at Prince George’s Community College in Largo, Maryland (see video above). Some of the highlights from President Obama’s speech were as follows:
I remember the fear Michelle and I felt when Sasha was a few months old and she got meningitis, and we raced to the hospital, and they had to give her a spinal tap, and we didn’t know what was wrong and we were terrified…. But we were fortunate enough to have good health insurance. And I remember looking around that emergency room and thinking, what about the parents who aren’t that lucky? …. In the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one should go broke just because they get sick.
Some have threatened a government shutdown if they can’t shut down this law. Others have actually threatened an economic shutdown by refusing to pay America’s bills if they can’t delay the law. That’s not going to happen as long as I’m President.
If you couldn’t afford coverage for your child because he had asthma, he’s covered. If you couldn’t afford coverage because you were told heartburn was a pre-existing condition, you’re covered. If you’re one of the 45 million Americans with a mental illness, you are covered. If you’re a young adult or entrepreneur striking out on your own, you’re covered. If you’re a young couple who previously had insurance that didn’t include maternity benefits and now, suddenly, you need some maternity benefits, you’re covered. If you lose your job, and your health care with it, you’re covered.
Knowing you can offer your family the security of health care, that’s priceless. Now you can do it for the cost of your cable bill. Probably less than your cell phone bill.
All told, nearly 6 in 10 Americans without health insurance today will be able to get covered for $100 or less.
Reforming health care is going to help the economy over the long term. Not only will it help lower costs for businesses, not only will it help families, it’ll free up entrepreneurship in this country, because if you’ve got a great idea for your own business, but you’ve never tried it because your spouse had a pre-exisiting condition and you didn’t want to lose your employer-based coverage, you’ve got the ability now to get your own coverage. That’s security. That’s freedom.
The Republicans’ biggest fear at this point is not that the Affordable Care Act will fail. What they’re worried about is, it’s going to succeed. I mean, think about it, if it was as bad as they said it was going to be, then they could just go ahead and let it happen, and then everybody would hate it so much, and then everybody would vote to repeal it, that would be the end of it.
And once it’s working really well, I guarantee you, they will not call it ‘Obamacare.’
This latest “selling” of the Affordable Care Act is in addition to previous successful “sales,” such as the Act’s passage by Congress in 2009 and 2010 and becoming law upon President Obama’s signature, the Republican-dominated U.S. Supreme Court’s upholding the Act as constitutional, and the decisive win for President Obama and Democrats in the U.S. House and Senate in the 2012 elections, where the Act was a big issue. All of this still may not be good enough for Chuck Todd, but many Americans will start “buying” the Affordable Care Act in just a few days, as they go to healthcare.gov, see how affordable health insurance plans will be for them, and literally buy health care insurance for the first time in their now-improving lives.