Barack Obama Defends Health Care Law, ‘Glitches’ And All

President Barack Obama used insurance companies’ latest consumer refunds as a chance Thursday to again defend his health care law and to insist that despite “glitches,” the measure will be fully implemented.

Speaking at the White House just a day after House Republicans voted for the 38th time to repeal Obamacare, the president said he won’t yield to opponents of the law. “What I’ve heard is just the same song and dance. We’re just going to blow through that stuff and keep on doing the right thing for the American people,” he said.

Obama said he was confident that, despite resistance, even hardened foes will come to like the law. There were plenty of opponents of Medicare and Social Security when those programs became law, “but once it got set up, people started saying ‘it’s a pretty good deal, it gives me more security,’” said the president.

Obama’s statement Thursday was his first on the health care law since the administration announced its delay of the employer mandate earlier this month. But he didn’t address the rationale for that decision, which the White House has said came at the request of the small percentage of businesses that are touched by the requirement.

His last two efforts to tout the law’s benefits have fallen flat, dominated by bigger news of the day — but Obama’s speech Thursday drew live coverage on all three major cable news networks, and has not yet been overshadowed by other news.

Obama acknowledged that the law’s implementation has been and will be bumpy, saying “it’s hard” to fix such a large and broken system. “This is a big country, and the health care industry is massive, and there are tons of providers and so as we implement there are going to be glitches and there’s going certain states that for political reasons are resisting implementation and we’re just steadily working through all that stuff,” he said.

As he has before, Obama seemed incredulous at House Republicans’ efforts to derail the law’s implementation, holding back laughter as he described critics’ latest moves.

“Yesterday, despite all the evidence that law is working the way it was supposed to for middle class Americans, Republicans in the House of Representatives voted for nearly the 40th time to dismantle it,” he said.

“We’ve got a lot of problems in this country and there’s a lot of work Congress needs to do — get a farm bill passed, get immigration reform done, make ake sure we got a budget in place that invests in our children and our future. And yet instead we’re refighting these old battles,” he continued.

“Sometimes, I just try to figure out why. Maybe they think it’s good politics. But part of our job here is not to always think about politics. Part of our job here is to sometimes think about getting work done on behalf of the American people.”


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