EXCERPTS OF NPR NEWS INTERVIEW WITH PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA
Obama says House Leaders "Not doing me a favor by paying for things that they have already approved"
Interview airing tomorrow, October 1, on 'Morning Edition'; Preview airing now on 'All Things Considered'
Media Note: Excerpts below; full transcript and audio to be released October 1 at 5AM (ET)
As the deadline nears for a possible government shutdown and as enrollment under the Affordable Care Act opens, President Barack Obama tells NPR News in an interview airing today and tomorrow: "We are not going to delay the Affordable Care Act. There are millions of Americans, right now, who do not have health insurance. And they are finally, after decades, going to be in a position where they can get affordable healthcare, just like everybody else."
When asked about ongoing conversations with House leaders, and what he could offer, Obama tells NPR: "Steve, when you say what can I offer? I shouldn't have to offer anything. They're not doing me a favor by paying for things that they have already approved for the government to do."
Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep interviewed the president this afternoon at the White House. The interview is airing tomorrow, October 1 at 5AM (ET) on Morning Edition. A preview is airing now on All Things Considered and at NPR.org; a transcript follows.
MEDIA – PLEASE NOTE: The full audio and a complete transcript of the interview will be made available tomorrow, October 1 at 5AM (ET) at NPR.org. It will be distributed to press at that time.
All excerpts from the interview must be credited to "NPR News." Broadcast outlets may use up to sixty (60) consecutive seconds of audio from the interview. Television usage must include on-screen chyron to "NPR News" with NPR logo.
NOTE: THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT AND MAY CONTAIN ERRORS.
Excerpts of NPR News Interview with President Barack Obama
Interviewer: Steve Inskeep, Host, Morning Edition
Credit: All excerpts must be credited to "NPR News."
STEVE INSKEEP: If they offered you more, Mr. President, would you be willing, then, to negotiate things, like a delay in Obamacare and the individual mandate?
OBAMA: Steve, let's be clear: we're not going to delay the Affordable Care Act. There are millions of Americans right now who do not have health insurance. And they are finally, after decades, going to be a in a position where they can get affordable health care, just like everybody else. And that means that their families, their kids, themselves, they've got the basic security that you and I enjoy.
And the notion that we would even delay them getting that kind of peace of mind – potentially going to a doctor to get treated for illnesses that they currently have – simply because the Republicans have decided ideologically that they're opposed to the Affordable Care Act, is not something that we're going to be discussing.
INSKEEP: As we talk Mr. President we're on a day when obviously a shutdown is looming, you said earlier that you were going to be talking to the leaders. Did you mean Republican leaders, and if so, which ones?
OBAMA: Well, I'm going to be talking to all of them. And we still have a window, there's still an opportunity, during the course of this day, to avert a shutdown, and make sure that we are paying our bills. And, if –
INSKEEP: What can you offer?
OBAMA: Steve, when you say 'what can I offer?,' I shouldn't have to offer anything. They're not doing me a favor by paying for things that they have already approved for the government to do. That's part of their basic function of government, that's not doing me a favor. That's doing what the American people sent them here to do – carrying out their responsibilities. I've said consistently that I'm always happy to talk to Republicans and Democrats about how we shape a budget that is investing in things like early childhood education, rebuilding our roads and bridges and putting people back to work, growing our economy, making sure we've got the research and development we need to stay at the cutting edge. And that deals with some of our long-term debt issues. But we're not going to accomplish those things if one party to this conversation says that the only way that they come to the table is if they get 100 percent of what they want, if they don't, they threaten to burn down the house.
NPR Media Relations: Anna Bross
Email: mediarelations (at) npr.org