Obama: Health Care Bill Is A Success, Let's Move Forward

President Barack Obama speaks at FamiliesUSA's 16th annual health action conference in Washington on Friday. i i

President Barack Obama speaks at FamiliesUSA's 16th annual health action conference in Washington on Friday. Jacquelyn Martin/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Jacquelyn Martin/AP
President Barack Obama speaks at FamiliesUSA's 16th annual health action conference in Washington on Friday.

President Barack Obama speaks at FamiliesUSA's 16th annual health action conference in Washington on Friday.

Jacquelyn Martin/AP

In a speech this morning before the friendly confines of a health care conference in Washington sponsored by FamiliesUSA, President Obama once again made the case that the health care bill passed by Congress last year is working.

Yes, the president said — as he did Tuesday in his State of the Union message — "anything can be improved" and he amenable to tweaking the bill. "I'm willing to work with anyone," Obama offered, "to make health care better or make it more affordable."

But he said it is a success. It is lowering health care premiums. It is limiting costs. It will "reign in the excesses" of the health industry. It is giving people opportunities for coverage that they wouldn't have had before. Those with pre-existing conditions are getting insured.

And, in dismissing the arguments of the bill's opponents, Obama said it is "not a job crushing, Granny threatening, budget busting monstrosity."

Not everyone agrees with him, the president acknowledged, perhaps a reference to the Jan. 19 vote in the Republican-controlled House that repealed the bill on a 245-189 vote. (The Democratic-controlled Senate has no plans to take up the bill.)

But while he said he would work with those who want to make the bill better, he is not willing — repeating his SOTU language — to "just re-fight the battles of the last two years. We are moving forward."

"Granny is safe," the president concluded. "Grandma's Medicare is stronger than ever."

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