Obama voices 'fervent hope' Congress will tread carefully on healthcare

By REUTERS
May 8, 2017 05:37
1 minute read.
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BOSTON - Former US President Barack Obama expressed his "fervent hope" on Sunday that members of Congress would look beyond party lines when considering the future of the country's healthcare system.

The Democrat's remarks at a ceremony in Boston where he accepted the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation's "Profile in Courage" Award came days after the Republican-controlled House of Representatives narrowly passed a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, the 2010 law that enabled 20 million more Americans to get health insurance.

Referring to former President John F. Kennedy's book on political courage, he noted that many members of Congress risked and ultimately lost their seats when they voted for Obamacare, which helped give rise to the conservative Tea Party movement.

"As everyone here now knows, this great debate is not settled but continues," Obama said. "And it is my fervent hope, and the hope of millions that, regardless of party, such courage is still possible.

"That today's members of Congress, regardless of party, are willing to look at the facts and speak the truth even when it contradicts party positions."

Obama's successor, Republican Donald Trump, campaigned on a promise to repeal and replace Obamacare, calling the law a "disaster" and ineffective.

The former president has avoided commenting directly on his successor in his three public appearances since leaving office in January and did not mention the businessman-turned-politician in his remarks on Sunday.


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