Monday, May 08, 2017

Obama Defends Affordable Care Act, but Leaves Trump Out of It - nytimes

WASHINGTON — Days after President Trump boasted in the White House Rose Garden about the House’s vote to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, the law’s biggest champion, Barack Obama, left the jibes virtually unanswered Sunday night during his first major address since leaving the presidency.

Mr. Obama, accepting a “Profile in Courage” award from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, offered only a glancing reference to Thursday’s repeal vote and the efforts by Mr. Trump to unwind his legacy.

The former president told an audience of supporters that when it came to health care in America, “the great debate is not settled, but continues.” He said he hoped that members of Congress, “regardless of party, are willing to look at facts and speak the truth, even when it contradicts party positions.”

Mr. Obama defended the 2010 health measure, his signature domestic achievement, as the right thing to do, and he praised Democratic members of Congress for voting to pass it despite the risks to their political future.

“It takes little courage to aid those who are already powerful, already comfortable, already influential,” Mr. Obama said, “but it takes great courage to champion the vulnerable and the sick and the infirm.”

“At such moments, courage is necessary,” Mr. Obama said. “We need courage to stand up to hate, not just in others, but in ourselves. At such moments, we need the courage to stand up to dogma, not just in others, but in ourselves.”

The award, which recognized Mr. Obama’s accomplishments during his eight years in the White House, is meant to evoke the spirit of Kennedy’s 1957 book, “Profiles in Courage.” In that work, Kennedy told the stories of eight senators who took unpopular positions despite the risk to their political careers.

“The Kennedys symbolized a set of values,” Mr. Obama said to the audience, which included Caroline Kennedy, the former president’s daughter, and Jack Schlossberg, her son. Mr. Obama said the Kennedy family epitomized “the idea that politics in fact could be a noble and worthwhile pursuit.” - Read More

Obama Defends Affordable Care Act, but Leaves Trump Out of It


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