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Obama mocks GOP for 'crazy' Obamacare predictions

By Darlene Superville

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 08:25 a.m. HST, Sep 26, 2013

LARGO, Maryland >>  With just five days to go before Americans can begin signing up for health care under his signature law, President Barack Obama on Thursday ridiculed Republican opponents for "crazy" doomsday predictions of the impact and forecast that even those who didn't vote for him are going to enroll.

With polls showing many Americans still skeptical of the law known as "Obamacare," the president went back to the basics of explaining how nearly 50 million uninsured Americans will be able to buy coverage in new government-run exchanges while mocking Republicans for trying to block its implementation. "The closer we get, the more desperate they get," Obama argued.

"The Republican party has just spun itself up around this issue," Obama said. "And the fact is the Republicans' biggest fear at this point is not that Affordable Care Act will fail. What they're worried about is it's going to succeed."

House Republicans are inserting provisions that undermine the health care law into a short-term spending measure needed to avoid a government shutdown on Oct. 1 and into legislation that would increase the government's borrowing ability, which the Treasury says will hit its limit in mid-October.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said in a speech on the Senate floor Thursday that Obama is trying to sell the law to a skeptical public.

"It must be frustrating for the president that folks seem to keep tuning out all the happy talk anyway," McConnell said. "This law is a mess. It needs to go. It's way past time to start over."

Obama won loud applause from a friendly audience at Prince George's Community College in the Washington suburbs when he vowed that he wouldn't let Republicans block the law. "We are going to see it through. The Affordable Care Act is here," Obama said.

The six-month enrollment period for the exchanges starts Tuesday, with consumers in most of the country able to comparison shop between plans online. The Obama administration needs millions of Americans -- especially young, healthy people -- to sign up in order to keep costs low for everyone.

The White House said Prince George's County, Md., has a high rate of uninsured, with about 16 percent of residents under 65 without insurance. Obama's audience was full of the young people he is targeting for enrollment.

Obama acknowledged there would be glitches in getting the exchanges up and running, and even as he was speaking administration officials were quietly telling key interest groups to expect initial problems signing up online for coverage. Small businesses will not be able to enroll online starting Oct. 1 when new health insurance markets go live and will have to enroll by paper, and the Spanish-language version of its healthcare.gov website will be not be ready to handle enrollments for a few weeks. An estimated 10 million Latinos are eligible for coverage.

Three-and-a-half years after Obama signed the bill into law, his nearly hourlong speech showed he's still having to educate consumers about what will be available to them and convince them to sign up. He predicted success once people learn they can save money or get insurance for the first time.

"Even if you didn't vote for me, I'll bet you'll sign up for that health care plan," Obama said.

Obama said Republicans want "to shut this thing down before people find out that they like it."

Obama didn't call out any of his Republican opponents by name, but he laughingly taunted some of their arguments. He mentioned House Speaker John Boehner's prediction right before the bill was signed into law in March 2010 that "Armageddon" was impending. He quoted Louisiana Rep. John Fleming, who said earlier this month that "Obamacare is the most dangerous piece of legislation ever passed in Congress." He cited Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann's appeal to colleagues on the House floor six months ago to "repeal this failure before it literally kills women, kills children, kills senior citizens."

And he quoted New Hampshire state Rep. Bill O'Brien's declaration in August that Obamacare is "a law as destructive to personal and individual liberty as the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850." That was met by a chorus of gasps and boos from the largely black audience.

"Think about that. Affordable health care is worse than a law that lets slave owners get their runaway slaves back," Obama said. "I mean, these are quotes. I'm not making this stuff up.

"All this would be funny if it wasn't so crazy," Obama said.

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Bergonia wrote:
"even those who didn't vote for him are going to enroll" The quote above is funny. Of course they will enroll, it is the law. If you don't enroll you will be fined!!!!
on September 26,2013 | 08:41AM
thepartyfirst wrote:
When the government imposes it's will on the citizens it is time to revolt.
on September 26,2013 | 08:56AM
eoe wrote:
Right. Because none of us pay taxes. Or obey laws. We are free men.
on September 26,2013 | 09:15AM
hanalei395 wrote:
The law will prevent some deadbeats who think going to the ER for their health care is "free".
on September 26,2013 | 09:01AM
Pacej001 wrote:
Funny. No, it won't. CBO forecasts that there'll still be around 15million uninsured even after full Obamacare implementation. You think the current law is going to be changed to allow hospital ERs to turn away uninsured? Not on your life. What we'll have is Obama care AND a continuation of the ER open door for the indigent, a perfect outcome for a perfect healthcare law.
on September 26,2013 | 12:02PM
hanalei395 wrote:
Prevent some deadbeats ....with a conscious, who CAN afford health care .... from going to the ER for their "free" health care. ... In your case, ... if you don't have health care, ... you're either indigent ... or a deadbeat.
on September 26,2013 | 12:29PM
Uch808 wrote:
Last time I checked, America wasn't a Socialist country. The last thing this country needs is another entitlement program the taxpayers can't afford.
on September 26,2013 | 08:53AM
hanalei395 wrote:
"America wasn't a Socialist country" ......That's what the Republicans said about SOCIAL Security in the 1930's, and Medicare, in the '60's, after they were enacted. And "check" again in about a year, when the Affordable Care Act succeeds. The Republicans WON'T be calling it "Obamacare".
on September 26,2013 | 09:37AM
Pacej001 wrote:
Right. However if you're going go use SS and Medicare as examples, you also need to consider the fact that each of those entitlements turned to be several orders of magnitude more expensive than forecast by our glorious government, leaving us with at least $70 trillion in unfunded federal liabilities right now (includes $17trillion in other debt). So, great, if Obamacare "succeeds" we'll have healthcare sort of like the UK's and an even greater unfunded, unaffordable, economically unsupportable set of entitlements.
on September 26,2013 | 12:07PM
hanalei395 wrote:
Don't worry about it. When Obamacare succeeds ... you'll like it. .....As for me, I have a great health plan, Kaiser Permanente. And as a Democrat, I want everybody to have health insurance, health care.
on September 26,2013 | 12:44PM
Pacej001 wrote:
Right. You've just sung the democrat anthem, Don't Worry About It", the it being paying for the future cost of entitlements. Must be a genetic thing, this lack of concern for/interest in stuff that will happen way out in the future, like tomorrow.
on September 26,2013 | 04:56PM
Small minds think alike, and to me, YOU ALL LOOK ALIKE.
on September 26,2013 | 11:21AM
beachbum11 wrote:
He told us a different story before it passed . Now I won,t be able to afford health care or pay the fine. My company said we are on are own. Pay up forget a fine. Anyway you look at it you loss.
on September 26,2013 | 08:58AM
Bdpapa wrote:
How sophomorish of Obama. Grow up and be leader.
on September 26,2013 | 08:59AM
eoe wrote:
Wow, calling someone sophomoric and can't even spell the word.
on September 26,2013 | 09:16AM
Bdpapa wrote:
on September 26,2013 | 09:51AM
Pacej001 wrote:
In such cases of spellaphobia, I search for another/better word: "Juvenile" comes to mind.
on September 26,2013 | 12:08PM
Bdpapa wrote:
Good choice!
on September 26,2013 | 12:55PM
cojef wrote:
Why should a young healthy person sign up with the exchanges and only enhance the Government's ability to track you down and assess a penalty should you elect not to enroll. By not enrolling the IRS must be able to track one down by earning statements (1099 and W-2)'s. Part-timers working less 20 hours a week coul not afford to enroll as the premium cost are beyond their means. How will the homeless enroll or will they? Thus the focus on college students, this is no accident that he selected the Prince George County Community College for his tirade against the Republicans. It will not affect them as most are under 26 and currently covered under their parents policies. Most college students voted for Obama in the last election and so again again his oratory is directed at them. If the ACA is a viable health insurance plan why did big labor requested an exemption after endorsing the act at its inception? Why has big business been given another year to implement the program after it has been passed 2 years ago? The former speaker of the House at the signing into law, commentted, "lets read the bill after we have passed it" That is the significance of the bill, unknown at the time of enactment. "Buying pig in a poke."
on September 26,2013 | 09:04AM
hanalei395 wrote:
But now, "the Republicans want to shut this thing down before people find out that they like it".
on September 26,2013 | 09:17AM
thepartyfirst wrote:
Defund this massive tax hike.
on September 26,2013 | 09:48AM
eoe wrote:
Lot of garbage in this post. Just throw a bunch of random thoughts out and pretend you have said something cogent?
on September 26,2013 | 09:17AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
The guy mentioned he is 88 years old. I am 55, so how about u?
on September 26,2013 | 09:43AM
Kuniarr wrote:
Anyone in this forum know the provisions of even just one Section of any of the hundreds of Articles in Obamacare? Thought so.
on September 26,2013 | 09:37AM
cojef wrote:
Nancy Pelosi the former Speaker of the House did not know when the bill was enacted. Why should I read it. It was bummer from the start, negating the need to read it.
on September 26,2013 | 11:09AM
lee1957 wrote:
I'll admit I gave it a shot when it was under debate. I made it to page 2 before my head explode. Notwithstanding any proivsions of subsection c of subpart a of 8 USC.....da da da da.
on September 26,2013 | 11:41AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
50 million uninsured? That's 50/300=17% of us. Seems a lot, although 83% is a landslide compared to 17%. What is the rate of uninsured drivers?
on September 26,2013 | 09:41AM
koa26 wrote:
It is so tiresome to hear and see Obama yet again on the "campaign" trail bashing Republicans and catering to just one party. So much for being a uniter!! He should spend more time in Washington, being a leader, and bringing the parties together in the interest of All Americans...And if this Obamacare is so great, why are so many being exempted from participating? All government workers, including Congress, should be required to sign up!
on September 26,2013 | 10:17AM
eoe wrote:
Hard to unite people who see you as the black kenyan socialist incarnation of Hitle r.
on September 26,2013 | 10:55AM
cojef wrote:
All congressional personnel are exempt including their staff, since the y belong to a "Cadillac" plan which is paid by the taxpayers. Of course, 45% don't give hoot since they pay no income tax and probably would rather pay the initially low fine of $65 for thefirst year and gradually increase to $650 in 2016 or there abouts. Congressional should required to enroll just like we do. Are we 2nd class citizens? Do we have an elite group of citizens like in the feudal days where there was distinct class of royalty and the have nots. Sure appears so, and what about labor unions and others that being exempted. The Russian Revolution resulted as a result of this form of tyranny. Royalty vs. the masses.
on September 26,2013 | 11:24AM
nalogirl wrote:
Obama the great divider.
on September 26,2013 | 11:47AM
Hapa_Haole_Boy wrote:
Years into his second presidency, and Barry is still campaigning. Laughable. And it doesn't matter which side of the aisle you're on, no president should be "mocking" anyone in a public capacity. Simply disgusting. What a disgrace to himself, his party, the presidency, our nation.
on September 26,2013 | 12:11PM
eoe wrote:
Really? I don't think so. The only people who are a disgrace to our country are the disingenuous pack of do nothings with the "R" after their names in the House.
on September 26,2013 | 12:22PM
Bdpapa wrote:
Really! A good leader praises in public and reprimands in private!
on September 26,2013 | 12:57PM
DAGR81 wrote:
Where in the heck have you been...or are you on something?
on September 26,2013 | 01:15PM
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