President Barack Obama said "health insurance isn't a privilege -- it is your right," and slammed Republicans, saying they are more concerned about how the debate will hurt them politically than they are with how denying Obamacare will hurt the country.
"There's also a group of Republicans in Congress working hard to confuse people and making empty promises that they'll either shut down the healthcare law, or if they don't get their way, they'll shut down the government," Obama said in his weekly address Saturday.
The president's signature healthcare law is helping young adults remain insured through their parents' health plan and offers free preventative care, Obama said, defending the law just two months before states' health insurance exchanges open to offer insurance to Americans who may buy coverage through the help of government subsidies.
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But Obama lambasted Republican critics for the ongoing debate over the heathcare law, even though his administration has delayed several key aspects of the measure for one year, including the mandate the larger employers provide coverage for their workers.
"They're actually having a debate between hurting Americans who will no longer be denied affordable care just because they've been sick — and harming the economy and millions of Americans in the process," Obama said. "And many Republicans are more concerned with how badly this debate will hurt them politically than they are with how badly it’ll hurt the country.”
House Republicans are continuing their battle to repeal or defund part or all of Obamacare, including threatening to use the upcoming government spending debate to fight against the health care law.
"A lot of Republicans seem to believe that if they can gum up the works and make this law fail, they’ll somehow be sticking it to me," Obama said. "But they'd just be sticking it to you … Some even say that if you call their office with questions about the law, they'll refuse to help. Call me old-fashioned — but that’s lousy constituent service. And it's not what you deserve."
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