Obama blasts repeal efforts: ‘Law I passed is here to stay’
President Barack Obama blasted efforts to repeal his healthcare law and to replace it with Republican-backed alternatives. “I’ll work with anybody who wants to work with me to continue to improve our healthcare system and our healthcare laws,” Obama said at a Maumee, Ohio, campaign rally. “But the law I passed is here to stay.” He said repealing the law would mean reduced insurance coverage and the return of unpopular insurance underwriting practices. Obama also criticized a Republican proposal to reduce Medicare’s long-term costs by providing premium subsidies for beneficiaries who opt out of the traditional program and buy coverage from private insurers in a Medicare exchange. “We’re not going to allow Medicare to be turned into a voucher system,” he said. Congressional Republicans and Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate, have renewed their calls for repeal and replacement of the 2010 healthcare overhaul since the U.S. Supreme Court upheld much of it June 28. Obama also urged Republicans to end the political fight over the healthcare law and focus on expanding insurance coverage. At least five Republican governors have promised to block any Medicaid expansion in their state, which is the method the law uses to insure at least 16 million more people (See story, p. 6). The court decision allowed states to decline the expansion without the threat of the federal government eliminating all of their Medicaid funding.
Obama criticized a Republican proposal to reduce Medicare’s long-term costs.