Former US President Barack Obama returned to the White House on Tuesday to celebrate the 12th anniversary of his healthcare bill, known as ‘Obamacare’, and to boost current President Joe Biden’s efforts to expand it. there.
Biden, who was former US President Barack Obama’s “number two” when the ‘Affordable Care Act’ (ACA), or ‘Obamacare’, became law in March 2010, wants to extend the law’s reach so that this covers an even greater number of citizens.
Biden gave the former president full credit for the original law, which has survived repeated attempts by Republicans to repeal it.
“It’s because of you,” Biden said after good-naturedly introducing himself as vice president to Obama, who returned to the White House today after more than five years.
The US President said that the law “shows that hope leads to change”, a play on the slogan of Obama’s “hope and change” campaign.
The former head of state was last in the White House on January 20, 2017, when he left to escort Donald Trump, his successor who was committed to reviewing the law.
“It’s good to be back in the White House. It’s been a while,” Obama said after the current Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris, introduced him in the East Room, in a meeting punctuated by hugs, laughter and several good-natured provocations.
Obama opened the speeches by referring to Biden as “Vice President” before acknowledging that it was a “planned” joke and hugging his former number two.
Obama said he and Biden had accomplished “a lot” in his eight years in office, but “nothing made him prouder than providing better health care and more protection to millions of people across the country.”
“The ACA was an example of why you run for office in the first place,” Obama said, calling it the “high point” of his executive.
Biden called the ‘Affordable Care Act’ the most important legislation since the ‘Medicare’ and ‘Medicaid’ health programs were created in 1965, and insisted that it should be expanded to more people.
“We can do it. We must do this. We have to do this”, appealed Biden, saying that the term ‘Obamacare’ is “the most appropriate”.
At today’s event, Biden signed an executive order to close a “family gap” in the implementation of the 2010 law, which his government believes will help expand affordable health care coverage to 200,000 people.
Obama entertained the crowd with some teases about how things in the White House had changed under Biden, leaning into the current president’s affinity for sunglasses, ice cream and his fondness for pets.
As for ‘Obamacare’, the law’s staying power was reinforced by three Supreme Court victories and the emphatic negative vote of the late Republican Senator John McCain, who thwarted then-President Trump’s efforts to repeal and replace it.
Kamala Harris, in her speech, asked Congress to allow Medicare to make permanent subsidies for the Affordable Care Act, which was included in the Biden Administration’s pandemic relief bill.
Biden opened the health insurance markets to anyone looking for coverage during the Covid-19 pandemic, albeit temporarily.
The result was a record 14.5 million people enrolled in subsidized private coverage.