The former US President didn't hold back when expressing his frustration at the Gates Foundation’s "Goalkeepers" event.
For months, Republicans have been attempting to repeal Obama’s signature legislation, the Cassidy-Graham bill. If this occurs, 15 million Americans could lose their insurance in 2018. Additionally, more than 30 million would lose insurance over the next decade if the Medicaid expansion is gutted.
Frustrated by this reality, former President Barack Obama decided he couldn’t stay silent any longer and commented on the development at the Gates Foundation’s “Goalkeepers” event in New York. Said Obama,
“When I see people trying to undo that hard-won progress for the 50th or 60th time with bills that would raise costs or reduce coverage, or roll back protections for older Americans or people with pre-existing conditions — the cancer survivor, the expecting mom or the child with autism, or asthma, for whom coverage once again would be almost unattainable — it is aggravating.”
“And all of this being done without any demonstrable economic or actuarial or plain common sense rationale, it frustrates. And it is certainly frustrating to have to mobilize every couple of months to keep our leaders from inflicting real human suffering on our constituents.”
“Those of you who live in countries that already have universal health care are trying to figure out what’s the controversy here. I am, too. Even if at the current moment the federal government is not as engaged in these efforts as I would like, nevertheless, progress continues because of the efforts of people like Bill [Gates] and a whole host of entrepreneurs and universities and cities and states.”
“They are making change around energy policy in America separate and apart from what government is doing. And that gives me confidence that we can continue to make progress. The rise of nationalism and xenophobia in politics that says it’s not ‘we’ but ‘us and them’ — a politics that threatens to turn good people away from the kind of collective action that has always driven human progress. These are real challenges. And we can’t sugar coat them.”
His speech was poignant and well-thought out. Watch it in its entirety below:
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