Former President Barack Obama has spoken out about the latest attempt by Republicans to repeal his signature legislation, the Cassidy-Graham bill. It's believed that the bill could see 15 million Americans lose their insurance next year, with more than 30 million losing their insurance over the next decade by gutting Medicaid expansion and expanding control to individual states.
At the Gates Foundation’s "Goalkeepers" event in New York on Wednesday, Obama said:
“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.”
You can watch his full speech below.