Former President Barack Obama said it’s “frustrating to have to mobilize” so often to keep lawmakers from repealing the Affordable Care Act.
Speaking at a Gates Foundation event on Wednesday, Obama addressed a health care bill Republicans are trying to hurry through Congress that could have major ramifications for millions of people.
“When I see people trying to undo that hard-earned 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 … for whom coverage would, once again, be almost unobtainable, it is aggravating,” Obama said. “And all of this being done without any demonstrable economic or actuarial or plain common-sense rationale, it frustrates.”
“And it’s certainly frustrating to have to mobilize every couple of months to keep our leaders from inflicting real human suffering on our constituents, but typically that’s how progress is won and how progress is maintained,” Obama added.
Republicans have promised their constituents for years they’d repeal and replace Obamacare. Their most recent attempt, in July, flamed out in the Senate after Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, John McCain of Arizona and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska sided with Democrats at the last minute to vote against the bill.
In the days leading up to that vote, Republican senators’ offices were flooded with calls about the bill. With a close vote expected on the current bill, authored by Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Bill Cassidy (La.) and others, senators’ offices will likely be inundated again with callers looking to express their views on the legislation, which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) could bring to the floor next week.