Obama Calls On Congress To Show ‘Courage’ On Health Care (VIDEO)

Former President Barack Obama addresses an audience after being presented with the 2017 Profile in Courage award during ceremonies at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum Sunday, May 7, 2017, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Steven Senne/AP

During one if his first public appearances since leaving office, former President Barack Obama urged lawmakers to show “courage” and defend his administration’s attempts to expand access to health insurance.

“For many Americans, I know that this feels like an uncertain and even perilous time. And at such moments, courage is necessary. In such moments we need courage to stand up to hate – not just in others, but in ourselves,” Obama said while accepting the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award.

He then pivoted to Obamacare and noted that it took courage for some Democratic lawmakers to vote to pass the Affordable Care Act.

“It is my fervent hope — and the hope of millions — that regardless of party, such courage is still possible, that today’s members of Congress, regardless of party, are willing to look at the facts and speak the truth, even when it contradicts party positions,” he said.

“I hope that current members of Congress recall that it actually doesn’t take a lot of courage to aid those who are already powerful, already comfortable, already influential. But does require some courage to champion the vulnerable, and the sick and the infirm. Those who often have no access to the corridors of power,” Obama continued. “I hope they understand that courage means not simply doing what is politically expedient, but doing what they believe deep in their hearts is right.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caitlin MacNeal is a News Writer based in Washington, D.C. Before joining TPM, Caitlin interned and wrote for the Huffington Post, the Sunlight Foundation and Slate. She is a graduate of Georgetown University.
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