President Barack Obama gave a spirited defense of his signature healthcare law at a Thursday rally in Miami, taking aim at Republicans for criticizing it consistently without ever offering a comprehensive replacement.
“We have given 20 million people have health insurance that didn’t have it before. 20 million people. The parade of horribles hasn’t happened. Death panels. Remember that? Bankrupt the country. None of what they’ve said,” the president said.
Acknowledging the recent news that premiums are expected to rise next year, which Donald Trump has brought up repeatedly on the campaign trail, Obama said that Democrats would work to provide tax credits and provide support to affected Americans.
The president mentioned a rally Trump held this week on Obamacare, where he and his top surrogates spoke about the urgent need to replace the healthcare legislation that Trump deemed a “catastrophe.” The audience laughed when Obama mentioned that former 2016 candidate Ben Carson, who he said was an “excellent neurosurgeon,” was one of the speakers at the policy-focused event.
“They spend like an hour, we’re going to repeal Obamacare,” Obama said. “Okay. And then what are you gonna do? Well, then we’re going to repeal it and we’re going to give you something great. Okay. What? Well, something.”
Trump spent the bulk of his Tuesday event criticizing Obama’s law, and only a few sentences on his own plan. He promised to provide health saving accounts, a nationwide insurance market, and a system in which states manage their own Medicaid dollars.
“You watch the press conference and what you realize is they got no plan,” the President said. “They want to repeal because ideologically they’re opposed to the idea of helping these 20 million people get health insurance. It’s not like they don’t even have a pretense of a plan. They don’t even have a semblance of a plan. There’s not even a hint of a plan. Not even a mote. Not even a—there’s no plan. Nothing, zero, nada.”
“Come on,” he went on. “You can’t just be against something, you got to be for something. You can’t spend eight years being against me. And now you’re going to be against Hillary but you haven’t been for anything. Come on.”