While away from the White House, he couldn't escape the heated debate over his health care repeal and reform legislation.
Obama made the remark Sunday night in Boston while accepting the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. The American Health Care Act has set such a low bar for compassion and competence that the media and public may give Senate Republicans credit for writing an even marginally better bill.
If the bill passes the Senate, people will either be denied coverage or charged extortion prices if they, for example, become pregnant, develop cancer, or suffer depression while without insurance. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., pointed to the working group of Senate Republicans trying to write their own measure - "13 white men, when you have five Republican women who are excluded", she said.
In his remarks, Obama said he hopes that lawmakers recognize "it actually doesn't take a lot of courage to aid those who are already powerful, already comfortable, already influential". If the House's bill becomes an anchor on the public's expectations and sets the stage for something just slightly less grotesque to pass, that would be nearly as much of a tragedy as this thing actually getting signed.
Cannon: I don't take positions on legislation, but Republicans have traditionally neglected health care as an issue.
The ad will appear on national cable and in Ryan's Wisconsin district. Insurance companies can then make more profits, because they insure mostly healthy people.
But by leaning on members to vote for a bill that many fear will leave millions of people unable to afford health care, Mr. Ryan has exposed moderate Republicans to withering political attacks. In order to keep the gears of Capitol Hill turning, the generous interpretation goes, House Speaker Paul Ryan had to move some sort of Obamacare replacement up to the Senate, where it is sure to be rewritten.
But he's defending the House version anyway.
Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who is not seeking re-election next year, warned that the bill "has the potential to severely harm the health and lives of people in south Florida". She says a high-risk pool in ME worked only because it had a clear source of funding. "But over time people would just say, 'I don't want to buy those policies.' The thing the CBO can't put into its formulas is realizing that the markets and consumer choice can make those policies more affordable so people will want to buy them", said Turner.
Both spoke on ABC's "This Week". Stivers was among the 217 to vote in favor of the bill. A number of Republican senators have indicated that they want to see the bill overhauled, but Galen Institute President Grace-Marie Turner says the House did most of the Senate's work for it.
"Don't know what's in it", Senator Lindsey Graham said before the vote. Budget analysts estimate 24 million people would lose insurance over a decade, 14 million in the first year, and older Americans would face higher costs.
Ask Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, one of 13 members crafting the Senate's bill, who said: "Unfortunately, that bill contains numerous fatal procedural flaws and much of it will have to be rewritten".