ABC News' Sunlen Miller reports:
President Obama defended the health care law yet again today, remarking that the bill has been portrayed over the last ten months as, “a job-crushing, granny-threatening, budget-busting monstrosity,” by opponents who wish to repeal the bill.
“That just doesn't match up to the reality,” Obama said at the Families USA’s 16th Annual Health Conference in Washington, DC today, “I can report that Granny is safe. In fact, Grandma's Medicare is stronger than ever.”
As he did in the State of the Union address before Congress on Tuesday the president said that while he is open to “tweaks” in the Affordable Care Act, but one thing he is not open to is repeal, as some Republicans have been pushing.
“I believe that anything can be improved. As we work to implement it, there are going to be times where we say: ‘You know what, this needs a tweak; this isn't working exactly as intended, exactly the way we want. Here's a way of doing it smarter, better’.”
The president countered though that while he is willing to work with both parties, he will not consider repealing the law.
“I am not willing to just refight the battles of the last two years. I'm not open to efforts that will take this law apart without considering the lives and the livelihoods that hang in the balance.”
The president painted a picture – laid out in dollars and cents terms – about what repeal could mean for Americans.
“The Congressional Budget Office have said that repealing this law would add a quarter of a trillion dollars to our deficit over the next decade, and another trillion dollars to our deficit in the decade after that. They're not just making this up. And what's more, repeal would send middle-class premiums up, would force large employers to pay that extra 2 to $3,000 per worker, and shift control of your health care right back to the insurance companies."
The president said it is not time to fight the battles of the past two years.
“I mean, this thing's been in place now for 10 months --all right,” Obama quipped, “So let's look at what's happened over the last 10 months. Not only has the economy grown and added jobs since the Affordable Care Act became law, but small businesses across the country have already chosen to offer health care to hundreds of thousands of their employees, many for the first time. That's something that, regardless of politics, we should all celebrate.”