President: ObamaCare finishes job started by Medicare, Medicaid

 
President Obama on Saturday said ObamaCare “finished the job” started by Medicare and Medicaid 50 years ago.
 
In his weekly address, Obama said the Affordable Care Act continued the legacy started by those two healthcare programs, by ensuring that Americans have access to basic services and, in turn, a “basic measure of security and dignity.”
 
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“If one of the best measures of a country is how it treats its more vulnerable citizens – seniors, the poor, the sick – then America has a lot to be proud of,” he said. 
 
“These promises we made as a nation have saved millions of our own people from poverty and hardship, allowing us new freedom, new independence, and the chance to live longer, better lives. That’s something to be proud of. It’s heroic.”
 
Obama commemorated the 50-year anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid by vowing to protect those programs against Republicans who would argue they need to be drastically pared back or eliminated altogether.
 
He said those that say the programs are “in crisis” are looking for a “political excuse to cut their funding, privatize them, or phase them out entirely.”
 
Obama dismissed out of hand the notion that the programs face a crisis, and rather said they simply need “smart changes” over time to remain effective and affordable. 
 
He also noted that the deficit has fallen by two-thirds since he took office, while 250,000 Americans turned 65 and joined the Medicare system.
 
He also pointed out how ObamaCare was helping those programs. For example, he said the law has helped 9 million Americans on Medicaid save $15 billion on prescription medicine, while expanding its coverage to 12.8 million more Americans.
 
“We’re moving our healthcare system toward models that reward the quality of the care you receive, not the quantity of care you receive.  That means healthier Americans and a healthier federal budget,” he said.
 
And Obama argued that the fierce criticisms and challenges ObamaCare faces today from Republicans is just the latest in decades of challenges to government programs.
 
“When FDR created Social Security, critics called it socialism. When JFK and LBJ worked to create Medicare, the cynics said it would take away our freedom,” he said. 
 
“But ultimately, we came to see these programs for what they truly are – a promise that if we work hard, and play by the rules, we’ll be rewarded with a basic measure of dignity, security, and the freedom to live our lives as we want.”