Obama: Health law will help middle class

ADVERTISEMENT
He highlighted provisions of the law that are already in effect, including new benefits for Medicare recipients. 

And he said his administration is "well on our way to fully implementing the Affordable Care Act" by establishing new insurance exchanges were people who don't get coverage through an employer can shop for an individual policy.

Obama noted recent positive headlines about the healthcare law, namely the news that premiums for individual policies in New York will be an average of 50 percent lower once the state's exchange is in place.

"Now, I know there are folks out there who are actively working to make this law fail," Obama said. "But despite a politically motivated misinformation campaign, the states that have committed themselves to making this law work are finding that competition and choice are actually pushing costs down."

Polls show the healthcare law remains unpopular ahead of a major enrollment push planned for this summer. The White House is hoping public opinion will turn once the law is in place and people begin taking advantage of new consumer protections, as well as tax credits to help cover the cost of premiums.

Republicans, meanwhile, say the healthcare law is destined to fail and will burden the middle class with higher premiums.

Obama criticized Republicans for their unflinching opposition to implementing the healthcare law. The GOP-led House has held roughly 40 votes to undermine parts of the law, a handful of which have succeeded in rolling back or eliminating certain provisions.

"If you think you have a better plan for making sure every American has the security of quality, affordable healthcare, stop taking meaningless repeal votes and share your concrete ideas with the country," Obama said in his speech.

Several GOP lawmakers criticized the healthcare law in tweets during the president's speech, saying ObamaCare has already undermined middle-class security. They co-opted the "A Better Bargain" hashtag the White House used for the economic address.

"Having your full-time job cutback to part-time because of #Obamacare is not #ABetterBargain," Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) tweeted.