Obama Blasts 'Aggravating' Obamacare Repeal Efforts: Our Leaders Are Trying to Inflict 'Real Human Suffering'

September 20, 2017

Former President Barack Obama ripped into current Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare on Wednesday, calling it "aggravating" to have to mobilize constantly to stop "real human suffering" being inflicted on Americans.

Sens. Bill Cassidy (R., La.) and Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) are pushing an Obamacare repeal bill which President Donald Trump said he would sign, although its passage is far from a done deal.

Obama spoke at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's "Goalkeepers" event and never mentioned Trump and Republicans by name, but he touted the efforts of both politicians and citizens to pass the Affordable Care Act, saying people were alive today because of it.

"Now, the legislation that we passed was full of things that still need to be fixed. It wasn't perfect, but it was better," Obama said. "So when I see people trying to undo that hard-won progress for the 50th or 60th time, with bills that would raise costs or reduce coverage or roll back protections ... It is aggravating. And all of this being done without any demonstrable economic or actuarial or plain common-sense rationale, it frustrates."

Obama added it was frustrating to have to "mobilize every couple of months to keep our leaders from inflicting real human suffering on our constituents."

"But typically that's how progress is won, and how progress is maintained, on every issue," he said.

The last Republican effort to repeal Obamacare failed in July when Republican Sens. John McCain (R., Ariz.), Shelley Moore Capito (R., W. Va.) and Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska) joined all 48 Senate Democrats to vote it down.