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Obama: ‘Ultimately I Think I’ll Be Judged’ on Whether Obamacare is Better for People Overall

• November 7, 2013 7:17 pm

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President Obama said he felt he would be judged on whether or not Obamacare improved the lives of Americans Thursday in an interview with NBC's Chuck Todd.

"Ultimately I think I'll be judged on whether this thing is better for people overall," he said. "And in the meantime, even if it's a small percentage of people, I mean, we're talking about 5% of the population —

Todd interrupted, saying, "Which is millions."

"But that's a significant number of people," Obama said. "Even though a whole lot of them are going to be better off, there's going to be a segment who I've ultimately got to make sure I'm speaking to their needs and their concerns, and I take that very seriously, because I want everybody out there to know that, you know, my entire intention here is to make sure people have the security of affordable health care."

Full exchange:

CHUCK TODD: Do you feel like considering how much this quote has been, it's late night, it's all sorts of things that — do you understand if people are going to be skeptical of the next promise you make of the next — or are you concerned that people are going to be wondering, ‘Geez, what's the fine print that he's not telling me?' Do you get that people might be a little more skeptical. Forget the partisans here in Washington. Just average Americans.

BARACK OBAMA: You know, I'll tell you, Chuck. I've now been in national public life for seven, eight years. I've been president for almost five, and I think for the most part people know that I speak my mind and I tell folks what I think, and I've been very clear about what I'm trying to do. I think most people know even if they disagree with me on certain issues, that I'm every day working hard to try and make life a little bit better for middle-class families and folks trying to get in the middle class who are doing the right thing and being responsible. I think what most people I hope also recognize is that when you try to do something big like make our health care system better, that there are going to be problems along the way, even if ultimately what you're doing is going to make a whole lot of people better off, and I hope that people will look at the end product. And they're going to be able to look back and say you know what? We now have protections that we didn't have before. We've got more choice in competition. I didn't have health insurance. I now have it. I had bad health insurance. I now have good health insurance. The website's actually working.

TODD: I want to get to the website —

OBAMA: You know, I'm getting my kid on my insurance plan even though he's got asthma or some other pre-existing condition. So ultimately I think I'll be judged on whether this thing is better for people overall. And in the meantime, even if it's a small percentage of people, I mean, we're talking about 5% of the population —

TODD: Which is millions.

OBAMA: But that's a significant number of people. Even though a whole lot of them are going to be better off, there's going to be a segment who I've ultimately got to make sure I'm speaking to their needs and their concerns, and I take that very seriously, because I want everybody out there to know that, you know, my entire intention here is to make sure people have the security of affordable health care.

Published under: Barack Obama, Chuck Todd, NBC, Obamacare