Obama Defends His Legacy On Health Care During Acceptance Speech

Former President Barack Obama accepted the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award.
Posted at 10:12 AM, May 08, 2017

Former President Barack Obama tried to protect his legacy Sunday night while accepting the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. 

The annual award goes to elected officials and civil servants. Some say it's like an Oscar or Pulitzer for the public sector. 

Much of Obama's speech seemed to be an appeal to keep the Affordable Care Act, although he never mentioned the law or Republican opposition directly.

"There was a reason why health care reform had not been accomplished before. It was hard," Obama said. 

Obama thanked the members of Congress who he said risked their careers to pass the ACA. 

"These men and women did the right thing. They did the hard thing. Theirs was a profile in courage," he said. 

He added, "As everyone here knows, this debate isn't settled but continues."

On Thursday, the Republican-led House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act.  

"Make no mistake, this is a repeal and a replace of Obamacare," President Donald Trump said after it passed. 

The GOP has a majority in the Senate, too, but the Senate health committee plans to focus on its own health care bill instead.

Some Republican senators argue against the freezing of Medicaid funds and the repeal of guaranteed coverage for pre-existing conditions. Others think the House's bill doesn't do enough to repeal Obamacare.