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Obama’s last month: ‘Obamacare’ protection, Chicago speech

HONOLULU (AP) — Eager to cease Republicans from destroying his signature health care regulation, President Barack Obama and Democratic lawmakers will meet subsequent week to attempt to forge a standard technique. Obama additionally plans a serious valedictory speech in Chicago, his hometown, shortly earlier than his presidency ends.

Obama will journey to the Capitol on Wednesday morning for the assembly with House and Senate Democrats, in accordance with an invite despatched to lawmakers. The White House is casting it as an effort to unite Democrats behind a plan to guard the regulation, often known as the Affordable Care Act, earlier than Republicans have an opportunity to choose their very own plan for repealing it.

Democrats are on edge over the way forward for the ACA, given the GOP’s disdain for “Obamacare” and President-elect Donald Trump’s vows to intestine it. Though Republicans are united behind the notion of repealing the regulation, they’re cut up over how greatest to switch it. Some need to strip out unpopular provisions whereas leaving others intact, whereas different Republicans want a start-from-scratch strategy.

It’s that lack of unanimity amongst Republicans that Obama and Democrats hope might be exploited, if they will lay the groundwork even earlier than Trump takes workplace. To that finish, Obama additionally deliberate to reply questions on the way forward for the health care regulation subsequent Friday throughout a livestreamed occasion at Blair House, simply throughout Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House.

Initially surprised by the defeat of Hillary Clinton, Democrats at the moment are making an attempt to arrange a counter-attack to protect the ACA, among the many most vital expansions of the social security internet since Medicare and Medicaid have been created 50 years in the past. House Democratic chief Nancy Pelosi has urged her lawmakers to make health care their focus initially of the yr.

Defenders of the regulation have additionally launched a political coalition referred to as “Protect Our Care,” bringing collectively greater than 20 teams, together with the NAACP and the Service Employees International Union.

One of their goals is to attempt to forestall Republicans from repealing the ACA with out additionally enacting a alternative. (Currently Republicans plan to shortly vote on repealing the regulation, and delay the efficient date to provide them time to craft a alternative.) Another aim for Democrats is to pre-empt greater health care modifications to Medicare and Medicaid lengthy sought by Republicans.

Since the ACA handed, about 20 million individuals have gained protection and the uninsured price has dropped to a historic low of round 9 %. Some of the protection features are because of employers providing jobs with health care in a stronger financial system, however most specialists primarily credit score Obama’s regulation.

A current ballot means that defenders of the regulation might get a receptive listening to from the general public. Only about 1 in four Americans need Trump and the GOP-led Congress to utterly repeal the ACA, in line with a post-election survey by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.

“Republicans don’t fully appreciate the implications of even a partial repeal of the ACA,” stated Rob Restuccia, government director of Community Catalyst, one of many advocacy teams within the coalition making an attempt to protect the regulation. “People use the analogy of the dog that caught the car.”

Obama’s speech in Chicago on Jan. 10 is predicted to function his closing phrases to the nation as president. His look shall be open to the general public and adopted by a “family reunion” for alumni of Obama’s former campaigns, in response to a save-the-date discover despatched to Obama alumni and obtained by The Associated Press.

The White House has not confirmed Obama’s speech or journey to Chicago.


White House Correspondent Julie Pace and AP author Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar contributed to this report.


Reach Josh Lederman on Twitter at http://twitter.com/joshledermanAP

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