Former President Barack Obama called on Congress to have “courage” in the debate over health care for millions of Americans.
While accepting the Profile in Courage Award at the John F. Kennedy Library on Sunday, Obama reflected on how some lawmakers voted for the Affordable Care Act in 2010, even though they knew their seats were vulnerable and the vote could cost them.
“These men and women did the right thing. They did the hard thing. Theirs was a profile in courage,” Obama said. “Because of that vote, 20 million people got health insurance who didn’t have it before. And most of [those lawmakers] did lose their seats.”
Obama’s remarks come days after the House of Representatives passed a health care bill that would uninsure millions and undermine protections for the sick and poor. Some House Republicans simply voted for the bill to advance it to the Senate and fulfill a campaign promise to repeal and replace Obamacare, HuffPost’s Matt Fuller reported Thursday.
“I hope that current members of Congress recall that it actually doesn’t take a lot of courage to aid those who are already powerful, already comfortable, already influential, but it does require some courage to champion the vulnerable and the sick and the infirm ― those who often have no access to the corridors of power,” Obama said.