As nosebleed-inducing as Kathleen Sebelius’ performance was at the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearings today, this speech at Faneuil Hall was actually even worse. It combined all the usual elements – paternalistic contempt for the American people, self-congratulatory unseriousness, reflexive mendacity and the idiotic arrogance of a blind nudist running through a forest of steak knives.
As such, it was the usual freight train of provable lies and idiocies we’ve become accustomed to from President Barack Hector Elizondo Mountain Dew Camacho Obama, and we undertake once again the sad duty of debunking his jackasstic brayings, line by line…
THE PRESIDENT: Hello, Boston! (Applause.) It’s good to be back in Boston. (Applause.) It’s good to be back in Boston because one of America’s best governors introduced me — Deval Patrick. Give him a big round of applause. (Applause.)
Deval Patrick, like John Edwards and Barack Obama, is a David Axelrod client.
It’s good to see Congressman Bill Keating here. Give Bill a big round of applause. (Applause.) I want to praise somebody who’s not here — I just left him — but he wears his heart on his sleeve. He loves this city so much, and it shows in what he’s been doing for years now — one of America’s best mayors, Tom Menino. (Applause.)
And it’s good to see all of you. I was just at the airport — Deval was kind enough to meet me, along with Mayor Menino. And Mayor Menino went back to city hall to work so he could wrap up in time for the first pitch. I understand that. (Laughter.) I am well aware that a presidential visit is not the biggest thing going on today in Boston. (Laughter and applause.) I understand that. I tried to grow a beard, but Michelle, she wasn’t having it. (Laughter.)
Does anyone think Mr. My-Mother-In-Law-Lives-With-Me-In-The-White-House could grow a beard if he had permission to? Another way to address that statement would be to say there are folks back in Chicago who contend that Michelle is his beard. But we digress.
I am also old enough to remember a time when the Red Sox were not in the World Series three times in 10 years. (Laughter.) But I know the chance to win one at home for the first time since 1918 is a pretty special thing. (Applause.) So I promise we will be done here in time — (laughter) — for everybody to head over to Fenway and maybe see Big Papi blast another homer. (Applause.)
And maybe the other Sox will do better next year. (Laughter.) You can hope. You can dream. (Laughter.)
Enough already. America has seen you throw a baseball.
The reason I’m here, though, is because this is the hall where, seven years ago, Democrats and Republicans came together to make health reform a reality for the people of Massachusetts. It’s where then-Governor Mitt Romney, Democratic legislators, Senator Ted Kennedy, many of the folks who are here today joined forces to connect the progressive vision of health care for all with some ideas about markets and competition that had long been championed by conservatives.
And as Deval just said, it worked. (Applause.) It worked. Health reform —
MassCare worked so well, guess what they’re talking about as the next step in “reform”
PROTESTORS: Mr. President — don’t punish me. For our generation, stop the pipeline! Mr. President —
THE PRESIDENT: Okay. We’re talking about health care today, but we will —
PROTESTORS: Mr. President —
AUDIENCE: Booo —
THE PRESIDENT: No, no, no, it’s okay. That is the wrong rally. (Laughter and applause.) We had the climate change rally back in the summer. (Laughter.) This is the health care rally. (Applause.)
Ever notice how when Obama gets heckled it’s always by people who want him to do things he’s already doing? When’s the last time an Obama speech was interrupted by people who want him to honor their 2nd Amendment rights, or who don’t want their tax dollars funding the Muslim Brotherhood, or who think it’s terrible that the IRS is persecuting his political detractors? Damn seldom, right?
Funny how that is. It’s also pretty funny how Obama saves the day for fainting women during his speeches far more often than he’s heckled by conservative protestors.
So health care reform in this state was a success. That doesn’t mean it was perfect right away. There were early problems to solve. There were changes that had to be made. Anybody here who was involved in it can tell you that. As Deval just said, enrollment was extremely slow. Within a month, only about a hundred people had signed up — a hundred. But then 2,000 had signed up, and then a few more thousand after that. And by the end of the year, 36,000 people had signed up.
They lost $4.2 billion on the MassCare launch, and it went a hell of a lot better than Obamacare has gone so far. So who knows what we’ve got to look forward to.
And the community all came together. You even had the Red Sox help enlist people to get them covered. And pretty soon, the number of young uninsured people had plummeted. When recession struck, the financial security of health care sheltered families from deeper hardship. And today, there is nearly universal coverage in Massachusetts, and the vast majority of its citizens are happy with their coverage. (Applause.)
And by the way, all the parade of horribles, the worst predictions about health care reform in Massachusetts never came true. They’re the same arguments that you’re hearing now. Businesses didn’t stop covering workers; the share of employers who offered insurance increased. People didn’t get left behind; racial disparities decreased. Care didn’t become unaffordable; costs tracked what was happening in other places that wasn’t covering everybody.
Yeah, well – costs have skyrocketed and doctors are as scarce as can be. Everybody has insurance, but they can’t get in to see a doctor.
Now, Mitt Romney and I ran a long and spirited campaign against one another, but I’ve always believed that when he was governor here in Massachusetts, he did the right thing on health care. And then Deval did the right thing by picking up the torch and working to make the law work even better. And it’s because you guys had a proven model that we built the Affordable Care Act on this template of proven, bipartisan success. Your law was the model for the nation’s law. (Applause.)
Yep. Great model. Half the doctors in the country are already close to retirement age and are about to hit the eject button, and we’re already short. So doctor shortages will be endemic, and since they’ve promised to indemnify people against premium hikes you can bet that even on a track far more successful than we’re seeing right now the budgetary effect of Obamacare will be catastrophic.
Just like MassCare…on steroids. And just like in Massachusetts the Cloward-Piven leftists like Obama will waste little time demanding socialized medicine.
So let’s look at what’s happened. Today, the Affordable Care Act requires insurance companies to abide by some of the strongest consumer protections this country has ever known — a true Patient’s Bill of Rights. (Applause.) No more discriminating against kids with preexisting conditions. (Applause.) No more dropping your policy when you get sick and need it most. (Applause.) No more lifetime limits or restrictive annual limits. (Applause.) Most plans now have to cover free preventive care like mammograms and birth control. (Applause.) Young people can stay on their parents’ plans until they turn 26. All of this is in place right now. It is working right now. (Applause.)
That’s working? None of it is actually insurance. Covering someone with a pre-existing condition is like giving collision auto insurance to someone who just had a wreck. And why does a 32-year old single man need to pay to be covered for mammograms or birth control pills? Is it a surprise that everybody’s insurance plan is going up by 150 percent?
Now, the last element of this began on October 1st. It’s when the Affordable Care Act created a new marketplace for quality, private insurance plans for the 15 percent or so of Americans who don’t have health care, and for the 5 percent of Americans who have to buy it on their own and they’re not part of a group, which means they don’t get as good a deal.
And this new marketplace was built on the Massachusetts model. It allows these Americans who have been locked out to get a better deal from insurers — they’re pooling their purchasing power as one big group. And insurers want their business, which means they give them a better deal, and they compete for that business. And as a result, insurers in the marketplace, they can’t use your medical history to charge you more. If you’ve been sick, you finally have the same chance to buy quality, affordable health care as everybody else.
A better deal? Really? Tell that to the millions of people who liked their policies just fine until President Markup killed them off and forced them into the World’s Largest High Risk Pool, where they get to subsidize the old and the sick who are willing to spend 19 hours in front of the computer attempting to sign up for Insurance For The Uninsurable.
Not to mention Obama is again doing something he does often; namely, serving as a pitchman for sick people to go to his exchange and sign up for Obamacare, which will accelerate the adverse-selection death spiral everyone is predicting for this fiasco of a program. Once or twice, it’s politics on his part. A solid month of him saying the same thing, it’s not incompetence anymore – and it starts to look a whole lot like the Cloward-Piven strategy to engineer the crisis the Left needs to move us to single payer (in their minds).
A lot of people will qualify for new tax credits under this law that will bring down costs even further, so that if you lose your job, or you start a new business, or you’re self-employed, or you’re a young person trying several jobs until you find that one that sticks, you’re going to be able to be insured — insurance that goes with you and gives you freedom to pursue whatever you want, without fear that accident or illness will derail your dreams.
Bring whose costs down? Obama won’t mention that the most broke and busted guy in this room is Uncle Sam; the Starbucks barrista who’ll have to cut back on trips to the medical marijuana dispensary to afford the overpriced health plan she’s finding out she voted for might not have any money but she’s not $17 trillion in the hole. And Uncle Sam is the guy whose costs go up. But when you’re forcing young people who don’t need a whole lot of health insurance to get covered for things like prostate cancer, what you’re ultimately going to be doing is forcing the taxpayer to subsidize insurance that people can’t afford, don’t need and don’t want.
That’s the kind of stupidity that only a 21st-century American Democrat is capable of. To say these people are incapable of governance is grossly insufficient.
Now, this marketplace is open now. Insurance companies are competing for that business. The deal is good; the prices are low. But, let’s face it, we’ve had a problem. The website hasn’t worked the way it’s supposed to over these last couple of weeks. And as a consequence, a lot of people haven’t had a chance to see just how good the prices for quality health insurance through these marketplaces really are.
Right, Barry – and you’re damn lucky they haven’t, because once they do and they find out you just lied once again, your approval rating will go even lower.
Now, ultimately, this website, healthcare.gov, will be the easiest way to shop for and buy these new plans, because you can see all these plans right next to each other and compare prices and see what kind of coverage it provides. But, look, there’s no denying it, right now, the website is too slow, too many people have gotten stuck. And I am not happy about it. And neither are a lot of Americans who need health care, and they’re trying to figure out how they can sign up as quickly as possible. So there’s no excuse for it. And I take full responsibility for making sure it gets fixed ASAP. We are working overtime to improve it every day. (Applause.) Every day.
The gaggle of SEIU goons and sexual innovators in attendance were actually applauding about a half-billion dollar website that doesn’t work. Seriously. That’s what they were doing.
And more people are successfully buying these new plans online than they were a couple of weeks ago, and I expect more people will be able to buy conveniently online every single day as we move forward. We’re going to get these problems resolved.
Now, in the meantime, you can still apply for coverage over the phone, or by mail, or in person, because those plans are waiting and you’re still able to get the kind of affordable, reliable health insurance that’s been out of reach for too many people for too long.
If you apply over the phone, you’ll reach a call center where the operators will register you…wait for it…using Healthcare.gov.
Does this fool not understand that people are going to immediately realize that?
So I am old enough to remember when there was not such a thing as a website. (Laughter.) I know that’s shocking to people. (Laughter.) But the point is I’m confident these marketplaces will work, because Massachusetts has shown that the model works and we know what’s being offered by these insurers. (Applause.) We know it’s going to work.
There are 6.6 million people in Massachusetts. MassCare took that state from 90 percent coverage to 98 percent coverage (the 90 percent figure was already the highest, or awfully close to it, in the country); meaning that about 528,000 people were affected by that program. Obamacare seeks to provide insurance coverage for some 30 million people.
In other words, we’re talking apples and watermelons here. But that doesn’t matter to President Idiocracy.
And so far, choice and competition in the new national marketplaces have helped keep costs lower than even we projected. In fact, nearly half of all single, uninsured 18-to-34-year-olds may be able to buy insurance for 50 bucks a month or less. Less than your cellphone bill, less than your cable bill. (Applause.) And one study shows that nearly 6 in 10 uninsured Americans may find coverage for 100 bucks a month or less, even if they’re older than 34.
One study, he says. Here’s another study which isn’t quite so sanguine for the young folks.
And, frankly, if every governor was working as hard as Deval, or Governor O’Malley in Maryland, or Governor Cuomo in New York, to make this law work for their citizens, as opposed to thinking politically, about 8 in 10 Americans would be getting health insurance for less than 100 bucks a month. (Applause.)
And, by the way, it’s not just in Massachusetts. Look at Kentucky. Governor Steve Beshear, who’s a Democrat, is like a man possessed with helping more people get covered. He thinks it’s the right thing to do. Keep in mind I did not win in Kentucky. (Laughter.) But there are a lot of uninsured people in Kentucky, and they’re signing up.
Yeah, they’re signing up in Kentucky, all right.
Oregon has covered 10 percent of its uninsured citizens already because of the Affordable Care Act. Ten percent of the uninsured have already gotten coverage. (Applause.)
Arkansas — I didn’t win that state either — (laughter) — has covered almost 14 percent of its uninsured already. (Applause.) That’s already happened.
And you’ve got some Republican governors, like Governor Kasich of Ohio, who’ve put politics aside and they’re expanding Medicaid through this law to cover millions of people.
In other words he’s blowing up state budgets everywhere the governors were dumb enough to play along with this thing. He’s taking credit for getting people coverage, but all he’s doing is hastening the coming fiscal crisis and expanding it down to state governments as well.
Now, unfortunately, there are others that are so locked in to the politics of this thing that they won’t lift a finger to help their own people, and that’s leaving millions of Americans uninsured unnecessarily. That’s a shame. Because if they put as much energy into making this law work as they do in attacking the law, Americans would be better off. (Applause.) Americans would be better off.
Hey, let’s demonize the people who disagree with me! Why won’t those Republicans just surrender and help fix my unworkable law I crammed down their throats?
So that’s the Affordable Care Act: Better protections for Americans with insurance; a new marketplace for Americans without insurance; new tax credits to help folks afford it; more choice, more competition; real health care security not just for the uninsured or underinsured, but for all of us — because we pay more in premiums and taxes when Americans without good insurance visit the emergency room. (Applause.) We get taxed.
That’s one way to put it. Another way would be to say he paid a half-billion dollars for a phishing website that doesn’t work, he’s spending money we don’t have to put more people on the government dole, he’s taking a huge chunk of the individual insurance market offline through stupid regulations that cost consumers freedom and money, he’s exacerbating a doctor shortage into what looks like a nearly existential crisis inevitably leading to rationing and death panels and he’ll engineer so much government spending in trying to prop this Rube Goldberg contraption up that there won’t be any way to avoid a massive tax increase.
And since we all benefit, there are parts of this law that also require everybody to contribute, that require everybody to take some measure of responsibility. So, to help pay for the law, the wealthiest Americans –- families who make more than $250,000 a year –- they’ve got to pay a little bit more. The most expensive employer health insurance plans no longer qualify for unlimited tax breaks. Some folks aren’t happy about that, but it’s the right thing to do.
He’s soaking the rich and inducing them to take money out of the economy, which will mean less jobs for people who’d like to get off Medicaid. But it’s the right thing to do.
Just like in Massachusetts, most people who can afford health insurance have to take responsibility to buy health insurance, or pay a penalty. And employers with more than 50 employees are required to either provide health insurance to their workers or pay a penalty — again, because they shouldn’t just dump off those costs onto the rest of us. Everybody has got some responsibilities.
Right, and primarily businesspeople have responsibilities to take care of their families. And that means cutting hours and employees to escape the effects of this idiotic law.
Now, it is also true that some Americans who have health insurance plans that they bought on their own through the old individual market are getting notices from their insurance companies suggesting that somehow, because of the Affordable Care Act, they may be losing their existing health insurance plan. This has been the latest flurry in the news. Because there’s been a lot of confusion and misinformation about this, I want to explain just what’s going on.
Yeah, pay attention here. This will be great.
One of the things health reform was designed to do was to help not only the uninsured, but also the underinsured. And there are a number of Americans –- fewer than 5 percent of Americans -– who’ve got cut-rate plans that don’t offer real financial protection in the event of a serious illness or an accident. Remember, before the Affordable Care Act, these bad-apple insurers had free rein every single year to limit the care that you received, or use minor preexisting conditions to jack up your premiums or bill you into bankruptcy. So a lot of people thought they were buying coverage, and it turned out not to be so good.
Interestingly, they bought and in fact renewed that coverage. They didn’t think it was as lousy as Obama does – which of course means they were wrong. Because President-Of-57-States knows more about it than they do.
Before the Affordable Care Act, the worst of these plans routinely dropped thousands of Americans every single year. And on average, premiums for folks who stayed in their plans for more than a year shot up about 15 percent a year. This wasn’t just bad for those folks who had these policies, it was bad for all of us — because, again, when tragedy strikes and folks can’t pay their medical bills, everybody else picks up the tab.
Now, if you had one of these substandard plans before the Affordable Care Act became law and you really liked that plan, you’re able to keep it. That’s what I said when I was running for office. That was part of the promise we made. But ever since the law was passed, if insurers decided to downgrade or cancel these substandard plans, what we said under the law is you’ve got to replace them with quality, comprehensive coverage — because that, too, was a central premise of the Affordable Care Act from the very beginning.
And today, that promise means that every plan in the marketplace covers a core set of minimum benefits, like maternity care, and preventive care, and mental health care, and prescription drug benefits, and hospitalization. And they can’t use allergies or pregnancy or a sports injury or the fact that you’re a woman to charge you more. They can’t do that anymore. (Applause.) They can’t do that anymore.
Just crap all over the evil insurance companies. That’s the talking point.
If you couldn’t afford coverage because your child had asthma, well, he’s now covered. If you’re one of the 45 million Americans with a mental illness, you’re now covered. If you’re a young couple expecting a baby, you’re covered. You’re safer. The system is more secure for you and it’s more secure for everybody.
“Covered”=”cured.” Got it?
What’s the use in being covered if you can’t get in to see a doctor?
So if you’re getting one of these letters, just shop around in the new marketplace. That’s what it’s for. Because of the tax credits we’re offering, and the competition —
PROTESTOR: Mr. President, ban the Keystone Pipeline! For our generation, you need to do this!
More Keystone Kop morons.
THE PRESIDENT: Because of the tax credits that we’re offering and the competition between insurers, most people are going to be able to get better, comprehensive health care plans for the same price or even cheaper than projected. You’re going to get a better deal.
Remember that line when it proves to be a lie.
Now, there’s a fraction of Americans with higher incomes who will pay more on the front end for better insurance with better benefits and protections like the Patient’s Bill of Rights. And that will actually save them from financial ruin if they get sick. But nobody is losing their right to health care coverage. And no insurance company will ever be able to deny you coverage, or drop you as a customer altogether. Those days are over. And that’s the truth. (Applause.) That is the truth.
That’s the first time Obama has ever given a tinker’s damn about Americans with higher incomes, and frankly it’s amazing to think that this bumbling nincompoop and his freakshow braintrust could possibly devise health insurance more to their needs than they can themselves, but there you have it.
So for people without health insurance, they’re finally going to be able to get it. For the vast majority of people who have health insurance that works, you can keep it. For the fewer than 5 percent of Americans who buy insurance on your own, you will be getting a better deal.
So anyone peddling the notion that insurers are cancelling people’s plan without mentioning that almost all the insurers are encouraging people to join better plans with the same carrier, and stronger benefits and stronger protections, while others will be able to get better plans with new carriers through the marketplace, and that many will get new help to pay for these better plans and make them actually cheaper — if you leave that stuff out, you’re being grossly misleading, to say the least. (Applause.)
If they take away your 1999 Honda Accord that you were perfectly happy with and ask you to replace it with a brand-new 7-series BMW, that’s not a better deal for you. And if they tell you that since you can’t afford the Beemer they’ll just make me pay the difference, that sure as shit isn’t a better deal for me. But that’s the economics of Obamacare.
Naturally, the union members in the audience who got a waiver from this fiasco think it’s swell.
But, frankly, look, you saw this in Massachusetts — this is one of the challenges of health care form. Health care is complicated and it’s very personal, and it’s easy to scare folks. And it’s no surprise that some of the same folks trying to scare people now are the same folks who’ve been trying to sink the Affordable Care Act from the beginning. (Applause.) And frankly, I don’t understand it. Providing people with health care, that should be a no-brainer. (Applause.) Giving people a chance to get health care should be a no-brainer. (Applause.)
More applause from the no-brainers.
And I’ve said before, if folks had actually good ideas, better ideas than what’s happening in Massachusetts or what we’ve proposed for providing people with health insurance, I’d be happy to listen. But that’s not what’s happening. And anyone defending the remnants of the old, broken system as if it was working for people, anybody who thinks we shouldn’t finish the job of making the health care system work for everybody -– especially when these folks offer no plan for the uninsured or the underinsured, or folks who lose their insurance each year — those folks should have to explain themselves. (Applause.)
Obama? Listen? He wasn’t listening on this occasion, was he?
Because I don’t think we should go back to discriminating against kids with preexisting conditions. (Applause.) I don’t think we should go back to dropping coverage for people when they get sick, or because they make a mistake on their application. (Applause.) I don’t think we should go back to the daily cruelties and indignities and constant insecurity of a broken health care system. And I’m confident most Americans agree with me. (Applause.)
Not an ounce of demagoguery here at all.
So, yes, this is hard, because the health care system is a big system, and it’s complicated. And if it was hard doing it just in one state, it’s harder to do it in all 50 states — especially when the governors of a bunch of states and half of the Congress aren’t trying to help. Yes, it’s hard. But it’s worth it. (Applause.) It is the right thing to do, and we’re going to keep moving forward. (Applause.) We are going to keep working to improve the law, just like you did here in Massachusetts. (Applause.)
And move it to single-payer like they’re doing in Massachusetts, which means Cruella DeVille and her crack squad of IT experts will get to run everybody’s health care with the technological innovation and skilled institutional architecture we’re coming to love at Healthcare.gov.
We are just going to keep on working at it. We’re going to grind it out, just like you did here in Massachusetts — and, by the way, just like we did when the prescription drug program for seniors known as Medicare Part D was passed by a Republican President a decade ago. That health care law had some early challenges as well. There were even problems with the website. (Laughter.) And Democrats weren’t happy with a lot of the aspects of the law because, in part, it added hundreds of billions of dollars to the deficit, it wasn’t paid for — unlike the Affordable Care Act, which will actually help lower the deficit. (Applause.)
He can’t name a single Republican who voted to pass Obamacare. It’s a little disingenuous to talk about Romneycare and Medicare Part D, which were bipartisan efforts, when propping up his medical fiasco.
But, you know what, once it was the law, everybody pitched in to try to make it work. Democrats weren’t about to punish millions of seniors just to try to make a point or settle a score. So Democrats worked with Republicans to make it work. And I’m proud of Democrats for having done that. It was the right thing to do. (Applause.) Because now, about 90 percent of seniors like what they have. They’ve gotten a better deal.
Both parties working together to get the job done –- that’s what we need in Washington right now. (Applause.) That’s what we need in Washington right now.
You know, if Republicans in Congress were as eager to help Americans get covered as some Republican governors have shown themselves to be, we’d make a lot of progress. I’m not asking them to agree with me on everything, but if they’d work with us like Mitt Romney did, working with Democrats in Massachusetts, or like Ted Kennedy often did with Republicans in Congress, including on the prescription drug bill, we’d be a lot further along. (Applause.)
I shoved this red-hot poker up your butt, and you won’t even help me wash my hands afterward! How uncooperative!
So the point is, we may have political disagreements — we do, deep ones. In some cases, we’ve got fundamentally different visions about where we should take the country. But the people who elect us to serve, they shouldn’t pay the price for those disagreements. Most Americans don’t see things through a political lens or an ideological lens. This debate has never been about right or left. It’s been about the helplessness that a parent feels when she can’t cover a sick child, or the impossible choices a small business faces between covering his employees or keeping his doors open.
Sickening. But now we’re going to get a testimonial from someone with Organizing For America…
I want to give you just — I want to close with an example. A person named Alan Schaeffer, from Prattsburgh, New York, and he’s got a story to tell about sacrifice, about giving up his own health care to save the woman he loves. So Alan wrote to me last week, and he told me his story.
Four years ago, his wife, Jan, who happens to be a nurse, was struck with cancer, and she had to stop working. And then halfway through her chemo, her employer dropped coverage for both of them. And Alan is self-employed; he’s got an antique business. So he had to make sure his wife had coverage, obviously, in the middle of cancer treatments, so he went without insurance.
Now, the great news is, today, Jan is cancer-free. She’s on Medicare, but Alan’s been uninsured ever since. Until last week — (applause) — when he sat down at a computer and — I’m sure after multiple tries — (laughter) — signed up for a new plan under the Affordable Care Act, coverage that can never be taken away if he gets sick. (Applause.)
So I just want to read you what he said in this letter. He says, “I’ve got to tell you I’ve never been so happy to pay a bill in my entire life.” (Laughter.) “When you don’t have insurance at my age, [it can] really feel like a time bomb waiting to go off. The sense of relief from knowing I can live out my days longer and healthier, that’s just a tremendous weight off my shoulders.”
So two days later, Alan goes over to his buddy Bill’s house. He sits Bill down, and his wife, Diana, at their computer. And after several tries — (laughter) — Alan helped lift that weight from their shoulders by helping them to sign up for a new plan also. And compared to their current plan, it costs less than half as much and covers more.
See, that’s why we committed ourselves to this cause — for Alan, and Jan; for Bill, Diana.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Annie.
Little Orphan Annie?
THE PRESIDENT: For Annie. For anyone who wrote letters, and shared stories, and knocked on doors because they believed what could happen here in Massachusetts could happen all across the country. (Applause.) And for them, and for you, we are going to see this through. (Applause.) We’re going to see this through. (Applause.) We are going to see this through. (Applause.)
This hall is home to some of the earliest debates over the nature of our government, the appropriate size, the appropriate role of government. And those debates continue today, and that’s healthy. They’re debates about the role of the individual and society, and our rugged individualism, and our sense of self-reliance, our devotion to the kind of freedoms whose first shot rang out not far from here. But they are also debates tempered by a recognition that we’re all in this together, and that when hardship strikes — and it could strike any of us at any moment — we’re there for one another; and that as a country, we can accomplish great things that we can’t accomplish alone. (Applause.) We believe that. We believe that. (Applause.)
He’s referencing the patriots of Boston who took up arms against oppressive, paternalistic tyrants and earned their liberty. Do we need to quote John and Samuel Adams to the President? They would not look upon this current Utopian leveling scheme very favorably.
And those sentiments are expressed in a painting right here in this very hall: “Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable.” That’s the value statement Deval was talking about. That’s what health care reform is about. That’s what America is about. We are in this together, and we are going to see it through. (Applause.)
Thank you. God bless you. God bless the United States of America. (Applause.)
And away Obama went to a fundraiser, with his limousine and entourage snarling traffic for the Boston fans trying to get to Fenway Park.