Despite widespread opposition to his health care overhaul, the president doubled-down today and said opponents' characterizations of the law "just doesn't match up to the reality." But recent developments may suggest the exact opposite.
The president delivered his remarks on Friday at the Families USA annual conference in Washington, D.C., a pro-health care reform event.
“You may have heard once or twice this is a job-crushing, granny-threatening, budget-busting monstrosity,” Obama said. “That just doesn’t match up to the reality.”
"I can report that Granny is safe," he quipped:
Obama argued that since he signed the bill 10 months ago, the economy has grown and small businesses are offering health care to employees, many for the first time, because of tax credits offered in the law. He also claimed that repealing the law would add to the deficit -- though if that happened it would be only because the many taxes, fees and Medicare cuts in the law would be lost.
The defiant defense of the law comes on the heels of the House repealing the legislation. It also comes only days after Medicare's chief actuary Rick Foster admitted that two of the president's cornerstone promises -- that people could keep their insurance plans and that the law would reduce costs -- are false:
Obama's statements are odd considering the Department of Health and Human Services has tripled the number of waivers given to groups seeking to opt out of elements of the law. That number now totals 733, affecting over 2 million Americans. Republicans have vowed to investigate the waivers, as many of those receiving them include unions and special interests.
The massive requests for waivers come three years before the the law even goes into full effect, a sign that the reality of the health care situation -- and the effects of the law -- may be much different from the president's talking points.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.