HR Administration

Obama Sees Election as Referendum on Reform

By Rich Daly

Sep. 7, 2012

President Barack Obama accepted his party’s nomination for another term by framing the election as a choice over whether voters value his signature health care law, among other policies.

Obama credited the voters who elected him the first time with enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

“You’re the reason there is a little girl with a heart disorder in Phoenix who’ll get the surgery she needs because an insurance company can’t limit her coverage,” he said about the law’s popular ban on lifetime limits. “You did that.”

Obama also attacked Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney for proposing to repeal the health care law and to add a subsidized private insurance option to Medicare for future beneficiaries who enroll in 10 years.

That would result in a person who can’t afford health insurance having to just “hope you don’t get sick.”

“And I will never turn Medicare into a voucher,” he said to loud applause. “No American should ever have to spend their golden years at the mercy of insurance companies. They should retire with the care and dignity they have earned.”

The president also defended his own law saying it extended the solvency of Medicare by eight years “by reducing the cost of health care, not by asking seniors to pay thousands of dollars more.”

He also appeared to push back on the 2010 conservative electoral wave that stemmed from the contentious year-long legislative battle to pass his health care law.

“We the people recognize that we have responsibilities as well as rights; that our destinies are bound together; that a freedom which only asks what’s in it for me; a freedom without a commitment to others, a freedom without love or charity or duty or patriotism is unworthy of our founding ideals and those who died in their defense,” he said.

Rich Daly writes for Modern Healthcare, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, email

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