“And there was a reason why health care reform had not been accomplished before. It was hard”
Former President Barack Obama is calling upon political leadership to have the “courage” to oppose the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.
On Sunday, Obama took to the stage at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, where he received the 2017 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. In his 30-minute impassioned speech, Obama invoked the memory of President Kennedy and explained where he believes true courage comes from.
“Courage, President Kennedy knew, requires something more than just the absence of fear,” Obama said. “Any fool can be fearless. Courage, true courage, derives from that sense of who we are, what are our best selves, what are our most important commitments, and the belief that we can dig deep and do hard things for the enduring benefit of others.”
Beyond honoring presidents past, Obama took time in speech to strongly defended the Affordable Care Act and called upon lawmakers to have the courage to "champion the vulnerable and the sick and the infirm,” CNN reported.
"There was a reason why health care reform had not been accomplished before—it was hard," Obama said. “It involved a sixth of the economy and all manner of stakeholders and interests. It was easily subject to misinformation and fearmongering.”
Obama went on to explain how, at the time of the Affordable Care Act vote, it took true political leadership and a fearless drive in many of the legislators to put their own political futures on the line to vote for a law that was right, rather than popular. Obama is hoping that current elected officials will do the same.
"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, but it does require some courage to champion the vulnerable and the sick," Obama said. "It is my fervent hope that today's members of Congress, regardless of party, are willing to look at the facts and speak the truth, even when it contradicts party positions.”
While Obama used his acceptance speech to discuss politics, he did not mention President Donald Trump by name once. Watch Obama’s entire speech below.