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Democratic Convention Speakers Tout Obama’s Landmark Health Care Reform

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"Democratic Convention Speakers Tout Obama’s Landmark Health Care Reform"

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President Obama’s health care reform law, which Republicans have attempted to repeal over 30 times, has sharply divided the political conversation about health policy. Mitt Romney typically shies away from taking credit for implementing the health care policies that provided the foundation for Obamacare, and even Democratic lawmakers who supported health care reform have been timid about articulating its merits.

However, at last night’s Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, Democrats fully embraced their role in passing historic health care reform. As Ezra Klein points out, last night’s speeches may be remembered as the turning point in health care politics when “Democrats stood up and began fighting for their health care law.”

Tuesday’s prime time speakers — ranging from Stacy Lihn, whose daughter has a congenital heart defect and wouldn’t be eligible for coverage without Obamacare, to the first lady, who said her husband always knew that health care reform was “the right thing to do” — all touted Obama’s health policy as a landmark achievement:

STACY LIHN: “Like so many moms with sick children, I shed tears and I could breathe easier knowing we have that net below us to catch us if we fall, or if, God forbid, Zoe needs a heart transplant — Obamacare provides my family security and relief. But we’re also scared. Governor Romney repealing health care reform is something we worry about literally every day.” [Transcript]

HHS SECRETARY KATHLEEN SEBELIUS: “For us Democrats, Obamacare is a badge of honor. Because no matter who you are, what stage of life you’re in, this law is a good thing.” [Transcript]

MAYOR RAHM EMANUEL (D-Chicago): “President Obama took office knowing full well that for the last century, presidents had tried to reform our health care system…Because of the president’s leadership, every American will have access to affordable, quality health care. That was the change we believed in. That was the change we fought for. That was the change President Obama delivered.” [Transcript]

GOV. DEVAL PATRICK (D-MA): “This is the president who delivered the security of affordable health care to every single American after 90 years of trying.” [Transcript]

MAYOR JULIAN CASTRO (D-San Antonio): “Seven presidents before him — Democrats and Republicans — tried to expand health care to all Americans. President Obama got it done.” [Transcript]

FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA: “When it comes to the health of our families, Barack refused to listen to all those folks who told him to leave health reform for another day, another president. He didn’t care whether it was the easy thing to do politically — that’s not how he was raised — he cared that it was the right thing to do. He did it because he believes that here in America, our grandparents should be able to afford their medicine, our kids should be able to see a doctor when they’re sick, and no one in this country should ever go broke because of an accident or illness.” [Transcript]

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