Obama Thanks Democrats For “Hanging In There” On Obamacare

“I think 10 years from now, five years from now people are going to look back and say this was a monumental achievement that could not have happened had it not been for this caucus,” Obama said.

Larry Downing / Reuters

CAMBRIDGE, Md. — President Barack Obama thanked House Democrats on Friday for continuing to defend his new health care law after its rocky rollout since late last year.

“We are going to keep on pushing on this to make sure that here in America everybody enjoys the kind of financial security and peace of mind that good quality health insurance provides,” he said. “And I just want to say thank you to all of you for hanging in there tough.”

The president also talked about the recent improvement in Obamacare enrollment numbers, which he credited to the work of House Democrats who have had to vote against defunding the law on numerous occasions.

“I think 10 years from now, five years from now people are going to look back and say this was a monumental achievement that could not have happened had it not been for this caucus,” Obama said.

In a question and answer session after the speech, several members thanked the president for praise on the Affordable Care Act from local media back in their districts, according to a Democratic aide inside the room.

Even Ron Barber, a vulnerable Democrat from Arizona complimented the administration on their efforts.

His speech came just hours after Vice President Joe Biden spoke to the same group of a few hundred members, staffers, and family members encouraging them to stay positive heading into the election year.

Obama was introduced by Rep. Joe Crowley, vice chair of the Democratic caucus, who could hardly contain his excitement as he harkened back to his roots.

“As a boy from Woodside, Queens, it don’t get much better than this,” he said.

Obama touted many of the same ideas he presented in the State of the Union, including calling on Congress to raise the minimum wage. Yesterday, the Democrats announced they will try and force a vote in the House to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.

“This caucus has shown time and time again, under the most difficult circumstances, the kind of courage and unity and discipline that has made me very, very proud,” Obama said.

Kate Nocera contributed to this report.

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