FW: Print Pool Report 5 and Lid

From: Friedman, Dan [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Tuesday, April 21, 2015 6:41 PM
To: Barnes, Desiree N.
Subject: Print Pool Report 5 and Lid

A travel, photo lid has been called.

President Obama spoke for just over five minutes at a reception Tuesday evening for members of Congress who helped to pass “permanent doc fix” eliminating a Medicare reimbursement formula that annually threatened doctors with a pay cut.

The President spoke at 5:45pm, about a half-hour after the scheduled time.

A few highlights:

Obama plugged Obamacare, despite the bipartisan crowd at the event, arguing the bill builds on the Affordable Care Act.

“We didn’t just settle for fixing an old formula, we replaced it with a better one which incentivized more treatment over better treatment - something that costs a lot more money,” he said. “From now on we’re gonna compensate doctors based on how well they hate, how well they help patients get healthy and stay healthy. And that’s smarter approach. And it's gonna get better results for patients, and I’m confident it’s also gonna be more cost effective."

"I shouldn’t say this with John Boehner here, but that’s one way that this legislation builds on the Affordable Care Act. But let’s put that aside for a second.”

Acknowledging the balmy weather, Obama said the group “came to celebrate something else that is gorgeous, and that is a bipartisan piece of legislation.”

“This finally solves a serious problem,” he said, noting that Congress has scrambled at least once a year for the last 13 years to “patch" the doc fix.

“All of us said, again and again, 'Let’s try to fix this once and for all. And this time we finally did. No more temporary patches. I’m really excited about it."

The President thanked, in this order: House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and ranking member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Reps. Fred Upton (R-Mich), Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Sandy Levin (D-Mich), the chairs and ranking members of key House Committees.

“I see McCarthy there. He counted votes. We’re grateful for that as well," Obama said acknowledging House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)

“Most importantly I just to thank everyone for showing that Republicans and Democrats can come together, put aside partisanship, not just on must-dos, but on things that actually make the country work better. We did not in this case simply kick the down the road. We made life better for a lot of people.”

“We crossed one of Washington’s perennial cliffs off the list for good. And we proved that's possible.”

“There is nothing the American people would rather see than for us to be able to make this town work.”

Before Obama spoke, Boehner, passing the pool, was asked how he felt about the reception.

“Good,” he said. “What else could you say?”

Pool asked Boehner how often he visits the White House: “Plenty,” he said, as he walked away.

Minutes later, still prior to the President speaking, Boehner walked alone to a small bar set up in the Rose Garden, ordering what appeared to be his second glass of wine. The second was red.

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, the next bar patron, ordered a water.

Pool also noticed OMB Secretary Shaun Donovan filling a small plate of food prior to other guests starting to dine.

A five-piece band played while the guests, a group that appeared to include dozens of members, waiting for Obama.

Others present included: House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Rep. Paul Sarbannes (D-Md.) Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Ben Ray Lujon (D-N.M.), Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-Wash.), White House senior aide Valerie Jarrett, HHS Secretary

Pelosi and Boehner exchanged a friendly kiss during the event.

Dan Friedman

Senior Washington Correspondent

New York Daily News

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