Begin forwarded message:
From: Olivier Knox >
Date: January 6, 2017 at 11:33:58 AM EST
Subject: Pool report #3
Reply-To: Olivier Knox >
And we're off. Your pooler has asked who is sitting in this audience - apart from the marvelous Liz Allen, who is directly in front of your pooler - and will report back with any details. It's a *very* friendly crowd, laughing along with POTUS at the thinnest prompting. News-ish: POTUS attacks "repeal now and replace later," says GOP promises to do health care better will prove hard to do.
Check quotes against your recording and transcript (I know that's...sub-optimal, but I'm not a verbatim machine).
Question 1 (paraphrase): You and your aides said Obamacare would get more popular over time. What did you get wrong?
POTUS says it is popular among many people, while those disapproving include "a whole bunch of Bernie Sanders supporters who want a single-payer plan."
"I get letters every single day from people who say 'this has saved my life' or 'this has saved my bank account'..." says POTUS.
Question 2 (paraphrase): If Republicans enact their own reforms, do they "own" the repercussions?
"If it works I'm for it," POTUS replies. "If something can cover all Americans, make sure that if they have a pre-existing condition they can still get coverage, make sure that prescription drugs are affordable," encourage preventive care, help rural communications, "if you can do all that cheaper than we talked abou,t cheaper than Obamacare achieves, and with better quality and it's just terrific, I'm for it."
POTUS complains that the GOP attitude back in 2009 was "a big 'no.'" Says he'll support "McConnellCare or Ryancare" if it achieves all of those goals.
"I suspect it will not happen," POTUS says. "All the promises they made about how they can do it better, cheaper" will be hard to fulfill.
"Repeal first and replace later is just a huge disservice to the American people." "These are real lives at stake."
Obama dismisses the "legacy" argument. "I don't have pride of authorship on this thing," he says. "I'm not the one who named it Obamacare."
Chief Washington Correspondent