President Obama still embraces the term “Obamacare” and thinks the health reform law will ultimately be a positive part of his legacy.
“I like it,” Obama said in an interview with Charles Barkely that aired Sunday evening. “I don’t mind.”
“I tell you, five years from now, when everybody’s saying, ‘Man, I’m sure glad we got health care,’ there are going to be a whole bunch of people who don’t call it Obamacare anymore because they don’t want me to get the credit,” the president added.
Nearly 10 million Americans have received health care coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act, according to data released last week. More than one million people signed up for private health care through the health reform law’s insurance exchanges in January, bringing enrollment to 3.3 million since last fall. Another 6.3 million will receive coverage under the Medicaid expansion.
The president continued his appeal to young Americans in the Barkley interview, which aired before the NBA All-Star Game.
“We’d like to encourage more young people to sign up, partly because since they’re healthier, their premiums are actually generally going to be fairly cheap,” he said. “They can find good options for less than their cable bill, less than their cell phone bill, and it’s just part of growing up: taking care of your body, taking care of your health, and if you’ve got a young family, you’ve got to make sure that your family’s protected with health insurance as well and this allows you to do it.”
The president also spoke about “My Brother’s Keeper,” a new initiative designed to help young men of color. Obama had been scheduled to unveil the program last week but was delayed by the snow fall.
“We’re going to pull together private philanthropies, foundations, working with governors and mayors and churches and non-profits, and we’re just going to focus on young men of color and find ways in which we can create more pathways to success for them,” he said. “We’re not going to create some big new government program, but we’re going to work with communities, businesses, so that whether it’s helping to set up early childhood education so that young people can read early, or it is creating mentorship programs and apprenticeship programs so that a young person can get exposed to what a career is like in a factory as a machinist where you’re getting paid 30, 35 dollars an hour, but you may not even know that that option is available.”
“Across the board, from the time they’re young all the way through their first job, we want to help more young African-American men, Latino men, succeed,” he added.