Former President Barack Obama offered an optimistic vision for the future, but condemned the latest attempt by Republicans to repeal his signature legislation, the 2010 Affordable Care Act, calling the efforts "aggravating" on Wednesday.
Former President Barack Obama delivered a speech at an event held by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Wednesday in New York City.
"All of this being done without any demonstrable economic or actuarial or plain common sense rationale, it frustrates", Obama said.
"It may be frustrating that we have to mobilize every couple months to keep our leaders from inflicting real human suffering on their constituents", he said.
Obama then called on ordinary citizens to "stand up, and muster the determination to try and try again" to fight on behalf of health care, despite the frustration of doing this seemingly every few weeks. But he said progress can still be made by people outside the White House. The normally philosophical United Nations secretary general Antonio Guterres told gathered leaders that "our world is in trouble; people are hurting and angry", that "societies are fragmented", and that "we are a world in pieces". "And we can't sugar coat them".
Republicans are using the measure Cassidy is sponsoring with fellow Senator Lindsey Graham to make one last push this year to pass legislation to roll back the 2010 Obamacare law, a goal of theirs for seven years, facing a September 30 deadline.
Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., center, listens as Sen.
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But Obama said that pushing back against efforts to roll back progressive legislation is "typically how progress is won". Cassidy said his proposal would protect people who are already ill, although it does let states waive an Obamacare mandate that insurers can not charge people who have pre-existing medical conditions more than those who are healthy.
"Look, you're talking to somebody who for seven years tried to get the word out that things were going pretty good ... at least about 40 percent of the country didn't believe me", Obama said to laughter.
Trump made a speech to the United Nations General Assembly on September 19, in which he called North Korean leader Kim Jong-un "rocket man" and said the us would "have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea" if the country continued down its current path.
North Korea wants Iran-type nuclear deal Dems fear lasting damage from Clinton-Sanders fight Iran's president warns U.S. will pay "high cost" if Trump ditches nuclear deal MORE said Wednesday that many Americans didn't believe him when he spoke about bringing large-scale change to the country until after he left office.
"You have to start with a premise and believe that multilateral institutions and efforts are important", Obama said, "and you don't have to cede all your sovereignty and it doesn't make you less patriotic to believe that".
"Your response has to be to reject cynicism and reject pessimism and to push forward with a certain infectious and relentless optimism", he said. Not a blind optimism that ignores the scale and scope of our challenges - but a hard-earned optimism that's rooted in stories of very real progress.