MIAMI (CBSMiami) — President Barack Obama arrived in South Florida Thursday ready to pitch health care and Hillary Clinton.
The first stop was Miami Dade College, where the commander-in-chief touted his signature achievement providing health coverage to 20 million Americans.
“You’re getting better quality even though you don’t know Obamacare is doing it. Thanks Obama,” he joked.
Open enrollment begins November 1st. The president says although more Americans than ever have healthcare, he still faces a tough battle with Republicans.
“So what’s the problem? Why is there still such a fuss,” he asked. “Well, part of the problem is that a Democratic president named Barack Obama passed the law.”
Critics say Obamacare has caused an increasing number of insurers to pull out of healthcare exchanges, leaving millions with rising premiums and fewer choices. The president says if Florida and 18 other states would simply expand Medicaid, 4 million more people would be covered.
“If your governor would just put politics aside and do what’s right, then more than 700,000 Floridians would suddenly have access to coverage.”
Many, like Ana Carrera, have chronic illnesses that could have prevented coverage before the Affordable Care Act. She said her life changed because of it and now wants to see Republicans and Democrats work together to fix it.
“It’s just, forget all your differences, it’s working together for everyone to have healthcare,” she said.
President Obama told the packed room that it’s up to the next president and Congress to come up with ideas to make it work better.
“They can even change the name of the law to RaeganCare,” said Obama. “Or they can call it PaulRyanCare. I don’t care! I don’t care about credit, I just want it to work.”
The president wasn’t done with South Florida, however, and headed north to Florida Memorial University in Miami Gardens to campaign for Hillary Clinton and Rep. Patrick Murphy for Senate.
“She just works harder and she gets the job done and she never, ever quits,” Obama said of Clinton.
And just as Donald Trump has dominated headlines during the campaign, Clinton’s opponent was a focal point of Obama’s second speech.
“Trump has nothing to offer but anger, grievance and blame,” the president said, not ignoring Trump’s claims of election rigging and corruption, despite only 31 documented cases of voter fraud out of the one billion votes counted since 2000. “That is dangerous. Because when you try to sow the seeds of doubt in peoples’ minds, that undermines our democracy.”