Obama defends Affordable Health Care at Boston’s Faneuil Hall: ‘We’re in this together’

President Barack Obama speaks at the podium at Faneuil Hall. Photo by Jeremiah Robsinson/Metro.
President Barack Obama speaks at the podium at Faneuil Hall. Credit: Jeremiah Robinson/Metro

President Barack Obama was welcomed by tremendous applause today at Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall, where he defended the federal government’s Affordable Care Act amid mounting criticism over Healthcare.gov website glitches.

After an introduction by Gov. Deval Patrick, whom Obama referred to as one of the “best” governors, the president referred to Mayor Thomas Menino as “one of America’s best mayors.”

He also acknowledged the city’s passionate Red Sox fans, who were just hours away from Game Six of the World Series, saying, “I am well aware that the presidential visit is not the biggest thing going on in Boston. … I tried to grow a beard, but Michelle, she wasn’t having it.”

Within moments, protesters began chanting about energy issues, yelling, among other things, “Stop the pipeline!” and “Stop climate change for our generation” before they were ushered out.

The outburst was met by boos.

“OK, we’re talking about health care today. … That was the wrong rally. … We had the climate change rally back in the summer. This is the health care rally,” the president responded.

Transitioning to his signature health care law, Obama said there is “no denying” that the website is too slow, and that “too many people have gotten stuck.”

Earlier today, the U.S. government’s top health official, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, said that private insurance companies, not the new healthcare law, are to blame for hundreds of thousands of people losing their coverage in the past few weeks.

Sebelius called the debut of the Affordable Care Act a “debacle” as she sought to assure skeptical lawmakers at a congressional hearing that the administration will fix technical flaws with the website.

“The website hasn’t worked the way it’s supposed to … as a consequence a lot of people haven’t had a chance to see just how good the prices for these quality (services) really are,” Obama said.

“And I’m not happy about it. … There is no excuse for it.”

Obama went on to slam opponents of the Affordable Care Act, saying that “providing people with health care should be a no-brainer,” and that if anyone has any better ideas, “I’d be happy to listen.”

He wrapped up his remarks by saying, “We are in this together, and we’re going to see it through.”

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

News

Mets mascot Mr. Met target of Bill Clinton…

Mets mascot Mr. Met has told how he ended up in the crosshairs of a Secret Service sniper rifle. The man behind the Mr. Met…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

NBA

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams…

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams have the best shot at a championship. The Thunder, Clippers, Heat and Rockets lead the way.

NFL

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.