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
Local

Mayor announces public housing improvements

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem on Wednesday, calling for the scaffolding to come down at NYCHA complexes across…

National

Peter Theo Curtis: American released by Syrian militants…

An American writer freed this week from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria spoke briefly outside his family's Cambridge home Wednesday of…

Local

Bratton defends 'broken windows' work as NYPD support…

Sixty percent of those polled said they support the "broken windows" theory approach popularized by Commissioner Bratton since his first term in the 1990s.

Local

Transit changes for Labor Day weekend

The MTA is adding additional service Friday for New Yorkers getting out of the city for the long weekend. On Friday, Aug. 29, 27 additional…

Television

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

Season 11’s top four dancers gave their final performances before America’s Favorite Dancers are announced next week.

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

MUSIC The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees…

Going Out

5 things to do this weekend in NYC

The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees expected. David Guetta,…

Television

'Full House' might be relaunched with some of…

A new "Full House" might be in the works.

NFL

Mario Manningham on the bubble as Giants play…

Former Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham hopes his second go-around with Big Blue doesn’t end with Saturday’s final cut day.

NFL

Source: Stephen Hill 'faces a battle' to make…

A team source says Stephen Hill, who has battled injuries and poor performances during his first two years, is no lock to make the Jets’ final roster.

Sports

Serena Williams leaving legacy of talented American women…

It seems only a matter of when, not if, Serena Williams will win her 18th career grand slam championship.

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…

Sex

The 10 types of people you meet online

Does it ever seem like online dating profiles tend to get a little repetitive? It turns out you are not the only one to have…

Home

Labor Day essentials

Whether you’re soaking up the sun on the beach or barbecuing in the park here are some must-haves for your end-of-summer bash.