In a new excerpt from Barack Obama’s forthcoming memoir, “A Promised Land,” the former president details his administration’s hard-fought battle for health care reform.
“I was convinced that the logic of health-care reform was so obvious that even in the face of well-organized opposition I could rally the American people’s support,” Obama wrote of the Affordable Care Act in the passage, published Monday in The New Yorker.
“Other big initiatives — like immigration reform and climate-change legislation — would probably be even harder to get through Congress; I figured that scoring a victory on the item that most affected people’s day-to-day lives was our best shot at building momentum for the rest of my legislative agenda,” he continued.
But Obama soon realized he was being overconfident. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and other Republican lawmakers would do everything in their power to try to torpedo his vision for making health care more affordable.
Obama’s writings about the historical passage of the ACA were published just hours before the Republican-controlled Senate was expected to confirm Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump’s pick to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
With Barrett’s confirmation, the Supreme Court will have a 6-3 conservative majority, clearing the way for a legal showdown on health care. The Trump administration filed a brief earlier this year asking the Supreme Court to overturn the ACA, which could strip roughly 23 million Americans of their health care coverage.
The ACA requires insurers to accept all applicants without charging higher premiums based on preexisting medical conditions. If the Supreme Court overturned the ACA, more than 133 million Americans with preexisting conditions could be disqualified from buying a certain health care plan, according to The New York Times.
“A Promised Land” is slated for release on Nov. 17. The 768-page memoir will be the first of two volumes, with this one focused on Obama’s early political life through mid-2011.
Head over to The New Yorker to read the full excerpt.