At a town hall meeting on the first stop of his Midwest bus tour, President Obama brushed off criticism of his health care overhaul, which many Republicans commonly deride as “Obamacare.”
Today the president was referring to The Afffordable Care Act, which he pointed out is "also known as Obamacare."
"By the way, I have no problem with folks saying Obama cares. I do care," Obama said. "If the other side wants to be the folks that don't care, that's fine with me.”
Obama also told the crowd that he believes the Supreme Court will uphold the 2009 law’s controversial mandate requiring all Americans to buy health insurance, despite a federal appeals court ruling last week which found the provision unconstitutional.
Two federal appeals court panels have reached differing conclusions on the constitutionality of the provision, all but guaranteeing the law will go before the high court.
Obama also used the town hall moment on health care to single out potential 2012 challenger and former Republican Gov. Mitt Romney, who supported an individual health insurance mandate as governor of Massachusetts and has since attacked Democrats for it.
"This used to be a Republican idea," Obama said.
The townhall was scheduled not far from Rochester, Minnesota, home to the legendary Mayo Clinic. Health care jobs are a big part of the local economy.
Sitting in the crowd, Lenore McDonald of Cannon Falls said she would like to ask the President how he can guarantee affordable health insrance policies will be among the options when the individual mandate kicks in in 2014.
“How are we going to support the system that has been passed?” McDonald wondered aloud. “There has to be some affordable plan.”
Democrats have bristled in the past when the law was referred to by Republicans as "Obamacare." Here is an interview with DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Shultz about why she thought in February that it should be called The Affordable Care Act. Watch that here.