President Obama Highlights Money-Saving Benefits of Affordable Care Act

President defends law with consumers who have received rebate checks from insurance providers.
22:54 | 07/18/13

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Transcript for President Obama Highlights Money-Saving Benefits of Affordable Care Act
This is a special report from ABC news. I'm dance company or -- ABC -- digital special reports -- Affordable Care Act no uncle locally they. As Obama care. Is under fire again and so today the president will take his case to the public highlighting. A provision that requires insurers to use more of your money on health care costs. Yesterday house voted to repeal and -- parts of the health care law the 38 time in fact they've done so. As it stands the main component of the Affordable Care Act will not go into effect until the beginning of 2014. But the white -- -- people. Are already benefiting from other parts of the bill that have taken place right now as we're waiting for the president to reach the podium I want to bring it ABC's Mary Bruce house and the White House. We look ahead -- the president is about to say and Mary what is the president trying to accomplish by today's speech. Good morning Dan on the surface this is all about health care in the consumer but really this is all about politics. The president is kicking off a big public push to tout the ways in which his signature health care law. Is saving Americans real money. This gives him a chance to take a stab at Republicans who still want to repeal the so called obamacare he mentioned yesterday the house voted for the 38 time to try to repeal parts of that bill. This give the president a chance to come out today and say. And show Americans how they're benefiting. And also to show what would happen if Republicans wanted to take those benefits away and in order for him to highlight those aspects of -- he will not be alone today correct. That's right the president will be joined American to say they're already benefiting from the legislation to to further make the case -- -- real money is going back into americans' pockets. Here they come. Hi my name is Morgan -- and I'm from silver spring Maryland I'm here at my children -- Scott. And self employed so for many years I purchased. Insurance on the individual market. And I got used to -- my premiums going up now without really knowing why. It was a little like sending money into a black -- I didn't know where it was going. Then last summer I got a pleasant surprise I got a rebate check for 267. Dollars for my health insurance company. It turned out that because of the Affordable Care Act they had to spend at least 80% of my money on health care. When they fell short of that goal they had to reimburse me for the difference. I put the 267 dollars or save towards my retirement to Affordable Care Act is working for people like me. That's -- I'm honored to be at the White House today and I'm proud to introduce our president Barack Obama. Oh yeah. -- -- -- Morgan four. That introduction. And I want to thank all of you for being here there -- a couple of people are one make sure especially. Acknowledge first of all. The leader of Democrats in the House of Representatives and somebody who. Worked harder than just about anybody. To get -- Affordable Care Act into law -- for. We we have some outstanding members of congress here some mayors and elected officials who are here. I wanna give a special shout out -- am I gonna introduce all of them because. It would take care too much time and -- might miss somebody but there is one person standing in front who's sitting in front to -- -- acknowledge just because he has served. For decades and four decades fought. To make sure that everybody had affordable accessible. Coverage. And we're so proud of him John being. All are welcome -- White House. Every day. Across. The country and certainly. Here in the White House there -- people who are working. As we speak to implement -- informal -- And deliver. The security. Of quality affordable health care to more Americans. The good news is that starting October 1. New online marketplaces. Will allow consumers to go online and compare private health care insurance plans just like you. Compare -- Over the Internet. Of the best deal on flat screen TVs or cars or any other product that is important your -- And you're gonna see competition. In ways that we haven't seen before. Insurance companies will compete. For your business. And in states that are working hard to make sure that this law delivers -- people. We're seeing here is that consumers are. Getting a hint of how much money -- their potentially gonna save because of this law. In states like California. Oregon. Washington. New competition. New choices. Market forces. Are pushing costs down. Just yesterday. State officials in New York. Announced that average premiums for consumers who -- -- insurance in their new marketplace. Will be at least 50% lower next year than they are today. So people like Morgan who -- self employed who. Have to buy on the individual market. There's -- nervously opportunities not just for the rebates we discussed but also for. Even greater savings in their monthly premiums. So if you are to buy insurance on the individual market. Meaning that you don't get insurance through big group -- Through your reporter. I could mean thousands of dollars a year. They can go towards paying -- mortgage. -- putting kids through college. Were saving for retirement. And what this means is that hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who don't have insurance. You'll finally be able to afford it. Because. This of these exchanges this big pool. Is going to reduce the cost. And you may qualify for health care tax credits. Middle class families will potentially qualify for these credits that will bring the cost down even more. So this just an example of how the Affordable Care Act is doing what it's designed to don't deliver more choices and better benefits. A check on rising costs. And higher quality health care. A children's designed to and worries saying those effects take place. Now I mention all this because. Yesterday despite all the evidence that the law is working the way it was -- -- for middle class Americans. Republicans in the House of Representatives. Voted for nearly the fortieth time. To dismantle it. We've got a lot of problems in this country and there's a lot of work that congress needs to do. Get a farm bill passed -- immigration reform done. Make sure we've got a budget in place that invests in our children and our future. And yet instead were re fighting these all metals. -- I just try to figure out why. Maybe. They -- it's good politics. But. Part of our job here is not always think about politics. -- Get work done on behalf of the American people on behalf of middle class and those were striving to get in the progress the progress that we're seeing in California and Washington and Oregon and now New York. That's progress. We want to make sure. We're seeing all across the country. Because there are still millions of people out there who not only wanna get health insurance but many who have -- health insurance. Who deserve a better deal. And deserve the kinds of savings. That before -- care act. Will offer. If you're one -- -- 85%. Of Americans who already have health insurance could be three or four. We're through Medicare -- to Medicaid. Your you have an array of new benefits in place you -- to wait until October 1 you're already getting benefits even if you don't know that it's because of the affordable care. You're getting better protections. You're getting more value for each dollar that you spend. On your health care and that last point the issue of getting better value for your -- is where -- want to focus on today. For years to many middle class families saw their health care costs go up and up and up without much explanation. As to. Why or how their money was being spent. But today because of affordable care insurance companies have to spend at least 80% of every dollar. That you pay in premiums. On your health care. -- on overhead. I'm profits but on you. Many insurance companies are already exceeding that target in the bringing down premiums and providing better value to their customers. But those that -- Now actually have to reimburse. If they're not spending. Your premium dollars on your health care at least 80% of -- they've got to give you some money back. Last year millions of Americans open letters from their insurance companies. But instead of the usual threat comes from getting a bill. They were pleasantly surprised with -- In 201213. Million rebates went out in all fifty states. Another eight point five rebates are being sent out this summer Everton -- around a hundred bucks each. And for families like Morgan's that. There are working hard every dollar counts. It makes a difference. As she said during your introduction she'd been buying insurance on the individual market -- -- three years after she got a rebate for the first time. And I'm quoting Morgan now she said it felt like someone was actually being held accountable for the dollars I was spending on health. That's one of the core principles of the affordable care holding insurance companies. And providers accountable. So that we all get a better deal. -- -- who's here from Chicago. Had read these rebates were happening but he didn't think anything up until he got a check in the mail fraud and 36 -- And Dan's father of two. And as any parent will tell you. Those kids -- suck up a lot of money. So he used his -- expressed some bills. Rick sure well and I'm Claudia diamond -- stationery store in Arlington Virginia. They knew about the provision before Booker but Rick said I figure I've never received money. So as a complete surprise to him one. They got a rebate for 320 dollars put their money right back into their small business. And this is happening all across the country and it's happening because of their affordable care. Hazmat report all. A -- if you took -- poll. Most folks want to know when that check comes and that this was because of obamacare debate. This extra money in their pockets. But that's what's happening. Even if you don't get a rebate even if you didn't get a -- it. There's a good chance that these reforms are helping you as well because. One easy way to meet the goal of spending 80% of every dollar on care. Is to charge less for your care. Now we got more work to do to get rising health care costs under control. And some of the gains that we've made some of the progress we've made in slowing the rise of health care cost is and always passed on workers sometimes companies -- -- Vapor are charging. Their employees. A higher. Co -- or higher deductible or in some -- shifting some costs on to some workers. But generally speaking what we've seen. Is that. Health care costs have slowed drastically. Its in a lot of areas since we passed before walker. We've got a lot more work to do. But. Health care inflation is not skyrocket and the -- want us. And because of this new rule. Because of the fact that it improves the value coverage that you purchase last year alone Americans saved 3.4 billion dollars. In lower premiums. That's 3.4. Billion dollars on top. Of these rebates. So that's just one way this -- is helping middle classrooms. But represents everything -- -- -- means for folks who are you have insurance better benefits stronger protections. More bang for your -- The basic notion that -- ought to get what you pay for. Now I recognize that there's still a lot of folks in this town at least were rooting for this -- to fail. Some of them seem to think -- laws about me. It's not. Clarity have really good health care. It's about the dead Maryland. Move for the first -- results family's premiums go down instead of up. It's Bob Graham -- in or. Whose free mammogram. Caught her breast cancer before it had a chance to spread. -- the mom and Arizona who can afford heart surgery for her little girl. Now that the lifetime cap on our coverage has been lifted. It's about the folks here today who got a little bit of relief. And I'm curious. What do opponents of this law thinks the folks here today should do with the money. They were reimbursed should they send it back to the insurance companies -- -- that was a bad idea to make sure that insurance companies are being held accountable. I know that's not what these folks think. So -- -- as the American people deserve a fair shot. They expect businesses to play my purse -- -- rules. And that's why this fight is so important. Our broken health care system. Threatened. The hopes and dreams of families and businesses across the country who feared that -- illness or one accident. Could cost them everything they've spent a lifetime building. And step by step. Work fixing that system. It's hard. There's a big country and the health care industry is massive and there are tons of providers. And so as we implement there going to be glitches and you know they're going to be certain states -- for political reasons are resisting implementation. And we're just steadily working through all that stuff. Same was true when Medicare was struck the same was true when Social Security got started there were folks -- for political reasons resisted. Implementation. But once -- got set up. People started saying. Was pretty good deal to gives me a little more secure. It's it's it's part of that basic bargain that if you work hard. For doing the right thing. -- you can get ahead in this country and they you can provide some basic protections for your family. And health cares about the part of that's part of it. Before -- is not some privilege just for the few. Two basic right that everybody should be able to enjoy it. So. We're gonna keep fighting to secure that right to make sure that every American gets the -- that they need when they needed at a price they can afford. That's the America we believe and that's what families deserve. That's what we're gonna keep on working to deliver -- keep on working to make sure. Many people around this country -- are -- paying premiums are getting. Cheaper prices. That the money's being actually spent on their health care. That you're not having to worry about the fine print that if you don't have health insurance. You can finally our position. To get some. At an affordable price to give you and your family to kind of security deserve. That's -- and everybody should support. That's not something that shouldn't be subject to politics. If if if the folks through have been trying to make political hay out of this thing if they had some better ideas. I'm -- told him I'm happy to hear. But I haven't heard any so far. What I've heard is just the same old song and dance. We're just gonna blow through that -- And -- keep on doing the right thing for the American people to thank you very much. -- known commonly as Obama care. One of those provisions that will take effect before 2014. Will be in the beginning of October word online marketplace and set -- -- airplanes were influenced. Premiums and plans. To have insurance companies. -- for their business. What -- bringing ABC's neighbors -- White House now and listening to this -- married today's speech was the direct reaction into the house voting. For now that 38 time to try to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Certainly you just heard was the president thumbing his nose at his opponents. He says that the Affordable Care Act is working -- saving Americans money and it's time for his Republican opponents to give it up already he says that those continue to oppose the bill need to. We recognize -- it's working and start focusing on the other tasks at hand the other things that need. Lawmakers' attention right now let me just a lot of -- had no go ahead. As you can imagine a lot of different ways that we're seeing it already starting to see people money in particular these rebates. 500 million dollars in rebates will be sent out my insurance companies this summer. That would -- point five million Americans average family will see a hundred dollars back in their pocket and that's just one of the things that the president -- one of the reasons why people need to start recognizing that this that was really work. Good point that he was that the president was making this one is that 80% of all incoming revenues from health insurance companies must be spent on health care itself not for profits. And not for any kind of operating costs. -- mission though just find out about the timing of today's speech though -- this already planned or did this -- last night's vote. -- a couple. Coming together here when it comes to the timing. I think that as -- mentioned this was nearly the fortieth time that the house has voted to try and repeal this act so it does happen fairly often but the timing of that is convenient for the White House. Also he mentioned some states are starting to announce that their premiums are going to be less than expected -- lower than expected we -- York announced yesterday. That a lot of good to their premiums go down by up to 50%. So that combined with the timing of yesterday that it yesterday's vote gives the president a nice opportunity to come out -- -- How this feels really working now the White House itself in -- chose to delay a portion of the bill affecting small businesses. -- but little bit about that measure and and how -- Republicans react to that. That's right that was one part where it's -- Republicans cheering here here's small business owner -- you have at least fifty employees. The requirement to Ted provide health insurance that was delayed until 2014. We have to remember that this is a long process and you will see parts of -- take effect immediately and that's what we're seeing this summer with the rebate. You're going to be seeing your premiums going down starting next year so this is a slow incremental process. I want to ask you also is but the tone of today's speeches the president did have sort of a lighthearted candidates reflective moment when he was kind of shaking his head saying. He doesn't quite understand why the house to be voting nearly forty times to repeal some of this. Do you think the tone was a strong partisan tone coming right now we've been trying to kind of look for any sense of bipartisanship. In Washington especially when most recently with -- seven nominations -- cabinet levels. That's right the president wasn't having it certainly a little bit of fun here. Poking fun at them on his opponents he's he -- -- -- -- -- those are trying to make political hay out of this but certainly he's doing some of that as well both sides are guilty of that here the president. Sort of seeming to in disbelief that Republicans still continued to oppose -- signature health care lobbyists but but he's also poking fun at them in any goes both ways. All right ABC's Mary Bruce at the White House very thank you for your time and for your insight. Of course have a complete write up on -- the president making a speech and some of the benefits from the Affordable Care -- -- -- take effect fully. In 2014. For now I'm Dan Cutler -- New York with this ABC news digital special reports. This has been a special report from me.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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