Former President Barack Obama said Wednesday it is "aggravating" to see the Republican-led Congress continue with its attempts to overhaul Obamacare, efforts he suggested would inflict "real human suffering" on the American people.
"When I see people trying undo that hard-won progress, for the 50th or 60th time, with bills that would raise costs or reduce coverage or roll back protections for older Americans or people with pre-existing conditions — the cancer survivor, the expectant mom, or the child with autism, or asthma for whom coverage once again would be unattainable — it is aggravating," Obama said during a keynote address at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's "Goalkeepers" event.
During his address, Obama cited implementation of Obamacare as an example of the progress that can be made despite the obstacles that often stand in the way.
But, the former president lamented Republicans' efforts to overhaul the healthcare system. During his presidency, Republicans in Congress voted at least 50 times to repeal Obamacare, and so far this year, the House and Senate have voted on proposals to overhaul the 2010 healthcare law, though their efforts thus far have failed.
Momentum now is gaining on a bill spearheaded by Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell intends to bring the Graham-Cassidy proposal up for a vote next week.
Obama, though, said Republicans are working to pass legislation that would inflict "real human suffering" on the American people.
"And all of this being done without any demonstrable economic or actuarial or plain common-sense rationale, it frustrates," he said. "And it's certainly frustrating to have to mobilize every couple of months to keep our leaders from inflicting real human suffering on our constituencies."