Thomas Roberts   |  September 26, 2013

POTUS sells Obamacare; Congress tries to gut it

President Obama's remarks Thursday on his landmark healthcare initiative coincide with the beginning of debate in Congress on a bill that would avert a government shutdown, but simultaneously gut funding for Obamacare. Sen Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., discusses.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> community college , a rousing audience listening to a lesson from president obama on boomcare which is technically the affordable care act , his prediction is as it starts working they're not going call it obamacare, but october 1st is the beginning of all of this. that's when open enrollment can begin and when people can start shopping online to find out which exchanges, which insurance program will vote best for them. for those americans who are already covered in this country. they don't need to worry about anything. this is for those among us that don't currently have health coverage or for those of us who the in the future might not have health coverage. joining us is barbara boxer who is listening to this lesson. i call it a lesson, senator, because it was not just happening on the school of a campus, but it was the president breaking down when this accident means and probably one of the better speeches that we heard from him about obamacare. do you think that this speech should be the one he should have been giving all along, week after week so everybody felt more informed about where they are?

>> it's hard for me to be critical about the president on this because i know if he had made these speeches way back when it would have been too early because, as you just pointed out, the exchanges are just about to open october 1. so i would rather just move forward now. listen, i went home and spent time over the summer months going around my state. people in california are so excited about this. you know, our -- our government, our state government is fully behind this and we have a website called coveredca.com. coveredca.com, and people are starting to go out there and you're absolutely right. most of the people, their healthcare, isn't going to change if they get their health care through medicare, they're fine. if they get it through an employer, they're fine, but it's those who have a hard time getting it, who get it on an individual basis, small businesses who can get a better deal. it's going to be very, very exciting, and so i just feel that the president today really had the energy that we need at this point to make sure everyone understands this law, and i loved this sense of humor. he said now the republicans call it obamacare, but when people like it, they'll call it the affordable care act .

>> they'll go back to its technical name. the other thing the president said is nobody should go broke because they get sick.

>> right.

>> i want to switch from that because as we talk about going broke being sick, let's talk about our government being broke potentially and the government shutdown and the fact that we're going to run out of money. a lot of people are getting all bent up about this. it almost is kind of a faux the sky is falling, but it's really not. we'll have the money to go on. we're in this crisis government where we jump from crisis to crisis. is the 17th of october now the kick the can down the road deadline?

>> we're still not over the continuing resolution which is budgeting so we can move forward. we are still not over that. there were rumors around here today that after all of this, once the senate takes out the repeal of obamacare and the delay and the defunding and sends it back, they may come back to us with a one-week c.r. meaning the government can function for one week. toms as, are we supposed to be happy with that? this is a playground over here. i have to say, speaker boehner has a very important decision to make. is he going to be the speaker of the republicans of the house or the speaker of the entire house? and i have the honor of serving with tip o'neal, and i know chris matthews has written a book on those years. tip used to go over to colleagues and say, can you be with me on this vote and if you can't, barbara, it's okay. i'll go to the republican side . so the magic of tip o'neal was the magic of 218. it wasn't about you have to get every democrat. so john boehner has to understand that if he wants to go down in history as the worst speaker ever just continue down this path of being held hostage to the far right of his party who are holding america hostage and to even talk about not paying our bills. ronald reagan , i find myself quoting him more and more said even the thought of default sends a shudder down the spine of a nation. it's dangerous. they have to stop this. they're not playing in the playground. they are playing with america, the full faith and credit of the united states .

>> correct.

>> the well-being of our people and, you know, we have the self-inflicted wounds, absurdities and it is just not the grown-up way to be. so i hope that speaker boehner, you know, has -- comes to the realization that he has to act like tip o'neal, be a speaker of the whole house.

>> as the president said it seems like we go crisis to crisis.

>> terrible.

>> senator barbara boxer , great to see you as always. thanks for your time and being so patient with me.