President Obama traveled to Iowa City today, crediting the state for being the place where he planted the seeds that grew into the health care reform plan he signed into law this week. “This is the state that believed in our campaign when all the pundits had written us off,” Obama said, “this is the state that inspired us to keep going, even when the path was uncertain. And because of you, this is the place where change began.”
Obama spent part of his speech outlining details of the new health care reform law. He said leaders of the Republican Party have actually been calling the passage of this bill ‘Armageddon. Obama says Republicans are already saying they are going to run on a platform of repealing the bill, and he said “go for it.”
“Because I don’t believe the American people are going to put the insurance industry back in the driver’s seat,” Obama said. “We’ve been there already and we’re not going back. This country is moving forward.” A man in the crowd shouted out asking about a public option wasn’t in the bill.
Obama says it’s not in the bill because they couldn’t get it through congress. Obama says the bill will provide insurance coverage for 32-million people. Obama says the bill doesn’t please everyone, but is a start. “This young man is dissatisfied with an aspect of it, which is fine, I mean that’s what democracy is about,” Obama says, “what this is, is a historic step to enshrine the principle that everybody gets health care coverage in this country, every single person.”
Obama spoke to a crowd of over 3,000, crammed into the University of Iowa Field House and the president made reference to his win in the Iowa Caucuses. “What this struggle has taught us about ourselves, and about this country is so much bigger than one issue, because it has reminded us of what so many of us learned all those months ago on a cold January night here in Iowa, that change is never easy, but it is always possible,” Obama says.
The University of Iowa campus that was host to today’s event is in Johnson County, which Obama won on Caucus Night with over 50% of the vote. In the November election, Obama won Johnson County with 70 percent of the vote. Obama supporters who couldn’t get a ticket to today’s speech held a midday march outside in the streets of Iowa City and a party later this afternoon.
Protesters also were in the streets of Iowa City today as well. The Iowa Republican Party held a rally last night on the University of Iowa campus.