When Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News’ chief health and medical editor, sat down with President Obama yesterday, the conversation focused on the health impact of climate change, gun control, and the Affordable Care Act.
Besser asked the president to rate the success of the Affordable Care Act on a scale from 1 to 10. Obama gave the law an “8.”
“And the reason I don't put it at a 10 is because you can always improve something.”
“Sixteen million people or more have health insurance that didn't have it before,” Obama said, adding that this is the lowest rate of uninsured Americans “since we started keeping records.”
He also said the cost of implementing the law has been less than anticipated but told Besser there’s still more work to be done, especially getting states that haven’t already done so to expand Medicaid.
“There are millions of more people that could be helped, and it won't cost the state anything… We're just seeing some stubbornness that's really based on ideology not on wise public health policy that is preventing most people in most states from getting the Medicaid that would save the state money in the long term.”
Lana Zak and Dan Childs of the ABC Medical Unit contributed to this report.