Obama: ‘Access to Affordable Health Care Isn’t a Privilege – It’s a Right’

By Ali Meyer | October 29, 2014 | 2:53pm EDT

President Barack Obama. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

(CNSNews.com) -- President Barack Obama claimed that access to health care is a right saying, “We believe that access to affordable health care isn’t a privilege – it’s a right,” at a governor rally for candidate Mary Burke in Milwaukee, Wisc., on Oct. 28.

“In this country, access to health insurance shouldn’t be a Republican or Democratic issue – it’s an American issue,” said Obama.  “It matters to everybody. I don’t know why you’d run on a platform of making sure some folks don’t have health insurance – why would you do that?  I mean, that’s a weird thing to want – I’m going to make sure folks don’t have health insurance in this state. That doesn’t make any sense.”

Wisconsin is one of the 24 states in the United States that has not expanded its Medicaid program under Obamacare.

“As you know, we decided not to expand Medicaid, for several reasons. Mainly, because our goal is to help more people move from government dependence to true dependence, not the other way around,” Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker announced on December 5, 2013.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.  (AP Photo/Journal Times, Mark Hertzberg, File)

President Obama touted the expansion of Medicaid in Wisconsin saying, “Mary [Burke] is not running to block hardworking Americans from getting health insurance just because you’ve got some ideological idea – she’s running to do what 27 governors, including nine Republicans have already done: Expand access to Medicaid because it’s good for the citizens, it makes sense for the state budget, you don’t have free people going to the emergency room, they’re getting preventive care, they’re not getting sick in the first place – that’s good for everybody.”

Opponents of Medicaid expansion claim that it will increase costs on taxpayers.

According to a White House report, states that do not expand Medicaid save taxpayers $88 billion over the next three years. States that have expanded Medicaid are adding about $84 billion to the national debt through 2016.

President Obama has previously criticized Republican governors who have not expanded Medicaid in their states claiming that the expansion “doesn’t cost you a dime.”

“It always puzzles me when you decide to take a stand to make sure poor folks in your state can’t get health insurance, even though it doesn’t cost you a dime,” Obama said at the Congressional Black Caucus Awards Dinner on Sept.  27.

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