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The President's Weekly Address

December 10, 2016

Hi, everybody. It is the most wonderful time of the year and not just because it's the holiday season, but because it's also open enrollment season over at

And I know that was a dad joke.. But this weekend, I hope seriously that you will take a moment to do something really important for yourself and your family: make sure you'll have health insurance for 2017.

If you're not covered yet, now is the time to sign up. Go and shop for the plan that is right for you. Like most Americans who get coverage through, there's a good chance you'll find a plan that costs less than $75 a month. And while the enrollment period lasts until the end of January, as long as you sign up by this Thursday, December 15, you'll be covered starting January 1.

Now, this doesn't apply to the roughly 250 million Americans who already get insurance through the workplace or thanks to Medicare or Medicaid. But here's what does. Every American with insurance is now covered by the strongest set of consumer protections in history: a true patients' bill of rights. You now have free preventive care, like mammograms and contraception. There are no more annual or lifetime limits on the essential care you receive. Women can't get charged more just for being a woman. Young people can stay on a parent's plan until they turn 26. And seniors get discounts on their prescriptions. Every American can rest free from the fear that one illness or accident will derail your dreams, because discrimination against preexisting conditions is now illegal. And since 2010, we've seen the slowest health care price growth in 50 years.

Whether or not you get insurance through the Affordable Care Act, that's the health care system as we now know it now. Because our goal wasn't just to make sure more people have coverage, it was to make sure more people have better coverage. That's why we want to build on the progress we've made, and I've put forth a number of ideas for how to improve the Affordable Care Act.

Now, Republicans in Congress want to repeal the whole thing and start from scratch, but trying to undo some of it could undo all of it. All those consumer protections—whether you get your health insurance from Obamacare or Medicare or Medicaid or on the job—could go right out the window. So any partisan talk you hear about repealing or replacing the Affordable Care Act should be judged by whether they keep all those improvements that benefit you and your family right now.

For example, one new study shows that if Congress repeals Obamacare as they've proposed, nearly 30 million Americans would lose their coverage—30 million. Four in five of them would come from working families. More than 9 million Americans who would receive tax credits to keep insurance affordable would no longer receive that help. That's unacceptable.

We can work together to make the system even better, and one of the best ways to do that is make sure that you're in it. So remember: Sign up on by this Thursday, and your health insurance will be there for you when you wake up on January 1.

Thanks everybody, and have a great weekend.

NOTE: The address was recorded at approximately 4:40 p.m. on December 9 in the Roosevelt Room at the White House for broadcast on December 10. The transcript was made available by the Office of the Press Secretary on December 9, but was embargoed for release until 6 a.m. on December 10. The Office of the Press Secretary also released a Spanish language transcript of this address.

Barack Obama, The President's Weekly Address Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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