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Obama: Health care overhaul 'working the way it's supposed to'

Amid indications that the public has soured somewhat on his signature health care overhaul, President Barack Obama on Friday sought to highlight benefits of the law already in place and emphasize many of its forthcoming advantages. 

A panel of experts join The Daily Rundown to talk about health care and the Affordable Care Act, discussing the latest NBC/WSJ Poll numbers on health care and the president's speech in California on health care.

“This is the way the law was designed to work. But since everyone's saying how it's not going to happen, I think it's important for us to recognize and acknowledge that this is working the way it's supposed to,” Obama said in California. “In states that are working hard to implement this law properly, it's working for people -- for middle-class families, for consumers.” 

Obama’s renewed defense of the law he guided through Congress in 2009-10 comes after the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that 49 percent of Americans said the law – “Obamacare,” colloquially – was a bad idea. That was the highest number of people to express such a view of the law since the poll began tracking sentiment on that issue in 2009. 

Republicans have dug in against the law as it nears full implementation in 2014, hoping to sully public opinion toward the law, and taking advantage of instances that reflect unfavorably on Obamacare. The GOP hopes they can yet again leverage the issue against Democrats during next year’s midterm elections to Congress. 

“You can listen to a bunch of political talk out there -- negative ads and fear-mongering geared toward the next election -- or, alternatively, you can look at what's happening in states like California, right now,” Obama said.

Jewel Samad / AFP - Getty Images

President Barack Obama makes a statement to reporters on the Affordable Care Act at Fairmont Hotel in San Jose, Calif., on June 7, 2013.

The president was extra-sure to highlight the states he said had implemented the law “correctly.” That was an oblique reference to the many Republican-dominated states that had refused to begin setting up the subsidized health insurance exchanges and expanded Medicare programs set forth by the law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. 

And, mindful of the political implications of the law, Obama highlighted some of the benefits that have already taken hold under the law, such as allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ health insurance for a longer period of time. 

“By the way, all of this is what the Republican Party has now voted 37 times to repeal, at least in the House of Representatives,” he said. “And my suggestion to them has been, let's stop re-fighting the old battles and start working with people like the leaders who are on stage here today to make this law work the way it's supposed to.”

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