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Gov. Patrick On Schumer's Obamacare Comments: Uninsured And Sick Will Tell You It Made A Difference

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick pushed back at Sen. Chuck Schumer's notion that President Obama should have waited to get the Affordable Care Act passed.
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Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick pushed back at Sen. Chuck Schumer's latest gift to the right wing, where he went after President Obama for using his political capital to get the Affordable Care Act passed in the beginning of his first term.

We weren't going to hear Patrick call Schumer out for being one of Wall Street's biggest protectors who caused the financial crash that President Obama was trying to dig us out from under. And it would be nice if someone pointed out that there was a stimulus package passed in the beginning of President Obama's term as well, so it's not true that his administration wasn't concerned about getting Americans back to work.

Patrick did however take note of the fact that if you were one of the people out there with no health insurance and sick with a preexisting condition, it mattered a great deal to you that they got the health care law passed on this Sunday's Meet the Press when asked about Schumer's comments.

CHUCK TODD: I want to shift gears here a little bit to the future of the Democratic party. I want to play for a you a bite from Senator Chuck Schumer, who almost comes across as indicting President Obama's first year in office, because he said healthcare was a mistake. Take a listen.

SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (ON TAPE): Democrats blew the opportunity the American people gave them. We took their mandate and put all of our focus on the wrong problem: healthcare reform. But it wasn't the change we were hired to make. Americans were crying out for the end to the recession. For better wages and more jobs. Not changes in healthcare.

CHUCK TODD: You agree with that?

GOV. DEVAL PATRICK: Well, I respect Senator Schumer, but no, I don't agree with him. I mean, I think Americans understand the interconnectedness of a whole host of solutions that government should pay attention to. Not that they think government should solve every problem in their lives. But that government should help them help themselves. And you ask somebody who is not insured and is sick, or someone who is getting buried by healthcare-related debt, whether healthcare reform makes a difference. And they will tell you that it does make a difference.

CHUCK TODD: Where's the Democratic party go from here? Is it soul-searching time for the party?

GOV. DEVAL PATRICK: Well, I think it ought to be. I mean, I think Election Day was a good day for Republicans, a great day for Citizens United. And a bad day for Democrats who don't stand for anything. And when Democrats stand for something, or as I have said in the past, grow a backbone, and standup for what it is we believe, we win. Because what we believe is what the American people are--

(OVERTALK)

CHUCK TODD: So you think Democrats made a mistake by running away from President Obama?

GOV. DEVAL PATRICK: I think it was a huge mistake. You know, this is a president who's presided over explosive growth in corporate profits, in stock market returns, employment that's come back strong after the worst economic collapse in a generation or two. Universal healthcare, bin Laden's removal and the end of two wars, and on and on and on.

And one problem I think that the president has is that he doesn't tell that story very well or very regularly. You know, the importance of repetition is something I had to learn. And it's not to say that everything has been solved. We've reached the promise land. But we're certainly better off than we were.


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