Obama to return to White House to tout his own health care law

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Obama to return to White House to tout his own health care law

He’s baaa-aaack.

Former President Barack Obama will return to the White House this week for the first time since leaving office in 2017 to honor the Affordable Care Act alongside President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, the administration announced late Sunday. 

The 44th president will join Biden and Harris Tuesday to deliver remarks “celebrating the success of the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid,” the White House teased in a release outlining major events this week.

Obama’s appearance at the White House will come days after Biden mistakenly referred to his wife, first lady Jill Biden, as the vice president in the Obama administration — despite serving in the role for eight years. 

Tuesday’s event will be Biden and Obama’s first appearance in Washington since last year’s inauguration. The two have appeared together on occasion since, most recently attending commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks in New York last year. 

While the former president has publicly supported and stood by his ex-vice president, Obama reportedly expressed private concerns over a potential Biden presidency. 

In 2019, a Politico report indicated Obama spoke to a Democratic presidential candidate about the need to form an “intimate bond” with voters.

Former President Barack Obama's visit to the White House is to celebrate the success of the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid."
Former President Barack Obama’s visit to the White House is to celebrate the success of the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid.”
REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo
Obama said that if the Biden administration is successful at executing those policies during these four years, “that will have an impact.”
Obama said that if the Biden administration is successful at executing those policies during these four years, “that will have an impact.”
AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File

“You know who really doesn’t have it?” Obama reportedly said. “Joe Biden.” 

A year later, a separate report from the outlet revealed the former president had told an unnamed Democrat: “Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to f–k things up.” 

However Obama has backed his former subordinate in public, saying last June that the current administration is “finishing the job” Obama’s White House started.

Obama has constantly backed Biden saying that he has done a great job publicly,  in private he has expressed concerns about Biden's presidency.
Obama has constantly backed Biden saying that he has done a great job publicly, in private he has expressed concerns about Biden’s presidency.
Win McNamee/Getty Images
The event will be Biden and Obama’s first appearance in Washington since last year's inauguration.
The event will be Biden and Obama’s first appearance in Washington since last year’s inauguration.
AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File

“I think that what we’re seeing now, is Joe and the administration are essentially finishing the job. And I think it’ll be an interesting test,” Obama explained, adding that “90% of the folks who were there in my administration, they are continuing and building on the policies we talked about, whether it’s the Affordable Care Act, or our climate change agenda, and the Paris [climate accord], and figuring out how do we improve the ladders to mobility through things like community colleges.”

Obama said that if the Biden administration is successful at executing those policies during these four years, “that will have an impact.” 

It is unclear how frequently the former running mates communicate. However, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said last April that they talk “regularly.” 

Then-president Barack Obama and Joe Biden meet for lunch in the Private Dining Room of the White House January 8, 2014.
Then-president Barack Obama and Joe Biden meet for lunch in the Private Dining Room of the White House January 8, 2014.
Aude Guerrucci-Pool/Getty Images

“They’re not just former colleagues, I guess you’d call them as president and vice president, but they also remain close friends, and they talk regularly about a range of issues from policy issues to bouncing ideas off of each other to their families,” Psaki said at the time. “So, they are in close touch but we just don’t read out those specific calls. We keep them private.”

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