Former US President Barack Obama defended his Affordable Care Act in his latest public appearance, saying leaders are inflicting “human suffering.” Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump claimed that the GOP appeal has a “very good chance” to pass.

Obama speaking at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation event

Obama speaking at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation event Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

On Wednesday, former US President Barack Obama defended his healthcare reform plan the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, and addressed the recent GOP efforts to repeal it. The former president has rarely made public appearances since leaving the White House.

“It is aggravating,” said Obama during a speech at an event sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “And it’s certainly frustrating to have to mobilize every couple of months to keep our leaders from inflicting real human suffering on our constituents.”

Despite the frustration, Obama said that the fight for the healthcare plan is a good example of how change happens. “Typically, that’s how progress is won,” explained the former president. “And how progress is maintained, on every issue, we have to stand up for each other, recognize that progress is never inevitable, that it often can be fragile, it’s in need of constant renewal, and our individual progress and our collective progress depends on our willingness to roll up our sleeves and work, and not be afraid to work.”

Obama told attendees that the real test is people’s response during hard times or when they see their attempts to change the world being met with resistance: “Your response has to be to reject cynicism and reject pessimism and push forward with a certain infectious and relentless optimism. Not blind optimism. Not one that ignores the scale and the scope of our challenges – but that hard-earned optimism that’s rooted in the stories of very real progress that have occurred throughout human history.”

Donald Trump

Donald Trump Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

Meanwhile, current US President Donald Trump expressed his hopes of passing a new healthcare bill in the Senate, claiming it has a “very good chance” and explaining that the bill “is much better actually than the previous shot.” He also voiced disappointment with the fact that Obamacare has yet to be replaced with a different healthcare plan. “When I won I would go to the Oval Office, sit down at my desk and there would be a healthcare bill on my desk, to be honest,” said Trump. “And it hasn’t worked out that way and I think a lot of Republicans are embarrassed by it.”