“The work you are doing is God's work,” Obama said at the National Organizing Summit, hosted by Organizing for Action, the nonprofit group formed from the remnants of Obama's 2012 re-election campaign that has helped promote his policies and played a key role in signing up consumers for Obamacare.
The president said that young volunteers who've worked to enroll consumers in the law's new insurance exchanges have helped the administration handle the rough launch of the healthcare.gov website, and touted Obamacare's 4 million sign-ups.
“I could not be prouder of the work you’ve done to help Americans get covered,” said Obama.
“Because of you we now have 4 million Americans who have signed up for insurance through the marketplace exchanges,” he continued. “That’s on top of the 3 million young people who have been able to get coverage staying on their parents plan and the millions of Americans who are signing up to get Medicaid.”
But he cautioned that their efforts were not over.
“We’ve got more work to do.” said Obama. “We want everyone covered not just some.”
Obama also asked the group to “make sure that we are giving America a raise” and back his efforts to convince lawmakers to increase the minimum wage.
The president said polls showed an overwhelming majority of Americans backed that measure.
“It doesn’t involve a big new government program, a big new bureaucracy, new federal spending,” he said. “All it involves is Congress taking a vote and three-quarters of the American people say its the right thing to do.”
The president repeated his mantra that he was willing to work with Congress but was not “going to wait” and would move ahead with executive actions when he could.
His statement that he was looking for common ground with lawmaker provoked laughter from his supporters.
“Folks shouldn’t laugh at that,” said Obama, adding that there were a “lot of folks in Congress” who wanted to get things done.
“We’ll see this year -- in an election year -- if they can move forward on some of these priorities,” he said.
During his remarks Obama also joked about his grey hair, saying he didn’t have that problem during when elected.
A member of the audience shouted “you still look good,” prompting Obama to respond: “Michelle thinks so too.”