NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – President Barack Obama was soaked in a downpour as he arrived in Nashville Wednesday to address recent progress under the Affordable Care Act.
He flew in on Air Force One at 12:30 p.m. before heading to Taylor Stratton Elementary School in Madison.
On the way, he picked up Madison resident and breast cancer survivor Kelly Bryant to give her a ride to the event which was just a few minutes away.
According to the White House, Bryant “wrote to the President earlier this year to relay her positive experience with the Affordable Care Act and thank him for reforming the health care system in America.”
Once he got to the school, Obama took questions via Twitter using the hashtag #AskPOTUS. One person asked what his favorite song was at the moment and the president answered with a song by local rock band The Black Keys.
The president got on stage at Taylor Stratton around 1:30 p.m., beginning his speech by listing accomplishments of Obamacare, saying 100 to 150 million people benefit from it, although they may not know it.
The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 last Thursday that Obama’s health care overhaul is here to stay, rejecting a major challenge that would have imperiled the landmark law and health insurance for millions of Americans.
“You’re able to get free preventive care, including mammograms, as a consequence of this law,” President Obama said.
He told the crowd he feels “pretty good” with the way health care is going, saying, “This is about people, not politics.”
Obama addressed the crowd, taking questions about much more than just health care.
One question came from a Pikeville man who would be eligible for Insure Tennessee if it passed. He asked about men and woman who make “too little” but still make too much to qualify for Obamacare.
The president said we “need a uniquely Tennessee” action plan. He stressed finding a solution on a state level.
Governor Bill Haslam’s Insure Tennessee plan was defeated twice in legislative session this year, but supporters of the bill have not given up hope.
Another question about veterans’ health care was asked, and the president pointed out that the VA is entirely separate from Obamacare, but we “have to give them good health care.”
State Rep. Brenda Gilmore asked the fourth question, how to bring along those against Insure Tennessee, to which he responded, “I don’t presume to know Tennessee politics.”
The president advised her and other Insure Tennessee supporters to provide people with “good information” and point out what works about the program.
After being asked about a pathway to becoming a legal citizen, the president later pointed out that Obamacare is not available to anyone in the country illegally and called for immigration reform.
He left the school about two hours after he arrived and headed to the Nashville International Airport to board Air Force One.
Obama’s visit to Taylor Stratton is the second presidential visit to the school. President Franklin D. Roosevelt came to Nashville by train and stopped by the school while in town on Nov. 17, 1934.
Wednesday’s visit was Obama’s third to Nashville in a year and a half.
In January 2014, he spoke at McGavock High School where he praised Metro Nashville Public Schools’ Academies program. And later in December 2014, he spoke at a town hall meeting on immigration reform at Casa Azafran.