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In his first public comment on a controversial House vote to overhaul health care, former President Barack Obama called Sunday on lawmakers to prevent repeal of the Affordable Care Act, CNN reports.

His remarks came during his acceptance speech for the 2017 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award, at the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation in Boston.

He urged legislators to defend those who are vulnerable to losing health care under the sweeping changes passed by House Republicans. Obama’s message to lawmakers is that “courage does not always mean doing what is politically expedient, but what they believe deep in their hearts is right.”

On May 4, the House passed a measure, by a narrow margin, to replace Obamacare. The Senate is now examining the bill, which includes provisions that analysts say would weaken protections for people with preexisting medical conditions and would benefit the wealthy.

The Profile in Courage Award is bestowed on public officials or groups that demonstrate political courage in leadership.

Obama received the award for expanding health care, restoring relations with Cuba and leading the global effort to protect the environment.



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