Obama talks TX health care, raising minimum wage - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Obama talks TX health care, raising minimum wage

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President Obama addressed America's role in the search for the missing Malaysia flight and touted the benefits of both the Affordable Care Act and raising minimum wage in the U.S. during an exclusive interview Wednesday with FOX 4's Clarice Tinsley.

Obama rejected the claim that raising minimum wage would negatively impact the economy, saying that it would actually help many Americans working full-time.

"What happens is, is that people who are working full-time, but still living in poverty, get a little bit of a boost," said Obama. "They're able to pay their bills at the end of the month. Twenty eight million would benefit if we raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, and that makes a difference in a lot of families."

Obama said that if workers make more money, they're more likely to spend more, which would help businesses.

"And so, when more workers have more money in their pockets, they're also customers – they spend more," said Obama. "That means businesses have the opportunity to get more profits, the economy as a whole gets a boost. America grows best when it grows from the middle class out…from working families doing well to everybody doing well."

Regarding the fact that only 10 percent of Texans eligible for the ACA had enrolled for health care as of March 1, Obama said that it didn't help that Texas officials rejected the option to expand Medicaid access and declined to operate a statewide health care exchange.

"Well, look, it's tougher when states don't cooperate," said Obama. "I mean, keep in mind that right off the top, you got a million Texans who don't currently have health insurance, that we know we can sign up right away for health insurance through Medicaid if Gov. Perry and others decided to do the right thing. It wouldn't cost Texas a dime, by the way. The federal government would pay for it. The idea that for political reasons, those folks are not getting the help that they need doesn't make any sense."

Despite technical issues at the beginning of the ACA rollout with healthcare.gov, Obama said Texas has since seen "some surge in enrollment in Texas," adding that he feels the pros have outweighed the cons associated with the ACA.

"What folks are finding, even some folks who are, you know, opposed to the law, didn't like what they'd heard, [is] when they actually go on the website, healthcare.gov, they find out it's actually a good deal," said Obama. "They can potentially get health insurance for $100 or less."

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