BOSTON — Former President Barack Obama is calling on members of Congress to show courage in the debate over the future of health care in America.
The Democrat spoke Sunday at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston after receiving the Profile In Courage Award from members of the Kennedy family. The annual award is presented to an elected official who takes courageous stances, often at their own political risk.
It was among the former president’s first speeches since leaving office and came just days after House Republicans passed a bill that would dismantle much of his signature health care law. It faces an uncertain future in in the Senate.
Obama did not criticize the GOP in his approximately 30-minute speech and never mentioned his successor, President Donald Trump.
The award is named after a 1957 Pulitzer Prize-winning book by the late president that profiles eight U.S. senators who risked their careers by taking principled though unpopular positions.
Obama’s appearance comes just days after U.S. House Republicans won passage of a bill dismantling much of his signature health care law. The JFK Library Foundation announced the award in March, citing his push to expand health insurance to millions of Americans as one example of his putting policy above politics.
Last year, Gov. Dannel Malloy received the award for his public support of resettling Syrian refugees in the U.S.