Obama Alludes to Health Care Debate in Award Speech

President Obama signs the health insurance reform bill in the East Room of the White House on March 23, 2010. PHOTO BY ROY LEWIS
**FILE** President Obama signs the health insurance reform bill in the East Room of the White House on March 23, 2010. (Roy Lewis/The Washington Informer)

Former President Barack Obama returned to the spotlight Sunday night to receive the 2017 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award.

Obama accepted the award from his former ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy. During his acceptance speech, Obama recalled a conversation with his late friend and Kennedy’s uncle, Sen. Ted Kennedy, who talked about his son Ted Kennedy Jr.’s fight with cancer.

Obama said Kennedy told him about meeting with other parents in similar circumstances in the hospital one night, and how those parents “lived in constant fear” about being able to afford the next treatment for their children.

“Ted could afford his son’s treatment, but it was that quiet dignified courage of [the other parents in the hospital] to endure the most frightening thing imaginable and to do what it takes on behalf of their loved ones that compelled Teddy to make those parents his cause,” Obama said. “Not out of self-interest, but out of a selfless concern for those who suffer.”

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