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President Barack Obama in an interview published on Sunday lamented the partisan divide in the US and expressed his hope that future presidents could eventually work to bridge that divide.
Obama spoke with New York Magazine about his struggles to work across party lines during his presidency, offering up his controversial Affordable Care Act as an example.
“In my mind the [Affordable Care Act] has been a huge success, but it’s got real problems,” Obama said. “They’re eminently fixable problems in terms of strengthening the marketplace, improving the subsidies so more folks can get it, making sure everybody has Medicaid who was qualified under the original legislation, doing more on the cost containment.”
Obama suggested that it’s been hard for him to accomplish what he wants to accomplish with the current political climate.
“You hit a point where if Congress just is not willing to make any constructive modifications and it’s all political football, then you’re getting a suboptimal solution,” he said.
He then discussed the need for future administrations to work together with opposing parties.
“If there’s one wish that I have for future presidents, it’s not an imperial presidency, it is a functional, sensible majority-and-opposition being able to make decisions based on facts and policy and compromise,” Obama said. “That would have been my preference for the majority of my presidency. It was an option that wasn’t always available. But I hope the American people continue to understand that that’s how the system should work.”