WASHINGTON — Telling the Catholic Health Association that he was there to say thank you, President Barack Obama June 9 recalled the struggles of passing the Affordable Care Act and ticked off the successes since it became law five years ago.Sr. Carol Keehan, a Daughter of Charity who is president and CEO of the Catholic Health Association, greets U.S. President Barack Obama June 9 in Washington during CHA’s annual assembly. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

“Every one of these stories touched me,” Obama said of those without affordable health care before the ACA took effect, referencing an emergency room visit when his daughter Malia had meningitis. He said he had good insurance at the time but wondered about the families in the ER who did not.

“There is something deeply cynical” about attempts to roll back health care that works, Obama said of ongoing Republican-led efforts to kill the program.

Obama acknowledged that without the support of CHA president and CEO Sr. Carol Keehan and its members, the legislation would not have passed. He said he told Sr. Carol backstage, “I love you” and meant it.