Obama and Biden appeared together to remind interested Americans to sign up for healthcare coverage by Aug. 15

By Sean Neumann
June 07, 2021 02:37 PM
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joe biden, barak obama
From left: Joe Biden and Barack Obama

Barack Obama joined Joe Biden for the president's weekly national address this weekend as the two reminded interested Americans to sign up for healthcare coverage by Aug. 15.

Obama, 59, thanked his former vice president, 78, for continuing to encourage more people to sign up for plans through the Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obamacare," which was Obama's defining domestic policy achievement while in office.

Biden announced on their call that 1.2 million people have signed up for healthcare through the law since he signed an executive order in late January, reopening the enrollment period through mid-August.

That means "31 million people are now covered by the Affordable Care Act," Biden said before Obama called in to the president's weekly video address.

"I'm proud of you," he told Biden. "Keep it up."

He also told Biden that "we did this together" and credited the Affordable Care Act's eventual success — over much Republican opposition as well as a bumpy rollout — to his former vice president.

"I had a good partner," Obama said, causing Biden to laugh.

"We're going to get even more people covered in the years to come under your guidance," Obama told Biden. "Love you, man."

As Obama signed off, Biden told the former president: "I'm still going to call you for advice," causing both men to laugh.

Biden and Obama's relationship was one of the enduring stories of that administration, where Biden had broad responsibility as the No. 2. By many accounts, the men enjoyed a close personal relationship though they had their differences: in temperament and in approaches to policy-making.

In March, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that Biden and Obama keep in touch and talk regularly on the phone.

"They were not just the president and vice president," Psaki, 42, said. "They are friends."

Psaki said she "would expect that continues through the course of President Biden's presidency."

Obama told PEOPLE last November that Biden is an empathetic "people person."

"Joe is somebody who I've never seen be anything less than decent," Obama said then. "He is somebody who genuinely cares about other people and is interested in them and treats them with kindness, and respect, and enthusiasm, and curiosity."