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No détente as State of Union highlights health reform divisions

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As President Barack Obama begins his eighth and final year in office, the differences in how he and leading Republicans view the health care reform law continue to be sharp.

Those differences were outlined Tuesday evening when President Obama gave his annual State of the Union address and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley followed with the Republican Party rebuttal.

In his address, President Obama extolled what he believes are the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's accomplishments.

“Nearly 18 million have gained coverage so far. Health inflation has slowed. And our businesses have created jobs every single month since it became law,” he said.

President Obama also cited a key ACA provision — one that created public health insurance exchanges — that assures availability of coverage to the uninsured.

“It's about filling the gaps in employer-based care so that when we lose a job or go back to school, or start that new business, we'll still have coverage,” he said.

Gov. Haley, though, viewed the 2010 health care reform law differently.

The ACA, she maintained, “has made insurance less affordable and doctors less available.”

If a Republican candidate is elected to the presidency in November, “We would end a disastrous health care program and replace it with reforms that lowered costs and actually let you keep your doctor,” Gov. Haley said.