Biden Consults Regularly With Obama on ‘Range of Issues,’ Psaki Says

March 23, 2021 Updated: March 24, 2021

President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama discuss a range of issues over the phone on a regular basis, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

“Well, I will say, having a unique view of this question, they were not just the president and vice president, they are friends, and they consult and talk about a range of issues,” Psaki said during a press briefing at the White House on March 22. “I would expect that continues through the course of President Biden’s presidency.”

Psaki made the remarks in response to a question from a reporter who asked if Obama had visited the White House, pointing out that the former president was participating in an Affordable Care Act event at around the time Biden was highlighting the legislation’s 11th anniversary.

“That can be done over the phone, it turns out,” Psaki said, about Biden’s communications with Obama. “I think if President Obama had been here, you would all know. He’s a recognizable figure.

“But I expect, given former President Obama’s work on the Affordable Care Act, President Biden’s commitment to expanding access to health care throughout his presidency, that, you know, it’s an issue they’ll talk about.”

At the 11th anniversary event, Obama praised Biden for expanding the measure, commonly known as Obamacare, as part of the COVID-19 stimulus package.

“We’ve still got more work to do,” Obama said. “Even with the American Rescue Plan, there are still millions of people who should be able to get Medicaid but their governors are still resistant, and that expansion still hasn’t taken place in some big states with a lot of people.”

Obama broke an unspoken tradition for former presidents and regularly criticized then-President Donald Trump upon departing the White House in 2017; he campaigned for Biden actively in 2020. Biden has appointed a number of Obama-era officials to senior positions at the White House and federal agencies.

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