With emotions raw around the nation over this week's Democrats-only vote to approve the nearly $1 trillion redesign of the health care system, Obama took the opposition to task for "plenty of fear-mongering, plenty of overheated rhetoric."
"If you turn on the news, you'll see that those same folks are still shouting about how it's going to be the end of the world because this bill passed," said Obama, returning to the college town where, as a presidential candidate three years ago, he unveiled his plan to provide health care for all.
No Republican lawmakers voted for the 10-year, sweeping package that Obama signed Tuesday and will shape how almost every American will receive and pay for medical treatment. Many in the GOP are predicting it will prove devastating in November for the Democrats who voted for it.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said the GOP won't give up "until this bill is repealed and replaced with common-sense ideas" that won't dismantle the current system and increase the debt.
Some Democratic lawmakers have faced threats and vandalism because of their votes. Obama didn't mention the incidents.
The president stressed the notion of a promise kept. As the crowd broke into a chant of "Yes we can!", Obama corrected them: "Yes we did!"