Obama on Friday said Republicans are “not going to get it done” in Congress.
The president made his remarks as he delivered his first speech to a joint session of Congress since his reelection.
Obama called on lawmakers to pass a plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and said it would be up to Congress to figure out how to do it.
“The enemy is not the Republicans,” Obama said, adding that “we don’t have to be divided.”
In the Senate, Democrats are also pursuing legislation that would repeal parts of the health care law.
Democrats have already failed to advance the legislation in a chamber where Republicans hold a majority.
The White House has sought to play down the prospects of the legislation succeeding in Congress, saying that Democrats have been reluctant to embrace the law in the past.
“It’s been clear from day one that the House would not be able to get on board,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Friday.
Democrats in the Senate have also tried to cast the health bill as a way to repeal the Affordable Paycheck Fairness Act, which would increase penalties for employers who do not offer health insurance to their workers.
Obama said he supports that plan.
He said Republicans “should stop playing politics” and focus on what is best for the American people.
“Let’s stop playing to our base and start listening to what the American public wants,” Obama told the joint session.
Obama has said repeatedly that the ACA needs to be repealed and replaced, even as he has called for more work on the health law.
The health care overhaul law includes a provision that requires insurers to cover all essential health benefits, including maternity and prescription drugs.
The bill also would require companies to provide more comprehensive coverage to older people.
The House passed a version of the bill in April and the Senate is considering it this week.
But the legislation faces an uphill climb in the GOP-controlled Senate, where Democrats hold a slim 52-48 majority.
Obama’s remarks on Friday came as Senate Democrats, including Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., are working to pass the House’s version of a health care bill.
The measure would repeal key provisions of the ACA and create an insurance market that would include new insurance markets for people who have insurance through the federal government.
It would also repeal some provisions of Obamacare that help low-income Americans afford health care.
Democratic lawmakers are also working on a plan for the federal budget.
The legislation would also help the unemployed, expand Medicaid and give states flexibility to set their own Medicaid programs.
The proposal would also increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020 and provide a refundable tax credit for people making more than $250,000.
Democrats say they plan to offer the bill as part of a budget resolution in the near future.
They have not announced when that will happen.
Republicans have been trying to pass their own bill.
They want to repeal parts that they deem unworkable and also keep some of the major provisions of their health care plan, including expanded Medicaid.
Some GOP lawmakers have also voiced concerns about the Affordable Health Care Act.
Obama, who is a former Democratic president, has argued that Republicans are trying to “gut” the law to make it more palatable to the middle class.
He has also said he would support a bill to help pay for the Affordable Act if Democrats would pass it.
The Affordable Care and Job Creation Act would provide $2.9 trillion in federal funding to states, the White House said in a statement.
It also includes $1.2 trillion for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
That money would be used to help states expand their Medicaid programs and provide help to people who are unable to afford insurance.
The administration says the funds would go toward states with the worst financial problems and for the implementation of the law.