Sanders and Obama
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (left) walks with President Barack Obama to the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, D.C., June 9, 2016. REUTERS/GARY CAMERON

President Barack Obama said Friday staunch opposition from Republicans, coupled with criticism from the Democratic Party’s left wing, made his signature healthcare bill, the Affordable Care Act, unpopular. The outgoing president has spent recent weeks urging lawmakers to oppose the GOP’s plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Speaking at a town hall event with Vox media, Obama added that liberals like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders also opposed his healthcare reform while on the campaign trail during the 2016 election race. The 75-year-old senator suggested replacing the Affordable Care Act, which Obama signed in 2010, with a single-payer health insurance plan supervised by the government, similar to Medicare.

“In the ‘dissatisfied’ column are a whole bunch of Bernie Sanders supporters who wanted a single-payer plan,” Obama reportedly said. “The problem is not that they think Obamacare is a failure. The problem is that they don't think it went far enough and that it left too many people still uncovered.”

Spokesman for Sanders Michael Briggs said several Americans would prefer a government-run health insurance scheme taking on “the private insurance industry and the pharmaceutical companies.”

“There are many millions of Americans, including many of Bernie's supporters, who don’t understand why we are the only major country on earth that does not provide healthcare as a right and they don’t understand why we pay more but get less for what we spend on healthcare,” Briggs said, according to Reuters.

The federal government forms for applying for health coverage are seen at a rally held by supporters of the Affordable Care Act, widely referred to as "Obamacare," outside the Jackson-Hinds Comprehensive Health Center in Jackson, Mississippi, Oct. 4, 2013. REUTERS/JONATHAN BACHMAN

While Republicans are rallying together to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Democrats — including Sanders — are fighting to keep it. The Vermont senator warned the incoming Donald Trump administration against abandoning Obamacare. He even quoted the president-elect’s May 2015 tweet in which Trump said he was the “the first & only potential GOP candidate to state there will be no cuts to Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid.”

“This is what he asked millions of elderly people and working class people to vote for him on — these are the principles that Donald Trump ran and won the presidency on,” Sanders said Wednesday.

The 75-year-old former presidential candidate also urged his colleagues in Congress to join him, along with Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, to take to the streets in January to protest any cuts to healthcare plans or subsidies that the GOP-dominated Congress could impose.

“Beginning in January, it is likely that Republican leaders in Congress will follow through in their threats to ram through a budget bill that will severely undermine the health care needs of the American people,” the leaders wrote in a letter.

They wrote: “On Sunday, January 15th, ahead of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, there will be a day of action — ‘Our First Stand: Save Health Care.’ Rallies will be held around the country to vigorously oppose the Republican plan to end Medicare as we know it and throw our health care system into chaos.”

Trump, who once called Obamacare a “disaster,” seemed to have softened his stance after his election victory saying he liked some of its provisions.

“Either Obamacare will be amended, or repealed and replaced,” the 70-year-old New Yorker told CBS’ “60 Minutes” in a post-election interview. “I told him [Obama] I will look at his suggestions and out of respect, I will do that."