WATCH: Obama talks health care fight in Profile in Courage Award speech

While accepting the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award at Boston's JFK presidential library Sunday, former President Barack Obama urged lawmakers to act courageously in the face of political opposition in the health care debate.

According to The Associated Press, Obama praised lawmakers who voted for his Affordable Care Act while he was president – even if it meant they would lose re-election.

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"They had a chance to insure millions," Obama said. "The same vote would likely cost them their new seats and perhaps end their political careers. And these men and women did the right thing, the hard thing, and theirs was a profile in courage."

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He added, "It is my fervent hope and the hope of millions ... such courage is still possible, that today’s members of Congress, regardless of party, are willing to look at the facts and speak the truth, even when it contradicts party positions."

Ambassador Caroline Kennedy and son Jack Schlossberg presented Obama with the award "for his enduring commitment to democratic ideals and elevating the standard of political courage in a new century," the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation said in a statement last week.

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Other recipients of the award include former presidents George H.W. Bush and Gerald Ford, in addition to U.S. Sen. John McCain, former Ukraine President Viktor Yushchenko and former U.S. Rep. Carl Elliott Sr.

The award has been given out every year since 1989.

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– The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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