President Obama on Thursday defended his signature health-care law, saying it has "started to bear real fruit" by slowing the growth of health-care costs.

Obama noted that Republicans argued when the bill was passed -- and ever since -- that it would increase costs for consumers and businesses.

"Well, turns out actually a lot of what we've done is starting to bear real fruit, and it has an impact on the bottom lines of American business, as well as the American people," Obama said in a speech to his Export Council.

Obama praised the unprecedented amount of U.S. exports and said Obamacare will continue to allow businesses to prosper on the national stage.

"One of the reasons our businesses are so competitive is that health-care costs have actually stabilized relative to what we've seen in recent years," Obama said. He added that it is "thanks in part to the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare."

Obama noted recent reports that show health-care costs rising at the slowest rate in about five decades. Those reports also indicate, however, that an increasing amount of those costs are being placed on the shoulders of consumers.

Obama said that, according to projections, "we're going to see continuing slowing of increases in health-care costs, and that's going to increase our exports."

Republicans continue to fight tooth and nail against Obama's health-care law, and the House is set to vote Friday on a budget that would "defund" the law.

Obama also joked that the work he has done for companies like Boeing has entitled him to a reward.

"I'm expecting a gold watch from Boeing at the end of my presidency, because I'm on the list of their top salesmen," he said.