July 28th, 2010
03:26 PM ET
4 years ago

Obama's health care infomercial

 President Obama appeared in a video posted online Wednesday explaining how to use a new health care website.
President Obama appeared in a video posted online Wednesday explaining how to use a new health care website.

Washington (CNN) - The latest White House production finds President Obama as health care infomercial king.

Sporting a crisp lavender shirt and sitting in front of a laptop computer, (the Apple logo is replaced with a Presidential seal) the President types, clicks and talks into the camera as he walks viewers through the Healthcare.gov website.

In one example he uses his own Chicago zip code to show how, in his past life, he would have found and compared insurance options.

"We've always found this to be an effective way to communicate," said an administration official, noting that the former radio only address is now also on video and online.

The video aims to clear up confusion over the new health care law, and as the president said, "put Americans in control of their health care."

It's no secret that the Obama administration has beaten its predecessors at bypassing traditional media in order to reach voters directly, without a filter.

They shoot their own behind the scenes videos touting weekly accomplishments. "The Week in Review," is posted on the White House web site.

In February, the President sat down for a YouTube question and answer session that was an exclusive White House production.

Even lighter moments are shot by the White House and later released online, like "backstage," as the Jonas Brothers prepared to honor Paul McCartney in concert. As camera's rolled, someone assisting the group stepped into frame and whispered, "I gotta grab you guys and do some press." So out they went to take questions from reporters.

Some critics argue this unfiltered approach allows the administration to cast its agenda in the most positive light and sometimes dodge pesky questions from the press.

But this technology savvy White House, whose top aides like Deputy Spokesman Bill Burton have become obsessed with the new iPad tablet, sees new media as an extension of the old. One way to get their message across even on days when the media spotlight might be focused elsewhere.


Filed under: issues • President Obama
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. southern cousin

    Does he say the mandatory participation is not a tax, like he did before it passed? Did he say why the government mandates that my doctor provide my BMI to them? Does he say again that this will not cost us one more dime? Is he still lying to us, cheating us and stealing our money to give it to the dope smokers that voted him in office?

    July 28, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  2. Enough

    Want to hear him explain how taxing those of us with employer provided health insurance is good for America........unless you are in a Union and are exempted from this.

    July 28, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  3. Puppet Obama?

    We're paying for Obama's propaganda.

    The fact that he is always golfing, partying, vacationing, fundraising, campaigning and working the pr and speaking circuits makes me think that someone else is running the show... and running it very badly.

    Repeal the unsustainable, expensive 'healthcare reform' bill.

    July 28, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  4. Bedtime for Obonzo

    Fine by me. Does anyone believe infomercials? This administration is one, long running infomercial. I hope the Sham-wow guy runs against Obonzo in the 2012 Democratic primaries.

    July 28, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  5. Jan

    This is an excellent web site. I really encourage everyone to try it.

    btw, I don't think this is about "getting around the media." CNN does excellent reporting on this type of thing via Dr.Sanja Gupta. But this is a complicated and personal issue and I think this web site is fantastic.

    Try it. You'll like it.

    July 28, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  6. goofus

    See ,uncle Obama will take control , er care of you ! You won't even have to tie your own shoes!!

    July 28, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  7. jay1975

    What a cheese.

    July 28, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  8. The Real Me

    Leave the infomercials to the Sham-Wow guy. How about lead and get some work done. Something other than campaign!

    July 28, 2010 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  9. Proud member of Global Zero

    My oldest son was very happy that I could add him back on to my policy during the next open enrolment. He has a full time job without benefits and still is in school. Thank you for passing this legislation. Now get it back to congress and add the public option. This will make this a great bill.

    July 28, 2010 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  10. rm

    On this one occasion Obama is doing something useful: showing people how to fend for themselves.

    Too bad the topic of conversation is his sinfully expensive and deranged health care plan, where everyone will end up paying more for health care. At the same time, that plan does NOT address one single reason for why health care costs as much as it does (insurance fraud, bloated bureaucracies, exorbitant payoffs in medical lawsuits, etc.).

    July 28, 2010 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    I personally feel this is a great idea..It will not only show folks how to get to the website, but also how to navigate and find important information that is relative to their own personal health care needs..Go going Pres Obama !! It will ultimately get the true facts out to the public re what is really actually in the bill and how it will affect their own lives....Kudos WH !!!!

    July 28, 2010 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  12. gt

    well he should expalin this when he is on the View..New Jersey Shore or Jerry Springer, or what ever reality show he wants to be on ...what a camera hog...

    July 28, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  13. Augsbee

    Why does he need to do this commercial when it is simple to understand the new law???? It will be mandatory to buy a health insurance policy or you pay a tax to the IRS. How hard is this to understand? Employers either buy the employees health insurance or pay the IRS a tax. How hard is this to understand??? Come on, everyone knows how this works, it is not a surprise, people wanted it. People are not so dumb not to understand the new law.

    July 28, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  14. Orlando Patriot

    He is STILL trying to sell this catastrophe? Just further proves his incompetence. Don't you think a RATIONAL administration would ask Congress to explain these so-called benefits of health care BEFORE voting for it? HELL NO THEY WON'T DO THAT!!! The Democrats so badly NOT wanted to talk about it they cancelled ALL their town hall meetings running from their constituents and HIDING under their desks. And Obama wants to now go on YouTube in a pink shirt and purple tie wanting to EXPLAIN?

    How many citizens do you think are idiots and will BUY this nonsense!! YOU opened this Pandora's Box when you PUSHED it through WITHOUT even letting us know WHAT IS IN IT? And now you want to treat us like fools? Democrats, you made your own bed and now you will sleep in it. When you disregard your constituents and treat us like fools and idiots then you will be out of a job.

    In November most of you will be gone and the rest we get rid of in 2012 and 2014. AND I MEAN EVERYBODY!!! Republican and Democrats both!! The country is not broken – Washington D.C. is broken and we are going to FIX IT in the upcoming elections. Get your resumes updated and get ready to apply for a job in the private sector. MAYBE THEN YOU WILL ACTUALLY KNOW HOW THE PRIVATE SECTOR WORKS!!

    July 28, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  15. Dean

    Why don't you tell the people where they are going to get the $900.00 per month for their premiums? That is what it is going to cost the people with previous conditions and other previously uninsurables for insurance.
    I guess the taxpayer can pay for it along with what they are now paying for illegal aliens medical care.
    Funny thing but the states that are worried about their shortcomings in Medicaid money are the states with the highest amount of illegal aliens.

    July 28, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  16. Augsbee

    to Proud member of Global Zero- Sorry to tell you but employers will have the option to buy health insurance for employees or pay the IRS a tax if they choose not to, depends which one comes out cheaper since employers have to cover most of the cost of the insurance policy.

    July 28, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  17. Seth

    Smart move, Americans think in pictures, so give them pictures.
    This could destroy the Republicans "Death Panels" talking lie with their own base.

    I get the impression that Republicans won't win the Mid-Terms election, they peaked too soon and now they are drifting backwards.

    July 28, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  18. Eric

    Oh look, the Shamwow guy... what's he hawking this time? Junk healthcare reform? Like his junk shamwow ads, let the buyer beware.

    Bud, your party is going to take an historical freaking beating in November. I'd use my little informercial to show the soon-to-be-booted National Socialists in Congress how to book airfare on Travelocity and how to most effectively pack their bags.

    July 28, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  19. Rick McDaniel

    Totally PROPAGANDA!!!!

    July 28, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  20. Jane

    I think I'm going to puke.

    July 28, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  21. Meka

    Thank you President Obama . . . AMERICA NEEDED HEATHCARE REFORM!

    July 28, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  22. jim

    So many angry commentors with no facts. so much name calling, so few real truths coming from them.

    it's time conservatives realized name calling won't get anything done. it's time conservatives realized if they expect us to take them seriously, then they will have to learn to use facts instead of opinions.

    July 28, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  23. NH Independent

    Obama is pathetic.............

    July 28, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  24. JT

    I think our President has more pressing issues to address than conducting "How To" YouTube clips on the internet. Or does he still lack the ability to identify the actual responsibilities of the Office of President?

    July 28, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  25. Emmanuel Baba

    I love the level of intellect the President possess... Despite, the racist approach from the main street media, I love his poise and focus as he move the country in the right direction. Until Sarah Palin take over in 2016, I can sleep at nite. Thank you President Obama for everything.
    Respectfully,
    E.B

    July 28, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
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