Updated at 11:07 a.m. ET on 8/28
(CNN) – As the clock ticks down to key elements of President Barack Obama's health care law taking effect, former President Bill Clinton will provide a defense of the controversial measure in a speech next week at his presidential library in Arkansas.
The announcement of Clinton's address comes on the same day a new national poll indicates that half the public remains in the dark about the Affordable Care Act.
The September 4 remarks will center on the "critical role a high quality, affordable and accessible health care system plays in the United States and any country's economic and social well being," according to a release from Clinton's charitable foundation.
Enrollment in the health care exchanges that form the core of the Affordable Care Act begin October 1, and members of Obama's administration have been hurriedly pitching the marketplaces to healthy young people, whose participation is necessary for rates to remain low.
On Twitter, Obama's senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer suggested Clinton's speech would help Americans better understand the health care law.
That brings back memories of Clinton's speech on behalf of the president at last summer's Democratic convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, when the former president defended the current president's record and polices on the economy. At the time, Obama joked that Clinton needed to be made "secretary of explaining stuff."
A survey from the non-profit Kaiser Family Foundation, which frequently conducts polling on the health care law, points toward a need for more explaining about the measure.
Fifty-one percent of Americans questioned in the survey, which was released Wednesday, say they don't have enough information about the law "to understand how it will impact them and their family." That number has been pretty consistent in Kaiser polling since the law was passed in 2010.
The poll indicates the percentage who feel they don't have enough information about the law stands at 64% among Hispanics, 62% among those without insurance and among adults under age 25, and 60% among low income families.
The survey also points to confusion over the health care law's status, with 44% believing either the measure has been repealed (8%), overturned by the Supreme Court (5%), or unsure whether it still remains a law (31%). None of those things have happened.
The poll's release, which comes as two separate tours dedicated to defunding the nation's health care law continue to crisscross the country, also indicates that more than half the public opposes cutting off funding for the measure. Fifty-seven percent of those questioned say they don't support defunding the law, with 36% saying they favor such a move.
The poll indicates that nearly seven in ten are against defunding the measure, commonly referred to as Obamacare, because "the appropriate way to stop a law is to repeal it, or not to pass it in the first place." And 56% say that "without funding, the law will be crippled and won't work as planned, which is not good for its supporters or opponents."
Some conservative lawmakers, including Senators Ted Cruz of Texas, Marco Rubio of Florida and Mike Lee of Utah, are using upcoming budget battles as leverage, vowing to oppose any measure that provides funding for the federal government that includes funding for the health care law. The measure funding the federal government expires September 30, setting up another Capitol Hill budget battle between congressional Republicans and the White House.
But so far only slightly more than a dozen fellow Republican senators have signed up to support the cause, leaving it up to outside conservative groups to rally the base.
In an interview with CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley that ran Sunday on "State of the Union," Cruz conceded that "we do not have the votes right now," noting that to succeed, he'd need 41 senators or 218 representatives to get behind his legislation - which would provide a year of funding for the federal government, minus Obamacare.
But the Texas Republican argued a coming "grass-roots tsunami" would bring over fellow conservatives to his side in the next month.
To help in that cause, two conservative groups, the Tea Party Patriots and ForAmerica, this week launched a tour to pressure Republican members of Congress to join the push to defund the health care law. And Heritage Action, which is a sister organization of the Heritage Foundation, one of the oldest and largest conservative think tanks, is in the second week of a nine-stop "Defund Obamacare Tour" of townhalls.