September 26th, 2013
08:23 AM ET
7 months ago

WH: Obama to 'cut through all the noise' on Obamacare

Updated 9/26/2013 at 11:10am

Washington (CNN) - Five days before new on-line government-run private insurance marketplaces open for business across the country, White House officials from the top down are revving up efforts to spread the word about the next milestone in the implementation of health care reform.

During a campaign-style event Thursday at a Maryland community college right outside the nation's capital, President Obama attempted to dispel what the White House sees as some of the myths surrounding health care reform.

"Five days from now, on Oct. 1, millions of Americans who don’t have health insurance because they’ve been priced out of the market," Obama said, "they will finally be able to buy quality, affordable health insurance."

Obama attempted to explain exactly what the Affordable Care Act is and is not, "plainly, honestly," he said, listing benefits of the law like insurance rebates, removal of caps on lifetime spending and protection of those with preexisting conditions.

"The Affordable Care Act is here to stay," he said.

The intention of the speech was to "cut through all the noise coming out of Washington and speak directly, in plain and honest terms, about what the Affordable Care Act means for consumers," a White House official said before Obama spoke.

The administration's last minute sales pitch comes as a round of new polls show a majority of American are skeptical of the law also known as Obamacare.

In a CBS News/New York Times survey released Wednesday evening, 39% of Americans said they approve of the health care law while substantially more – 51%- disapprove. The same poll found only one in five say they know "a lot" about measure.

One of the law's chief promoters, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius insisted in an interview on CNN that much of the opposition to Obamacare stems from inaccurate depictions of the law.

"What we've seen for 3 1/2 years is a relentless battle driving misinformation, both from opponents of the law itself and a lot of media and now paid advertising continuing to give the American public information that just isn't correct," Sebelius said Thursday morning on CNN's "New Day."

The latest example of Republican unhappiness with the health care law played out in a more than 21 hour filibuster-like speech delivered by GOP Senator Ted Cruz of Texas earlier this week. In a pop culture-laden marathon talk-a-thon, that ranged from Dr. Seuss to Star Wars, the tea party-backed Senator tried to convince lawmakers to join his quest to defund Obamacare.

"This is a fight to get the Washington establishment, the empire, to listen to the people. And just like in the 'Star Wars' movies the empire will strike back," Cruz said, referencing the science fiction films during his speech. "But at the end of the day I think the rebel alliance, I think the people will prevail," he continued.

On October 1, one day after the deadline for a potential government shutdown, new health care marketplaces operated by a mix of both federal and state governments go on-line, giving the uninsured an opportunity to buy coverage, many for the first time.

"In these states, on average, consumers will have a choice of 53 health plans (bronze, silver, gold, and platinum plans)," Jeanne Lambrew, a Deputy Director of the White House Office of Health Reform, wrote in blog on the White House web site.

"Young adults will have the additional option of low-cost catastrophic or youth plans. And, about one in four of these insurance companies are newly offering plans in the individual market, a sign of healthy competition," Lambrew added.

Sebelius told CNN the new marketplaces are intended to assist the uninsured, not Americans who already receive health care through their employer.

"Your patient protections are already in place," Sebelius said of people who are currently insured. "Nothing changes in this new market. This is really about the folks who've been outside the market and paying a lot more to get in."

–CNN's Bryan Koenig contributed to this report.


Filed under: Health care • President Obama
soundoff (255 Responses)
  1. nintex

    @Jerry
    "Why can't this man (Obama) ever stop campaigning/lying to the face of the American populance/blaming everyone for his foibles/needlessly traveling/golfing, etc. etc. etc. . . . "

    Why don't you turn off Fox News/Rush Limbaugh and listen/pay attention to what's really going on/happening in the country? Have you noticed the economy/financial situation of our country/the United States improving lately? Have you noticed/paid attention to the fact that we're not currently blowing up/fighting wars in other countries? I'm just being sarcastic/humorous but do you get the point/understand?

    September 26, 2013 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  2. Patrick Portland

    Just another form of redistribution...the things that everyone seems to like are good ideas and could have been put on one page double spaced: no lifetime maximum limits; no denying benefits for those with pre-existing conditions; and parents are able to cover thier children up to the age of 26. The fact that this obscene 1200 page bill was passed primarily by one party – who have never seen a government program or tax they didn't support; lots of arm twisting; and most importantly that Obama supports it should make everyone suspicious. I say kill it and start again.

    September 26, 2013 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  3. Normal In NH

    First, stop all the resistance, let it go into effect uninhibited. It will be a huge surprise if this doesn't collapse under its own weight...they are just now completing the rate component and will be behind on all other implementation phases. Oh yeah...labor unions are already screaming due to implications such as reduced hours, plan switch requirements and Cadillac taxes. GFL

    September 26, 2013 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  4. EdB

    Well, they've delayed things for everyone else. Why not the working man?

    September 26, 2013 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  5. American Worker

    The worst 'Job Killing' law ever enacted seems to be the ACA.

    We're losing the gains that our labor unions fought for: 40 hour work weeks, fair pay, safe working conditions (Over worked now with multiple part-time jobs.), and work benefits. The union bosses have become the foremen of Uncle Sam's Plantation.

    September 26, 2013 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
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