September 26th, 2013
08:23 AM ET
12 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. Data Driven

    "The same poll found only one in five say they know "a lot" about measure."

    That's about the same percentage of the folks on this website.

    September 26, 2013 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  2. RIchard Long

    US Constitution = 6 pages

    Obamacare = estimated 13,000 pages
    "You are going to have to pass it to find out what's in it..."

    September 26, 2013 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  3. Rudy NYC

    An effort that is long overdue in my opinion. The momentum that has built up behind the lies is greater than he realizes.

    September 26, 2013 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  4. Anonymous

    The myth is everybody read the bill before it was passed just ask your buddy Nancy.

    There is so muck pork in the bill I don't see how you can't oink when you say anything about.

    The Government can't even balance the budget how do you expect to run Obamacare.

    September 26, 2013 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  5. Zerubbabel

    GOP, the party of lies and misinformation. They know that this Heritage Foundation plan will succeed jvst as it has in Massachussets. They will be exposed for the liars and terrorists that they are.

    September 26, 2013 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  6. ED1

    The myth is everybody who voted for the bill read it just ask your buddy Nancy you know the person who said lets pass this bill so we can see what's in it.

    There is so much wasted money in the bill I don't see how you can not oink when you say anything about the bill.

    We will have the highest part time work force in our history thanks to this costly bill 1.8 trillion and counting.

    September 26, 2013 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  7. J.V.Hodgson

    Once upon a time, newspapers, media, TV and especially political reporters or pundits, would critically examine stuff put out to validate if what was said by politicians (either side) was reasonably honest decent and truthful especially when making written reports or articles. In those cases. inaccuracies would be clearly identified and repudiated.
    The proof of the above is in the growth of " fact check organizations"
    What is even worse id that so called newspapers and even TV are clearly associated with each of our parties in the US and clearly put the best possible spin on XYZ politicians comment with care fully edited quotes...UGH
    Do you jobs I want truth and fact not spin where are the editors?
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    September 26, 2013 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  8. Derek Goodrich

    I stand with Ted Cruz!!!!!!!!!! Do not fund Obamacare what ever the coast. Just do us all a favor and shut the government down. At least they won't be able to pass anymore bills that are treasonous to the constitution. Live Free or Die.

    September 26, 2013 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  9. Tampa Tim

    The republicans did a complete 180, and walked away from their own health care plans, and now think it is a good idea that we continue to pay higher premiums for uninsured people showing up at emergency rooms. Baggers are nothing more than the party of irresponsibility.

    September 26, 2013 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  10. Gurgyl

    ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG WITH THIS LAW. Period. It is a Government-run-Insurance is this Healthcare Exchange. If BCBS, ETNA, HUMANA insurance is more for you to pay–you can simply say–"hell with you, buy from GOVERNMENT HEALTH EXCHANGES. Some of the Rethuglicans states are opting out to set in this system–in this federal Government steps in to establish its own–underline the word Own system thus reduce your premium–if you can not afford–Fed.Govt subsidize. God bless the USA, Obama.

    September 26, 2013 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  11. Zerubbabel

    It's about time they went on the offensive.

    September 26, 2013 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  12. RAC

    YES Mr. President. Tell the truth about "OBAMASCARE" please

    September 26, 2013 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  13. sonny chapman

    40,000 Americans die each year because of no health insurance. 40 Million Americans have no health insurance. It's not a Medicare/Medicaid for everyone. Insurance Companies will still make billions of $. It takes a stab at following the Message of Jesus, Matthew 25,30. Who could be against this? WHY would someone be against this ? Maybe if it had been named "The Nixon/Dole/Romney Personal Responsibility Health Care Act".

    September 26, 2013 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  14. Rick McDaniel

    Obama has been a horrific liar about this plan, from its inception. He has done nothing but lie, lie, lie, about how this plan works, and what the impact will be on both employers, and workers.

    September 26, 2013 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  15. sonny chapman

    Hey Derrick, do you think that it's FAIR that 40,000 Americans must die each year so that you can live under the illusion that you are FREE. YOUR Freedom comes at a high cost for many.

    September 26, 2013 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  16. jpmichigan

    51% DISAPPROVE OF OBAMACARE< WHAT DOESN'T THE PRESIDENT UNDERSTAND? The IRS isn't ready, the Federal government isn't ready, businesses aren't ready, more opt outs. They people who didn't read the bill, passed the bill, then preceeded to opt out of the bill. But it's good enough for the American people but not Congress. Proceed on with the bill, without changes and the changes will come from the voting booth come 2014.

    September 26, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  17. sonny chapman

    Hey ED 1; you are making the same argument made when Minimum Wage, Social Security, Medicare, Child Labor, Union Organizing,Civil Rights, Gay Rights, Medical Leave & the invention of the automobile first came out. Wouldn't you want to be on the right side of History just once ?

    September 26, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  18. Sniffit

    "Obama to 'cut through all the noise' on Obamacare"

    MSM to take umbrage with the idea of an accurately informed public and turn up its noise in response.

    September 26, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  19. NEVER to VOTE REPUBLICAN again

    I just did the Kaiser calculator and my husband and I pay over $700 a month now, we are Self Employed and it will be going down to $275 a month after Jan. 1 with more benefits , same doctors and it won't have the $20,000 deductible we pay now! Do your own homework people and get the FACTS. We have been ripped off for decades by the greedy insurance companies!

    September 26, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  20. Lynda/Minnesota

    "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."

    Did it? I thought he was simply mugging for camera attention. I must have missed the part where he made an impact on defunding Obamacare.

    September 26, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  21. Malory Archer

    All of the lies put forth by the reichwing regarding ACA have created a cottage industry for scamming seniors into thinking they need a new Medicare card. According to our local CBS news affiliate, scammers posing as "government healthcare navigators" are phoning seniors and asking if they're on Medicare, and if they answer in the affirmative, they're advised they need a new card and it's going to cost them. They're then asked for the name of their bank at which time the caller, in an effort to appear legitimate, recites the bank's routing number and then asks for the senior to finish the sequence with their account number. Some callers have been asking for Social Security numbers as well. The lady interviewed for the story was savvy enough to not fall for the scam, and she notified the news. It's just a matter of time before the scammers reach a senior who isn't aware they're being scammed, and when they lose everything, the lying rethugs can blame themselves.

    September 26, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  22. Wake up People!

    Jpmichigan....
    51% don't want Obamacare you claim.....and that's the majority right? Does the same hold true for the 98% of Americans that want background checks for guns???

    America where any and everyone can own as many guns as they want but only the wealthy can have health care.

    What a great country?

    September 26, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  23. rs

    So, dear readers as Thursday opens, we see the GOP meme on the ACA go down in flames: rates are lower; more are covered; there is no impact on hiring; defunding it will cost the government, etc... This means that just like Benghazi, the IRS "scandal" and pretty much all the other mud the GOP has thrown at us recently ARE ALL Lies.

    These guys are either delusional, or just completely dishonest.

    I guess we shouldn't be terribly surprised, the question is now that they hold an empty bag 'o tricks, what will they do? Wreck the economy for revenge?

    How will we hold them accountable?

    September 26, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  24. Sniffit

    CNN still refusing to report on the study report that just came out showing that premiums will be even lower than CBO predicted. Gotta keep the nontroversy alive, eh CNN?

    September 26, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  25. M.A.P.

    Such immaturity on display from the Republican party. Im glad they're doing so much damage to their brand, they are too irresponsable to hold high office. I hope for America's sake that they lose significantly at the next by-elections.

    September 26, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
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