September 26th, 2013
08:23 AM ET
5 years 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. just tellin' it like it is

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

    translation: Obama will continue his unbroken string of lies for another 3 years.

    September 26, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  2. Ken Margo

    Once people start signing up, the white noise from fox, the tea partiers and the repubs will stop. Where were fox, tea partiers and the repubs (3 amigos) when millions of people died because they DID NOT have insurance. Who does the 3 amigos think pays the bill when the uninsured ends up at the hospital?

    September 26, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    "UVA said Wednesday this is only one of many “major changes” coming to their health plans as a result of ObamaCare. The university says the changes are necessary because the law is projected to add $7.3 million to the cost of the university’s health plan in 2014 alone."
    That is what they say, but did they offer any reason as to why? Seeing how the cost to UVA is deferred by tax credits, the "additional cost" argument doesn't make any sense to me. It's not like the workforce has suddenly increased, which would increase the number of people covered.

    One legitimate reason that I can think of is that their original coverage was sub-par, and their new policies have greater coverage and thus higher premiums. There is another good reason for their increased costs. The state is not participating in the ACA, which increases the costs to those paying the premiums.

    September 26, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  4. LiberalsRcancer

    @ Data Driven. Activists? More like socialists like you..

    September 26, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  5. JerseyDave

    Some of the lib comments on here are hilarious.. Obamacare is a disaster and is killing jobs.. Why do you think the AFL-CIO is up in arms stating Obamacare will kill jobs? Duh.. Why has Obama conveniently delayed the employer mandate? Because he knows what the impact will be! Duh. Libs are hopeless drones. and Obama is a miserabel liar..

    September 26, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  6. mrkhrrs

    Good luck with that, all of the noise is coming from you.

    September 26, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  7. Willie wilmette

    If they take away Obamacare, what will Obama have to show for the last five years? We must go deeper in debt for a program we can not afford so O can have a legacy. What is wrong with republicans, can't they see logic?

    September 26, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  8. John Illinois

    Obamacare is just another gigantic BS welfare program. Yesterday a liberal replied to this by saying "It is not a welfare's asocial program". Are people being forced by the government to pick up the tab for other people via taxes and higher premiums? Is the government forcing people to buy insurance even if they do not want it? So liberals, is it a welfare program or socialism? BOTH!! That is why this crap must go!! If not, then remove all subsidies, exemptions and waivers from it if it is so fantastic. Or, since the liberals and freeloaders want it so badly, let them pay for it and leave everyone else alone!

    September 26, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  9. Ken Margo

    just tellin' it like it is

    "translation: Obama will continue his unbroken string of lies for another 3 years"

    What exactly is the president lying about? Be specific! I bet you have insurance. Whay are you against others getting insurance?

    September 26, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  10. Ken Margo

    Do people realize that the taxpayers pay the bill for the uninsured?

    Do people realize that the taxpayers have NO CHOICE but to pay the bill? You do realize that would make it a MANDATE.

    That is why we need Obamacare, to keep the taxpayers form paying a HIDDEN TAX.

    September 26, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  11. The Real Tom Paine


    @ Data Driven. Activists? More like socialists like you..
    Since when is it socialism to broaden a customer base? Anyone who ever reead Adam Smith's " Wealth of Nations" can see this is completely in line with capitalism, as well as the further development of a just, enlightened society. Of course, to a wingnut, that means caring about someone else.

    September 26, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  12. judewalker0220

    This President does not ever listen to what the majority of people want. We do not want his Affordable Care Act. Yes, we need some type of health care program, but this one will not work.

    September 26, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  13. just saying

    The Real Tom Paine
    Since when is it socialism to broaden a customer base?

    when government holds a gun to your head to make it happen.

    September 26, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  14. Mercury

    Sure, we've all been sold into slavery to the insurance industry, but what really bothers the Right is that Obama is going to get all the credit for it.

    September 26, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  15. Larry T

    The thing that most people miss is that if you are self employed ( like me) you currently pay through the nose for your health insurance. I pay $2,401 a month for my wife and myself in California for an HMO!!!. Under Obamacare I will pay 50% LESS for a similar plan. IF you have insurance through your job nothing changes but if you are self employed suddenly the picture is a lot ,Lot better! Thank you Obama!

    September 26, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  16. Larry T

    oh and yes for $2,401 a month they still want me to pay about half the cost of going to the doctor! The insurance companies monopoly on what they charge is going to end .Thank you Obama!

    September 26, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  17. James3

    I can't wait for all the socialists to see how much this "affordable" health insurance is going to cost THEM. It appears from various sources that insurance through the exchanges will be about $320 a month per adult with a maximum tax credit of 8.12% of earned income. The penalty is greater than the Socialist Party is saying as well. It is a percentage of gross income multiplied by the number of family members. You socialists can kiss your earned income credit goodbye as well as the penalty will be deducted from that.

    September 26, 2013 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  18. 1termlimits

    The DHS just delayed today the SHOP part of Obamacare till November. SHOP is for the Small Employers to "Shop" on the "Marketplace" for health insurance. This delay is for only the States that have the "Fed." run Marketplaces.

    The biggest problem I have with the so called "Quality" health plans is that your Out of Pocket expenses have changed.
    My current plan has a MOOP or Maximum Out of Pocket of $5000 per person $10,000 for Families. The Quality Exchange or Markeplace plans have a Single Maximum Out of Pocket of $6350 per person and for a Family $12,700. So where is that Quality again?

    September 26, 2013 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  19. Tony

    Just saying, you can buy insurance or pay the fine under Obamacare. The government even offers subsidies to help you buy insurance, and the poor can enroll in Medicaid. No one is holding a gun to your head. What Republicans want is far worse– if you don't do what Republicans want, the government defaults on its debt and the economy gets it. When the economy gets it, everyone gets hurt, even Republicans' corporate sponsors.

    September 26, 2013 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  20. Faux Scandals

    The Obama plan is Obamacare, the GOP plan is Don't Care.

    September 26, 2013 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  21. Tony

    ConfusedMomma, if your ex-husband does not have enough assets he may be judgment-proof, meaning that even if he is legally responsible for your kid's medical insurance you can't get it from him. In which case, you are stuck with the insurance. I am sure you can deduct the expense on your tax return. If you don't make enough to buy insurance, Obamacare offers subsidies to buy insurance, or allows you to sign up for Medicaid. If you need to sign up for Medicaid but you live in a state that chooses not to expand Medicaid, move to a state that will expand Medicaid.

    September 26, 2013 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  22. Catherine

    Oh you mean the plan that excludes all of his buds in the administration, Congress and unions?????

    September 26, 2013 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  23. She's a joke

    ""Your patient protections are already in place," Sebelius said of people who are currently insured. ",,,, What a liar she is. Companies left and right and reducing workers hours to part time status so they won't have to offer insurance. 3000 folks at Cleveland Clinic got axe and the young people at Gamestop stores go their hours cut back. This has happened in many companies and continues everyday. The landscape of across the board will be changed forever because of this disaster.

    September 26, 2013 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  24. I tell lies

    And they call Ted Cruz crazy? This is just disturbing

    September 26, 2013 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  25. getonem

    I just want to Thank Senator Cruz and his Republican Supporters! All my friends and family are behind him 100%!

    September 26, 2013 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
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