September 26th, 2013
08:23 AM ET
10 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. Sniffit

    "51% DISAPPROVE OF OBAMACARE"

    ====

    "According to the latest United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll, 49 percent said that Congress should keep the 2010 law widely known as Obamacare "because it's important to reduce the number of Americans without insurance" while 44 percent said it should be repealed "because the government can't afford it at a time of large budget deficits."

    Meanwhile...

    "The Gallup Poll released on Thursday found that just 22 percent of Americans call themselves tea party supporters. Meanwhile, 27 percent identify as tea party opponents. A majority, 51 percent, said they did not have an opinion."

    That's a record low for people identifying and supporting the Teatrolls.

    September 26, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  2. Phyllis Gwendoline Williams

    'When men have done their best, Angels can do no more'. "He is the Minister of God to thee for good" (Romans 13: 4)

    September 26, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  3. M.A.P.

    RIchard Long
    Richard Lore:

    US Constitution = 6 pages

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

    ------------------------
    Ok so the only way you judge a good bill is on its length? I would've thought that the CONTENT is more important! Do you know how long the average bill's are? I can tell you, there ain't many bills these days that would be 6 pages long. That's why FOX loving neo-cons can't get into high office – too many long boring documents to read eh?

    September 26, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  4. D. Mulch

    People don't have health insurance because they can't get it, they don't have it because they can't or don't want to afford it.

    Forcing everyone onto these plans just removes that option. Getting poor people to pay insurance doesn't really make sense, neither does it make sense for fiscally responsible people who don't budget for it.

    I've rarely needed a doctor for the past 20 years, the times that I do I've just paid out of pocket. Turns out it's not even more expensive that way, because insurance plans all have high co-pays anyway. I don't have the time or desire to go to doctors over every little thing.

    Now if I was a woman, or I was married to one and we were thinking about kids, that's a different issue altogether. Then it makes sense. But you can't force everyone to subsidize that, we already pay high taxes so that kids get that healthcare no matter what.

    Why can't the doctors and the Big Pharma companies just take some paycuts instead?

    September 26, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  5. Malory Archer

    RIchard Long

    US Constitution = 6 pages – Correct.

    Obamacare = estimated 13,000 pages – Liar
    "You are going to have to pass it to find out what's in it..." – That only holds true for the rethugs who refused to be part of the discussion. Everyone who was there knows what's in it, so howsabout you post Former Speaker Pelosi's ENTIRE comment next time?

    September 26, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  6. tony martinez

    Obamacare! The reality is higher unemployment. My former employer has terminated, or forced to resign 4 senior staff members in order to replace them with lower paid part time help. Obamacare ,has given small to mid size employers a way out of medical coverage expenses. Wake up people, the lifestyles of many families will be affected when full time employees are replaced by part time employees. Think about how this will affect your families and the economic standards of the nation. Full time employment may become history as employers realize how they can manipulate Obamacare.

    September 26, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  7. Eviva F.

    Translation: he's going to give another "Speech!".

    September 26, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  8. Rudy NYC

    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.
    ------------------------–
    I find it curious that you would say that because Pres. Obama has spoken very little about the ACA. In fact, the recent speeches that he's given promoting the benefits of the law mark the first time that he's done so.

    September 26, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  9. Malory Archer

    Anonymous

    The myth is everybody read the bill before it was passed just ask your buddy Nancy. – You can't blame her for the collective temper tantrum your ilk threw in the run-up to the passage of the ACA.

    There is so muck pork in the bill I don't see how you can't oink when you say anything about. – It's no longer a bill – it's the LAW! But since you ADMIT you didn't read it, how do you know?

    The Government can't even balance the budget how do you expect to run Obamacare. – Blame the congress for that – THEY'RE responsible for government spending.

    September 26, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  10. The Real Tom Paine

    -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.
    ****************************
    Not denying people because of a pre-existing condition did not make this a part-time work force. Helping parents to keep their kids on their policies until they are 26 did not create the surge in part-time jobs. Thse were decisions by employers because consumer demand dropped off, and is now coming back. The real question should be how many different ways will the GOP use the ACA as an excuse to destroy the recovery ( with teh assumption they won't be blamed)?

    September 26, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  11. Kenman

    He's been saying for four years now how he "spends every waking moment trying to figure out how to put Americans back to work" yet here he is STILL on his campaign trail trying to sell us the atrocity that he wasted his first two years in office shoving on us!

    AND, even after two years of pre-taxing in anticipation of full enactment this year, the CBO continues to say that it will costs a lot more than ever let on by its sponsors and supporters!

    Meanwhile, on the long stalled economy, all we get are occasional speeches (teleprompter readings) on how much he's doing for us!

    September 26, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  12. The Real Tom Paine

    -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.
    ********************
    kind of like the lie the GOP has been repeating for years about how tax cuts pay for themselves: the difference is that the CBO has stated the ACA will reduce the debt and lower our premiums, whereas we all know tax cuts just create debt. Has anyone ever created a job from a tax cut, as opposed to consumer demand?

    September 26, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  13. Malory Archer

    tony martinez

    Obamacare! The reality is higher unemployment. My former employer has terminated, or forced to resign 4 senior staff members in order to replace them with lower paid part time help.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Senior staff at your place of business aren't even afforded employer provided medical coverage???!!! If they're good at their jobs, they're better off seeking more gainful employment. Your employer is a cheapskate.

    September 26, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  14. Robertson

    “Government-run private insurance marketplaces”. Now there’s an oxymoron if I’ve ever heard one.

    Obama is to “speak directly, in plain and honest terms, about what the Affordable Care Act means for consumers.” That is unlikely. He will speak to highlight all the sugar coating policies while leaving the taxes, mandates, higher premiums, dropped coverage, and part-time work vs. full-time career loss unmentioned.

    September 26, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  15. comen

    President has lost his credibility and vastly significant ability to influence – sad. He will not change anything with this last ditch effort to put paint on a rotten structure. He is too clueless and/or arrogant to fix the structure and remove/ replace the rot.

    A failed leader, with a huge ineffective executive branch and sycophant white house staff who will drag the nation down over the next few years. Sad.

    September 26, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  16. Fair is Fair

    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???
    --------–
    You're comparing apples to ping pong balls. False equivalency.

    September 26, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  17. Data Driven

    @D. Mulch,

    You prefer paying out-of-pocket for routine doctors' visits? Fine, but I hope you don't break a leg or something. Because if you do, you're probably on the hook for about 10 large, and MY premiums go up.

    September 26, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  18. Sniffit

    "US Constitution = 6 pages

    Obamacare = estimated 13,000 pages"
    ===

    GOP/Teatrolls' health care reform proposal = 0 pages.

    What's your point?

    September 26, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  19. Marie MD

    Coworker who is retiring and can't get Medicare until June.
    BCBS $400. – Obamacare 1/3 of that figure.
    Yes, I guess Obamacare is bad.

    September 26, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  20. Patrice Hill

    CNN... This is for you! I for one would like it very much if all the news broadcasters stop calling Obamacare, Obamacare! It is called THE AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE ACT! Obamacare gives it a negative connotation to all of the people swayed by Republican noise makers. So, please do your country a favor and call it what it is!!! AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE ACT!
    They didn't call Social Security Roosevelt-care, or Medicare/Medicaid Johnson-Care. So, stop it! Thank you!

    September 26, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  21. Wake up People!

    @Mallory Archer.....

    Now come on Mal, you don't really expect anyone on the right to repeat the ENTIRE comment do you?? They are the queens of taking phrases out of context. The truth to the right is like Kryptonite to Superman.

    If they didn't have their little taken out of context catch phrases what would they have??

    You didn't build that.
    What difference does it make.
    You have to pass the bill to know what's in it.

    I don't know how many times over the past 2 years I have heard these comments in order to rile up their uneducated base.

    September 26, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  22. Eddie B

    thank God for a man with the courage to do something about health care in this country. it is a disgrace and needs to be changed. Go Obama, Hillary 2016

    September 26, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  23. Malory Archer

    D. Mulch

    People don't have health insurance because they can't get it, they don't have it because they can't or don't want to afford it.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Prior to the passage of the ACA law my daughter was uninsurable after she aged out of her dad's plan because she was born with a "preexisting condition", even though it was corrected at birth. Since the passage of the ACA law, she can no longer be denied coverage, nor does she need to forgo such luxuries as eating and living indoors to afford her premiums. Thanks President Obama!

    As for those who "can't afford it", they will be subsidized the same way they are now when they go to the ER and those of us WITH insurance pick up the tab.

    Anyone who "doesn't want it" should be forced to sign a waiver that they understand they will be required to pay in full for medical services prior to receiving ANY treatment prior to showing up in the ER, or they will be turned away at the door.

    September 26, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  24. Wake up People!

    Actually Fair, it's not apples to oranges. It's the fact that the GOP "believes" polls that are in their favor but ignores the ones that aren't.

    That's not apples to oranges.

    September 26, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  25. Malory Archer

    comen

    The rethugs have lost all credibility and vastly significant ability to influence – sad.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    FIFY.

    September 26, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
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