September 26th, 2013
08:23 AM ET
11 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. Wake up People!

    Oops Fair ping pong balls.

    September 26, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  2. Malory Archer

    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.

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

    You're right, and I don't know why I bother, although being the sunny optimist that I am (even my blood type is "B positive"), I always hold out hope just one reader gains a little knowlege.

    September 26, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  3. strider

    What I'd like to know is if the Obama plan is so good, how is it that he himself and the congress are exempt.

    September 26, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  4. The Real Tom Paine

    -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.
    ***********************
    Companies have been dropping spouses only if they have an alternative. Check the article on UPS, where UPS clarifies ( again) what their policy is. As far as shifting people from full to part-time, any company that says its doing so because of the ACA needs to move to a state where the exchanges will be set up, or find a better plan. The only states that will see increases are those that still want to stay on the old health insurance plantation.

    September 26, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  5. Fair is Fair

    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.
    ------
    And the left doesn't? For arguement's sake, let's say that for a given news story, MSNBC covers it one way and Fox covers it a different way. I don't think you could possibly disagree that the left will tend to give credence to the MSNBC reporting and swear to the high heavens Fox is doing the Koch brothers biddding, while the right will tend to give credence to the Fox reporting and swear to the high heavens that MSNBC is the equivalent of the Soviet TASS news agency. THAT'S how polarized our society has become.

    September 26, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  6. Sorry Charlie

    I would favor funding Obama Care, it's going to collapse under it's own weight. It's all been a pack of BS since the beginning, the chaos surrounding it and the "unintended" consequences will be enormous. Spend a trillion to find out it won't work, that is the logic of WDC. If the Dems believe that it will force us into a single payer system, the fight on capital hill will be like nothing else, and they simply don't have the votes to get it done. Let it go, watch the outcome.

    September 26, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  7. Anthony

    Gurgyl, Obamacare is not a government-run insurance. The exchanges offer private health insurance plans that meet government standards. In reality, Obamacare is a government requirement to buy private health insurance or pay a fine. People who earn too little to file tax returns are not subject to the fine. People who do not have high enough income and would have to pay more than 8% of their income for health insurance are not subject to the fine. Poor people who live in states that are not expanding Medicaid are not subject to the fine.

    People who earn up to 400% of the poverty line, which is $45,960 for an individual and $94,200 for a family of four, will be eligible for subsidies to buy private health insurance. For people are at 138% and below of the poverty line, they qualify for Medicaid expansion in states that are expanding Medicaid. For poor, uninsured people living in states that are not expanding Medicaid, nothing will change for them. They still won't have insurance, but they won't face a fine either. They also won't get subsidies, because Medicaid was supposed to cover them but their states choose not to expand Medicaid.

    September 26, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  8. Peach

    "When a law is passed without the will of the people-the people become slaves"--Adams
    How true......

    September 26, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  9. Rudy NYC

    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.
    -----------------
    The CBO estimates that the cost of repealing Obamacare would run about $109 billion over the next decade. Cost of defunding the law, and the resulting economic chaos would be even higher. The cost of shutting down the government would at least ten times those costs, plus the extended damage to the nation's and global economies.

    Unfortunately for your rant, the system of government known as our democracy passed the bill lawfully. It was lawfully challenged in our court system, all the way up to the SCOTUS, which upheld the law. You either respect the law of the land, and our democracy, or you don't.

    Just because you don't win and have it your way, doesn't mean that you are "free" to do as you please just to get what you want. Your cause lost because the majority disagreed with you. Acting like angry hornets does not help your cause.

    September 26, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  10. Malory Archer

    strider

    What I'd like to know is if the Obama plan is so good, how is it that he himself and the congress are exempt.

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

    Because they already have medical coverage. Now you know.

    September 26, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  11. Data Driven

    @strider,

    I guess multiple debunkings of your talking point make no difference, eh? Deny, deny, deny, like a man caught cheating on his spouse.

    Fine, but understand that you have no credibility.

    September 26, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  12. are122

    The first thing I hope Obama explains is why he and the rest of the politicians exempted themselves.

    September 26, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  13. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Cut through the noise? Just call it what it is.....A bunch of BS!!!

    September 26, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  14. Malory Archer

    Peach

    "When a law is passed without the will of the people-the people become slaves"–Adams
    How true......

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

    The truth is the law was passed by a majority. That your ilk chose to act like spoiled three year olds who don't want to eat their veggies and refused to participate is on them.

    September 26, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  15. the hippies were right

    @Richard Long, if the bill is too big to read, then how does the GOP know it is such a "train wreck"?

    September 26, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  16. Rudy NYC

    "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?"
    ------------------–
    ... ... ... and in May 2008, the CBO reported that tax cuts for the wealthy not only increase deficits, but do not create jobs.

    September 26, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  17. EdL

    Obama is a talented campaigner, he can sell most anything to almost all. He is now campaigning for Obamacare. He will surely convince many if not all.

    September 26, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  18. Wake up People!

    Well Fair, hell must be freezing over. You and I agree on something. Which is why I don't pay any attention to MSNBC or FOX polls or much of anything else they say. Like a few others posted a few days ago. I want the truth NOT spin. While I believe MSNBC is biased, NOTHING is worse than Fox, the Kochs, and Karl Rove.

    September 26, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  19. Denise

    Where were all of these neo cons, tea baggers and dittohead jokers when the SCOTUS 'selected' Shrub on little brother's behalf?

    September 26, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  20. Abbey

    Never met a Democrat who didn't think that spending taxpayer money or creating more government bureaucracy was a bad thing for the nation. Of course one should be careful of when it comes to reading the DNC narratives about facts.

    September 26, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  21. Malory Archer

    are122

    The first thing I hope Obama explains is why he and the rest of the politicians exempted themselves.

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

    Sigh. For the gazillionth time, they're exempt because they ALREADY HAVE medical coverage.

    September 26, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  22. Denise

    FAUX News or Newsmax polls are hardly the will of the people! Speaking of polls, how's the new gun control laws working for you?

    September 26, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  23. EdL

    strider, the congress and Obama are exempt because they already have medical coverage. Is it not true that congressional and wh staff members also had medical coverage but were required to be blessed with Obamacare and needed exemptions?

    September 26, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  24. freedom

    Noise??? It's TRUTH!

    September 26, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  25. M.A.P.

    Fair is Fair said:
    "the left will tend to give credence to the MSNBC reporting and swear to the high heavens Fox is doing the Koch brothers biddding, while the right will tend to give credence to the Fox reporting and swear to the high heavens that MSNBC is the equivalent of the Soviet TASS news agency. THAT'S how polarized our society has become."

    EXACTLY! Well, at least we can agree on one thing – an extremely divided and polarized nation is not a good thing. But honestly, you don't think Rupert Murdoch the billionair has a firm grip on his news outlets coverage and opinion? Of course! Look what happened in the UK – the high court there said he's not fit to run a business because of his loose morals and his bragging about how "He got so and so elected". That's not democracy.

    September 26, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
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