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. Paul in Atlanta

    With CNN covering for him, Obama has turned insurance salesman – stumping for his hideous healthcare law that no one in Congress, the unions or the White House wants any part of for their own personal healthcare. Government has no business in healthcare – Obamacare is nothing more than a power grab and an unsustainable entitlement. Let's be adults and agree to the obvious – Obamacare sucks and needs to be replaced with a common sense, far more efficient and affordable solution than the UnAffordable Care Act.

    September 26, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  2. rs

    freedom

    @Malory

    You are misinformed – yours and every American's health records will be reviewed by the IRS. And these won't even be trained people – they could be anyone – making decisions about your life.
    ______________________
    Freedom-tired of being lied to by the Right yet?

    September 26, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  3. Sniffit

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

    Sort of tough to explain why you did something that you didn't do. Check the fact checks and learn it: the gov't is a large employer and is following the mandate in the ACA that large employers provide health insurance for their employees. PERIOD. THERE. IS. NO. EXEMPTION. That is a lie told to you by people desperate to confuse and anger you by preventing you from understanding.

    September 26, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  4. George

    MR O...is pushing ObamaCare...now that is really HOT NEWS. Its all he has left if he is going to have a legacy other than "UTTER FAILURE!"

    September 26, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  5. Donna

    OK, trivia time... in 5-6 years that Obama has been campaigning and in office, has he EVER given a speech to an open audience of the American people? Not one that was pre-selected, pre-qualified and consisted of only his college kid supporters or his union supporters? I do believe the anwer is NO. And now that the unions are on the war patch against Obamacare, I guess Obama can only appear in front of college kids that know practically nothing of the real world. The perfect Obama audience.

    September 26, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  6. Tony

    Actually, Mary, Obama, members of Congress and their staff are NOT exempted from Obamacare. They do get subsidies from the federal government to buy health insurance, which they HAD received before Obamacare. CNN did a pretty good job yesterday debunking pretty much everything you said.

    September 26, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  7. huffcup

    The Affordable Health Care is great. I no longer have to pay for pap tests or mammograms since they are both consider preventive health care. I been paying since I was 19 for one test and the other since I was 35 years old. I am now 60 years old. It was nice to get a bill for $00.00.

    September 26, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  8. Sniffit

    "If Obamacare is such a terrific deal, why does Obama, his family, the entire Senate, the entire congress, federal workers and all of their staff get to opt out of this trainwreck"

    What part of "that is a lie" don't you understand? There is no "opting out" and no "exemption" for the people you mentioned. The gov't is providing health insurance to its employees just like every other large employer is required to do under the ACA. It is, in fact, COMLPIANCE with the ACA...the very opposite of an exemption.

    YOU. ARE. BEING. LIED. TO.

    September 26, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  9. Wake up People!

    Someone once told me you can't fix stupid. And anyone that believes Fox and the GOP fit the bill.

    Say hi to President Romney for me.....

    September 26, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  10. uhhuh

    freedom

    @Malory

    You are misinformed – yours and every American's health records will be reviewed by the IRS. And these won't even be trained people – they could be anyone – making decisions about your life.

    -

    No, YOU are misinformed.

    The IRS has proposed asking for the following information.
    -Name address and SS number of the taxpayer and dependents.
    -date insurer started coverage.
    -whether coverage is qualified under the law (providing the minimum required coverage by the law)
    -whether the insurance was purchased through the exchanges or the individual marketplace,
    -whether the individual is eligible for tax credits to offset premium cost.

    If you really think that the IRS is going to be reviewing your colonoscopy results, then maybe you need to have the other end examined.

    September 26, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  11. JP

    IRS failed to account for $67M in ObamaCare costs – “The Internal Revenue Service is unable to account for $67 million in spending related to the implementation of ObamaCare, according to a report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. The $67 million in unaccounted-for spending was associated with ‘indirect’ implementation costs, which can include providing employees with workspace and information technology support.”

    September 26, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  12. Pam from Iowa

    too many un-truths spread by the lie machine called the GOP !!!

    September 26, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  13. zack

    Obama care is bad they said
    It rewards lazy people they said
    A 100k hospital bill avoided they never said
    Screws over the monopoly of health care insurance they never said

    September 26, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    "If you really think that the IRS is going to be reviewing your colonoscopy results, then maybe you need to have the other end examined."

    Actually, that can probably also be accomplished for him via the colonoscopy.

    September 26, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  15. Tony D

    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."
    --

    But what about the millions of people that the CBO estimate will have their healthcare coverage dropped by their employers who find it cheaper to just pay the fine?

    And I have to wonder why the CBO estimate sthat there will STILL be 30 million uninsured people in this country even with Obamacare. Why is that? Are they just going to dodge paying until they get sick, then buy coverage? Isn't that a scam on all of us? Will the IRS be hunting these people down and forcing them to cough up?

    September 26, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  16. Denise

    I'd like to know the average tax rate for tea party members and dittoheads, along with their highest completed grade. They want everyone to believe they make alot of money and are highly educated, yet we all know the truth!

    September 26, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  17. Alonzo

    I went to the site and it is not as complicated as Mr. Fliecher claims, I hope I spelled his name correctly. The links that he spoke off are links that answer some of the Questions the we may have. What I would suggest for anyone don't just and not review and maneuver through the site and learn for yourselves what is there and what's not. There is also another saying, "stop being stuck on STUPID".

    September 26, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  18. freedom

    @Malory

    Like I said, you are misinformed – why do you think Congress begged Obama to be exempt from it? Because it's a horrible health care law – not to mention the damage it's going to do to our economy – and already is!

    September 26, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  19. freedom

    @rs

    You have been brainwashed by the Obama administration. It's pathetic.

    September 26, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  20. Malory Archer

    Donna

    OK, trivia time... in 5-6 years that Obama has been campaigning and in office, has he EVER given a speech to an open audience of the American people?

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

    He's given many. That you ilk chooses to not to listen is on you. Or are you implying that you believe he should corral you and force you to listen?

    September 26, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  21. memo2

    I'm not will be a subject of abuse from this people.

    September 26, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  22. txGrl

    I've worked in health care for 30 years, have read ACA, read updates almost daily.
    Obamacare is a Trojan Horse for single payer Nd the biggest, sneakiest, most cynical end run around the electorate in US history.
    The middle class is about to unwittingly give up the biggest tax deduction on IRS books, employer health premiums at $250 billion per year. Democrats calculated that the subsidy carrot they are using to lure you into the individual market will be more than paid for by this massive tax hike.
    Then the subsidy will be phased out, and we will be left paying a LOT more for a LOT less Medicaid Lite insurance, long wait times, the Dumbing Down of the entire medical profession to save money.
    All so Democrats can achieve their impenetrable underclass voting bloc on the backs of the middle class.
    "Recently, Obama was re elected by a truly illiterate society, and he is ready to continue his lies of lowering taxes as he raises them."
    -Vladmir Putin
    Sadly, Putin is exactly right.

    September 26, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  23. g

    the insurance companies are thinking of defunding the republican party

    September 26, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  24. just asking

    will illegal aliens be able to apply for obamacare and get free government paid for healthcare??? is being an american citizen a pre-requisite to getting free government healthcare? or are the american taxpayers now on the hook for the millions of illegals in this country and the many more that will now come here for free healthacre?

    September 26, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  25. Rudy NYC

    Tony D wrote:

    But what about the millions of people that the CBO estimate will have their healthcare coverage dropped by their employers who find it cheaper to just pay the fine?

    And I have to wonder why the CBO estimate sthat there will STILL be 30 million uninsured people in this country even with Obamacare. Why is that?
    ------------------------------
    Would you mind telling what CBO report that you're referring time. A simple month and year would suffice. I would estimate that people who do not file taxes would be among the uninsured.

    September 26, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
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