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. Jerry

    Why can't this man (Obama) ever stop campaigning/lying to the face of the Américan populace/blaming everyone for his foibles/needlessly traveling/golfing, etc., etc., etc., and start paying attention to the issues that are affecting our nation!?

    What a hypocritical phony empty suit!

    Thank God HE can't be elected again and that we don't hear too much from Moochie!!!

    September 26, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  2. srcactus

    Numbers boggle the mind of the narcissus-in-chief as has been demonstrated time and again. He has chosen a political solution to a financial problem. It will fail.

    September 26, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  3. Thomas

    @JJ236
    I just heard the O in a radio bit say "tomorrow uninsured peoples premiums will be less than before" How exactly can that be?
    ===

    It's called leverage , economy of scale , you get more for the money , Same with pharmaceutical companies . Also with less need for over paid executives , brings the cost to the user down.

    September 26, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Donna wrote:

    Well then you should have no problem at all in providing a few dates and places to back up your factless response. Remember, NON-union, non-student audiences, non-preselected but open to all Americans. We all await your response.
    -----------------------
    That's right. They don't show that sort of stuff on Fox. He most recently spoke at a memorial this past Sunday. How often did your boy George W. Bush do what you have prescribed? Please provide a few dates and places, or stop throwing stones from the back porch of your glass house.

    September 26, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  5. Trader Joe's Weighs in, drops medical coverage for par timers, they are now a taxpayer expense

    Thank you for writing to us. It's possible you have been misled, at least to some degree, by the headlines in some articles regarding our reasons for implementing the ACA in January. We'd like to take this opportunity to clarify some facts.
    For over 77% of our Crew Members there is absolutely no change to their healthcare coverage provided by Trader Joe's.

    The ACA brings a new potential player into the arena for the acquisition of health care. Stated quite simply, the law is centered on providing low cost options to people who do not make a lot of money. Somewhat by definition, the law provides those people a pretty good deal for insurance ... a deal that can't be matched by us - or any company. However, an individual employee (we call them Crew Member) is only able to receive the tax credit from the exchanges under the act if we do not offer them insurance under our company plan.

    September 26, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  6. Donna

    Rudy NYC
    That's right. They don't show that sort of stuff on Fox. He most recently spoke at a memorial this past Sunday.
    --

    Oi vay... yes they DID show this on Fox. And you KNOW that memorial events are NOT what we are talking about here. We are talking about Obama's endless campaign style events. Even though he has inappropriately turned even memorial events and speeches into political attacks or advocacy.

    Again, if there are so many of these, why can you not name them?

    September 26, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  7. John Illinois

    Obamacare is just another gigantic BS welfare program. Yesterday a liberal replied to this by saying "It is not a welfare program.....it's a social 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!

    September 26, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  8. Extreme Measures

    Opponents of ObamaCare/ACA can and should use extreme partisan political maneuvers to stop its full implementation, just as extreme partisan political maneuvers were used to ram it into law.

    And just because President Obama declares the ACA here to stay and other advocates call it the "law of the land", doesn't make it make it permanent law. ObamaCare/ACA is NOT permanent law and subject to modification or repeal like any other law.

    September 26, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  9. srcactus

    @Thomas, You have fallen into the D.C. trap! Funny numbers beget funny numbers.

    Both numbers that you reference are estimates. The estimate is revised to be less expensive then the estimate before it. Both are more expensive than the actual being paid. Welcome to the lyin' political l fraud of Washington D.C. politicians.

    September 26, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  10. Knucklehead

    Ever wonder why we end up with the elected officials we do?

    "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."

    America has become a place where you don't have to know "a lot" to have an opinion. 90% of those polled had an opinion, but 80 % didn't know what they were talking about, so, 72% don't know, but do have an opinion. Democracy in action.

    September 26, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  11. UPS Weighs in on Obamacare, 15,000 spouses dropped, so much for you can keep your doctor and current healthcare coverage

    One of the basic pledges President Obama has made regarding his health-care reforms is that “if you like the plan you have, you can keep it.” It’s also a pledge that could come back to bite, politically.

    The latest sign of that is the news, made public this week, that shipping company UPS will no longer make health insurance benefits available to some 15,000 employee spouses. In announcing the change, the company referred to "Obamacare" as a reason it is having to battle to contain health-care costs.

    This news comes alongside other signs that employers – the largest source of health insurance for Americans – aren’t finding it easy to continue with health coverage as usual.

    September 26, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  12. Delta and others Weigh in on Obamacare

    Delta Airlines has voiced its own recent complaint about Obamacare’s effect on its health costs. And other news reports chronicle employers who are paring hours for some workers, saying the reason is to curb their health costs under the law.

    September 26, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  13. Anthony

    Just saying, under Obamacare government workers will be given subsidies to buy health insurance, but they HAD subsidized insurance before Obamacare. What the federal government will do under Obamacare is that government workers get to KEEP their subsidies.

    Tony D, you are right that some people will remain uninsured under Obamacare, because Obamacare is a government requirement to buy private health insurance or pay a fine. Some people will choose to pay a fine, in which case they will remain uninsured. Some people will be covered by Medicaid expansion, but because some states have chosen not to expand Medicaid, poor people in those states will remain uninsured. People who do not earn enough to afford insurance on their own, and who are not poor enough for Medicaid, will get subsidies to buy private health insurance. Obviously, if they don't use the subsidies they will remain uninsured.

    You can't just buy insurance after you get sick or get into accidents. That is not how insurance works, either before or after Obamacare. If you don't get insurance before you get sick or get into accidents, no one is going to pay your bills at the time you need to pay. Obamacare does not change that.

    September 26, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  14. barryinlasvegas

    Obamacare kicks in in 4 days – in 4 months Obama is going to be begging the Republicans to help him amend his disaster for America.

    September 26, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  15. Walgreens Weigh in on Obamacare, so much for you can keep your doctor and current healthcare coverage

    Walgreen Co. (WAG), the biggest U.S. drugstore chain, will move its workers into a private health insurance exchange to buy company-subsidized coverage, the latest sign of how the debate over Obamacare is accelerating a historic shift in corporate health-care coverage. Walgreen’s decision affects about 160,000 current employees and follows similar action this year by Sears Holdings Corp. (SHLD) and Darden Restaurants Inc. (DRI) As an alternative to administering a traditional health plan, all three will send their employees to an exchange run by Aon Plc.

    September 26, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  16. Fair is Fair

    Thomas

    @JJ236
    I just heard the O in a radio bit say "tomorrow uninsured peoples premiums will be less than before" How exactly can that be?
    ===

    It's called leverage , economy of scale , you get more for the money , Same with pharmaceutical companies . Also with less need for over paid executives , brings the cost to the user down.
    ------–
    Ummmmm.... Thomas... READ what he said. "Uninsured people's premiums will be less than before". If they're uninsured, they were paying no premiums.

    September 26, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  17. IBM & GE Weigh in on Obamacare, so much for you can keep your doctor and current healthcare coverage

    IBM and GE recently announced similar changes in their retirees plans, which are not to be confused with UPS' decision to drop spousal coverage.

    September 26, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  18. Obamacare lowers the cost of healthcare??? LIE.

    As the CBS correspondent points out, Walgreens made this move to insulate itself from anticipated rising healthcare costs, which Obamacare was ostensibly going to reverse. Based on CBO projections published yesterday, health costs will continue their inexorable climb, approximately doubling within the next 25 years.

    September 26, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  19. Johnypopup

    I'm a middle aged american man, I work in a factory, never had insurance, never needed it. It is in my opinion that this choice is a God given right. If I become sick, I man up and tough it out. I dont go to a hospital and make someone else foot the bill. I would gladly sign a waiver. The whole insurance and medical industry are nothing but greedy,money hungry, theives. (How is it that an insurance co. pays 10,000 dollars for a 20 mile ride in an ambulance!) it doesnt cost that much for gas, 1 hours wage to the driver, 1 hours wage to the EMT, and a painkiller. I work hard, live check to check. Obamacare is gonna ruin me financially, and mentally. Im allready thinking that the American home of the free is nothing but a lie. Here's a great big thank you to all you greedy people that work in the medical and insurance feilds. I hope you think of me while your on vacation, and I'm working to make sure you have a good time!

    September 26, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  20. rs

    just saying

    to sniffit and others concerning the congressional workers healthcare coverage. the issue is not that they are exempt from obamacare, it is that they have been given special treatment by the government that other non-governmental employees are not getting. it is yet another example of special treatment for select groups under obamacare. it is not about following the laws anymore. it is about who you know and giving people special treatment. this is not equal treatment under the law.
    __________________
    Congressmen and many federal workers have had healthcare coverage for a long, long time now- They have it without the ACA, and they are "excempt" from the ACA because they have an existing system for coverage.

    September 26, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  21. Rudy NYC

    Just Saying wrote:

    why the deflection from all the massive obamacre problems? we are discussing obamacare and the problems. why can't you stay on topic?
    --------------------–
    No, deflection. It's called a return shot. Since you want to repeal it, what does the right wing offer in its' place. Since the rise of the Tea Party Machine, Republicans cannot even offer up the counter-plan they had proposed in 2009. So, what does the Republican Party propose?

    Oops, I almost forgot. Republicans must offer a replacement because the cherished "Ryan Plan" depends upon the Medicare savings built into the ACA. No ACA, no more Ryan Plan.

    September 26, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  22. rs

    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?
    --------
    Remember your prattle about the IRS? One needs a Social Security number. Will illegals be able to buy insurance- I would suspect so. If they cannot register for Medicaid (SS#) they won't get "free" healthcare.

    September 26, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  23. The Real Tom Paine

    -Donna

    Rudy NYC
    That's right. They don't show that sort of stuff on Fox. He most recently spoke at a memorial this past Sunday.

    Oi vay... yes they DID show this on Fox. And you KNOW that memorial events are NOT what we are talking about here. We are talking about Obama's endless campaign style events. Even though he has inappropriately turned even memorial events and speeches into political attacks or advocacy.

    Again, if there are so many of these, why can you not name them?
    ***************
    you did not name them, either, Donna. Its amazing how you always paint the outline, and demand that the people who disagree with you do your work for you

    September 26, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  24. The Real Tom Paine

    -Johnypopup

    I'm a middle aged american man, I work in a factory, never had insurance, never needed it. It is in my opinion that this choice is a God given right. If I become sick, I man up and tough it out. I dont go to a hospital and make someone else foot the bill. I would gladly sign a waiver. The whole insurance and medical industry are nothing but greedy,money hungry, theives. (How is it that an insurance co. pays 10,000 dollars for a 20 mile ride in an ambulance!) it doesnt cost that much for gas, 1 hours wage to the driver, 1 hours wage to the EMT, and a painkiller. I work hard, live check to check. Obamacare is gonna ruin me financially, and mentally. Im allready thinking that the American home of the free is nothing but a lie. Here's a great big thank you to all you greedy people that work in the medical and insurance feilds. I hope you think of me while your on vacation, and I'm working to make sure you have a good time!
    ******************
    Can anyone name a worker in Industry who has not had insurance, who would turn it down? Thsi is such a transparent lie its pathetic, but, I suppose we should be used to false plants from the righties.

    September 26, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  25. Rudy NYC

    Donna wrote:

    Oi vay... yes they DID show this on Fox. And you KNOW that memorial events are NOT what we are talking about here. We are talking about Obama's endless campaign style events. Even though he has inappropriately turned even memorial events and speeches into political attacks or advocacy.

    Again, if there are so many of these, why can you not name them?
    ----------------------
    For what? All that's going to happen is that you're gonna claim, "I don't remember that." Besides, I've already blamed Fox for your misedumacation.

    September 26, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
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