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. Johnypopup

    ~The Real Tom Paine
    Im not a liar. My employer offers health insurance, but at a 50% co-pay on the premium, and 50% co-pay on everything else. working for 20 years without insurance has saved me from putting aprox. 180,000 dollars into the hands of the insurance co.'s hands.

    September 26, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  2. Paul in Atlanta

    The insurance salesman in chief Obama is drumming up more lies to push his hideous healthcare law down the throats of Americans who don't want it. Overall higher premiums and job cuts have already been widely reported across the country. Obamacare is a nightmare.

    September 26, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote 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.
    -----------------------
    This is what happens when you take words completely out of context, which is par for the obtuse course you've been on lately.

    Pres. Obama was talking about how uninsured will be able to afford health care. Many people are uninsured are that way simply because of the premiums that they are asked to pay are too high. He was stating that the premiums that they will asked to pay under the ACA will be less than what they have been before.

    September 26, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  4. dmcg6968

    Well, there's Obama's claims that the ACA wil be cheap, and then there are all the real people reporting their plans have been non-renewed and the "replacement" is both more expensive and less effective. Who are you going to believe?

    The House and certain Senators are tilting at windmills at the moment, trying to "defund" Obamacare. That's not going to happen right now with Harry Reid in charge of the Senate and Obama in the White House. It's a losing deal. But. Today is not the end of the fight. And when everyone has found their plans are non-renewed, the new coverage is worse and more expensive, and thousands of doctors have quit practice rather than deal with this nonsense, there's going to be another fight, to repeal this monstrosity and get government off our backs. And then people will remember the "crazy extremists" who did their best to keep this from happening in the first place.

    It's going around. But what goes around, comes around.

    September 26, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  5. LibThrasher

    If Obama's lips are moving he is lying – this is what we know. But we also know there is a small faction of his supporters that are in capable of independent thought. This massive train wreck Obamacare is KILLING jobs and cutting hours of the workforce – which is part of his plan. But Obama will lie and tell you all is fine. Thank goodness there is a majority of rational, right leaning people in this country.

    September 26, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  6. Wake up People!

    The good ole USA......

    Where guns are plentiful and healthcare is only for the wealthy.......

    September 26, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  7. Doug

    LIke a person making 25-30k or so a year has 5 grand for the deductible. Good luck even if they pay no premium what so ever.

    September 26, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  8. Tampa Tim

    The next thing right wingnuts will tell us is that Obamacare is less popular than unnecessary republican wars.

    September 26, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  9. Brian

    I'm a scientist at a national lab. Our premiums are going up. We had 3 choices for insurance plans and now we only have two. One plan is similar to our old plans only it's more expensive. The other plan has a VERY high deductible and won't work well for families. Don't tell me that my health care is now more affordable. It's obvious, if more poor people must have health care then my health care costs go up.

    September 26, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  10. Doug

    The Affordable care act is being driven but a lot of people who make 150k plus, have net worth of more than a million dollars. They don't have a clue what is affordable when you make 40k a year and have a family. The entire system is broken. Time for a system where the private insurers dont skim the first 20-30 %

    September 26, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  11. just saying

    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?
    ---

    many, many other alternative point solutions have been offered by the republicans. the total destruction of our healthcare systemn was not needed. the democrats have destroyed the healthcare system for 80% of americans that liked what they had in order to create a massive new government entitlement program to provide government paid for healthcare or government subsidized healthcare. more government involvement in our healthcare system is not what the american people wanted.

    September 26, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  12. The Real Tom Paine

    -Johnypopup

    ~The Real Tom Paine
    Im not a liar. My employer offers health insurance, but at a 50% co-pay on the premium, and 50% co-pay on everything else. working for 20 years without insurance has saved me from putting aprox. 180,000 dollars into the hands of the insurance co.'s hands.
    *********************************
    If your company is forcing people to pay that much, than your HR staff needs to be fired. As for your statement about never needing insurance, I hope you don't get into an accident on your way home., since I doubt you have the money to cover a visit to the ER. Anyone who does not get insurance is asking me to pay the tab for when you inevitably do.

    September 26, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  13. Matt

    Did Barack clear this message with Warren Buffet?

    September 26, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  14. eww

    After having read many of these comments, I can tell most of you are rather biased and uninformed. You should watch Undercover Boss every so often and you'd find there are people in the workforce who have been working for 15 years or more at a company while taking on a second and/or third job to make ends meet for their respective families. Some have family members with medical conditions which require maintenance pharmaceuticals and regular doctor visits. Some are unable to afford the pharmaceuticals on a monthly basis so they get their prescription and cut the pills in half to make them last. As far as doctor visits they make them when they can afford to pay the co-pay. They do this to avoid having to take food off the table b/c a dollar only stretches but so far. And no that is not b/c of Obama, it's more like the Congress doing anything and everything to stymie this administration to feed your angst about it. However if you knew how govt really worked you'd understand that. Middle class or working class citizens' salaries and wages have been flat for the past 50 or so years; executives at companies salaries, not including their deferred compensation, have skyrocketed in most cases beyond 50% and those deferred compensation packages and soared even higher in the same time frame. And this nation has been increasingly less productive over those 50 years with little to no manufacturing being done here. Interestingly integrity and quality of humanity has increasingly diminished in the same time frame while greed and cynicism has multiplied faster than one can blink their eyes.

    September 26, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  15. Yet Another Obamacare DISASTER.... Ooops, kids take the hit now

    After several major corporations including IBM, Walmart and Walgreens, announced they will be dropping their employer-sponsored health coverage for tens of thousands of workers, a new error was revealed in ObamaCare that may leave up to 500,000 children without coverage.

    In what USA Today labels a "family glitch" if "your employer offers a woman affordable insurance, but doesn't provide it for her family, they cannot get subsidized help through the state health exchanges." ObamaCare defines "affordable" health care as 9.5% of an employee's household income, but this "glitch" in ObamaCare may leave hundreds of thousands of families without healthcare.

    September 26, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  16. Lifetouch Weighs in on Obamacare, so much for you can keep your doctor and current healthcare coverage

    Lifetouch National School Studios, the world's largest employee-owned photography company, has sent a letter to employees explaining that new provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have forced them to review and make changes to their benefit plans. That review has led the company to announce that health insurance benefits will be discontinued for part-time employees "across Lifetouch."

    The 'Dear Lifetouch Employee' letter initially explains that the company is subject to certain provisions in the ACA, with two in particular being implemented in 2014 – the requirement that all individuals have medical coverage or face a penalty in the form of an additional tax, and the establishment of health insurance marketplaces otherwise known as exchanges.

    These provisions the letter reads, "have caused us to review and make changes to our benefit plans."

    September 26, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  17. Tuza Baap

    GOP and the Tea Party (Taliban Party of America) are afraid thet once people experience the good psrt of Obamacare, they woulkd refuse to come out. Short and simple, these idiots don't want to get this program popular. They would rather have people die uninsured than to enforce their personal agenda which is hatred to Obama. I pity these politicians who would never appreciate good things on this law and betterment for the country.

    September 26, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  18. Home Depot Weighs in on Obamacare, so much for you can keep your doctor and current healthcare coverage

    Home Depot Inc is shifting medical coverage for part-time workers to new public marketplace exchanges ahead of new benefits requirements under the U.S. Affordable Care Act, a spokesman said on Thursday.

    The world’s largest home improvement retail chain announced its move shortly after a similar announcement from Trader Joe’s Co, a popular privately held grocery chain.

    Home Depot’s change would affect roughly 20,000 part-time workers who previously had chosen the limited liability medical plan the company offered, spokesman Stephen Holmes said.

    After December 31, companies can no longer offer those plans under the health law, also known as Obamacare.

    September 26, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    just saying wrote:

    many, many other alternative point solutions have been offered by the republicans. the total destruction of our healthcare systemn was not needed. the democrats have destroyed the healthcare system for 80% of americans that liked what they had in order to create a massive new government entitlement program to provide government paid for healthcare or government subsidized healthcare. more government involvement in our healthcare system is not what the american people wanted.
    ------------------------
    Really? Just what are some of the "many, many other alternative point solutions have been offered by the republicans"? Let's hear it. Hmm? You cannot answer because the Republicans don't have "alternative point solutions" to offer. Their official plan for health care refrom is posted on Spkr Boehner's web site.

    Any plan that would pass the muster with the Tea Party thought police would have to contradict the one that is posted on on Boehner's web site. The Republican Plan is full of unfunded tax cuts and credits, and entitlement giveaways. It's so bad that they cannot even speak of it themselves.

    September 26, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  20. Johnypopup

    ~The Real Tom Paine
    wrote:
    f your company is forcing people to pay that much, than your HR staff needs to be fired. As for your statement about never needing insurance, I hope you don't get into an accident on your way home., since I doubt you have the money to cover a visit to the ER. Anyone who does not get insurance is asking me to pay the tab for when you inevitably do.
    ---------------------------------------

    Ya , that would be covered with my car insurance, that i do have and is affordable. Dont lose any sleep, I always pay my bills.

    September 26, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  21. John

    I am a little confused......have a 33 year old company, now with 39 employees.....we have offered health care to all employees but not dependents.....I have noticed a big change the last 2 years.....last year my increase was 7.9% total for the company, which was the lowest in 10 years at that time, and my agent came in today, and our 2014 increase is only 3.9% (Kaiser)......our lowest increase since we started.......When I couple this with an additional 3 million newly covered people in california (medical business) who will indirectly use our services, I have to ask myself what is everyone complaining about.......it seems to me like the ACA, Obamacare, is already working as intended, unless I am missing something.

    September 26, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  22. Students_obamacare_101

    The politicians should be penalizing people who don't follow a healthy lifestyle either by eating fast foods (put out by the most corrupt food groups), not exercising or breaking all the readily/easily available information on healthy lifestyles, similar to how China penalizes people who have more than 1 Child (Statistics has shown that this method works). What doesn't make sense is to make students or anyone who takes the most precautions to change to a healthy lifestyle pay more to improve the life of people on their death bed or lying in hospitals due to their own (misinformed) will and habits.

    September 26, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  23. John

    Just went onto the California exchange to see if we can get coverage cheaply low income employees.....one particular example is this ...a single mom making 27,000 with one child can get the silver, 2nd tier plan for $110mo net after subsidy, or the bronze for only $34/mo....this includes both her and her child.......If you haven't looked at the prices/subsidies, you might want to check it out.

    September 26, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  24. Doc

    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.

    --------------------------

    Yeah...well too bad for them. Maybe they should have gotten off their rears and voted! But they didnt, so they can just sit down and shut up now.

    September 26, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  25. Doc

    Ya , that would be covered with my car insurance,
    -------------------

    Sorry Johny....ER visits arent covered by your car insurance.

    September 26, 2013 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
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