March 22nd, 2010
06:48 AM ET
12 years ago

Obama hitting road this week to sell health benefits

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama plans to hit the road this week to start aggressively selling the benefits of the health care overhaul and give nervous Democratic lawmakers some political cover across the country, according to three Democratic officials familiar with the plans.

The president will take many such trips in the weeks ahead, following up on promises to push back on Republican attacks in the months leading up to the November mid-term elections, the officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to publicly discuss the emerging White House strategy.

Which cities Obama will visit were not immediately available.

One of the officials said, though there was no quid pro quo, the White House had "strongly intimated" to lawmakers that Obama "would go out and sell this thing" after they passed the health care overhaul.

"We're certainly going to be out there," said a second Democratic official familiar with the president's plans. "We think this is a tremendous step forward for individuals and small businesses. We want them to know what comes next."

Organizing for America, Team Obama's grass-roots organization, has collected pledges from people nationwide for a total of 9.3 million volunteer hours to campaign for lawmakers who supported the overhaul, according to the Democratic officials.

Late Sunday evening, Organizing for America planned to send an e-mail from the president to its list of about 13 million supporters. The e-mail will thank Democratic lawmakers for their votes and will tout the benefits of the overhaul. No Republicans voted for it.

Organizing for America is already circulating a list of "Key Provisions That Take Effect Immediately" to help lawmakers counter the belief that many of the benefits do not kick in for several years.

Their talking points on provisions that kick in quickly tout 18 provisions, including: tax credits for small businesses of up to 35 percent of insurance premiums (immediately); free preventive care under Medicare (starting in 2011); an end to "recissions" by banning insurance companies from dropping people from coverage when they get sick (six months after enactment); no discrimination against children with pre-existing conditions (within six months); and a prohibition on health insurance companies from placing lifetime caps on coverage (also within six months).

Filed under: Health care • President Obama
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Suzi

    I appreciate President Obama and his dedication to the people of this country. It must have been so difficult for him to watch his mother dying of cancer and having to fight insurance companies. This is a wonderful achievement. So many will be helped and I'm so proud of him. It's a great start and we will work with him to refine it so that it is even better.

    March 22, 2010 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  2. Chad from Tampa

    This guy lives in his own world, while we live in the real world. Doctors will retire in record numbers, more patients, higher taxes, more gov't control, back room deals, tax-paid abortion. Hello Socialism!

    March 22, 2010 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  3. Washingtonian

    I have a better idea. Why doesn't he just "hit the road." And while he's at it, he can start putting penalty notices on the doors of those who don't want health insurance, regardless of what "congress" wants.

    March 22, 2010 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  4. Jon Krieger

    You mean he's already got what he's wanted,and he's STILL gonna go around campaigning for it?WHAT AN EGOMANIAC!!Will someone please His High And Mighty Most Holy Wonderfulness to just take his trip to indonesia,and stay the hell there!If he and the rest of the Dumbocrats are so convinced that they did the right thing,then what pray tell would they have to be "nervous" about?We'll find out the answer to that in november!

    March 22, 2010 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  5. juanx

    We, the people stand, firmly, behind beside/behind President Obama and The Democratic Party, even the initial disenters.

    America remains strong. Yes we can prevail against the NO Party, To Get Things Done In the 21st Century.

    March 22, 2010 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  6. Keith in Austin

    Hey Barry! We've seen enough of your smug face to last a lifetime! Get out of that perpetual campaign mode a do something fiscally conservative so America can go back to work!

    Obozo has done more damage to this Nation than ant POTUS in history!

    March 22, 2010 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  7. Center left-out

    That's right Mr. President keep running circle around the GOP waterloo clowns!

    March 22, 2010 03:13 am at 3:13 am |
  8. Mike in MN

    Obama and the Democrat leadership seem to believe this will build momentum for Obama. Just the opposite. This will make it all the more harder to get the votes for the next bill Obama wants passed that a majority of voters are opposed to. That will be Obama's new $3.8 trillion budget that has massive increases in spending and is scored by the CBO as having massive average annual deficits of 980 billion a year for the next 10 years, with 1.25 trillion in 2020. A majority of Americans will not just oppose this budget bill, they will go balistic. Things are not going to get easier for Obama, they are going to get much tougher. And craming Obamacare down the throats of a majority of Americans who do not want it has made these Americans more angry and more frustrated than they already were and will motivate them to step up their efforts to stop Obama's agenda. Passing Obamacare has just made things many times harder for Obama to further his agenda, not easier.

    March 22, 2010 04:06 am at 4:06 am |