July 28th, 2010
03:26 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama's health care infomercial

 President Obama appeared in a video posted online Wednesday explaining how to use a new health care website.

President Obama appeared in a video posted online Wednesday explaining how to use a new health care website.

Washington (CNN) - The latest White House production finds President Obama as health care infomercial king.

Sporting a crisp lavender shirt and sitting in front of a laptop computer, (the Apple logo is replaced with a Presidential seal) the President types, clicks and talks into the camera as he walks viewers through the Healthcare.gov website.

In one example he uses his own Chicago zip code to show how, in his past life, he would have found and compared insurance options.

"We've always found this to be an effective way to communicate," said an administration official, noting that the former radio only address is now also on video and online.

The video aims to clear up confusion over the new health care law, and as the president said, "put Americans in control of their health care."

It's no secret that the Obama administration has beaten its predecessors at bypassing traditional media in order to reach voters directly, without a filter.

They shoot their own behind the scenes videos touting weekly accomplishments. "The Week in Review," is posted on the White House web site.

In February, the President sat down for a YouTube question and answer session that was an exclusive White House production.

Even lighter moments are shot by the White House and later released online, like "backstage," as the Jonas Brothers prepared to honor Paul McCartney in concert. As camera's rolled, someone assisting the group stepped into frame and whispered, "I gotta grab you guys and do some press." So out they went to take questions from reporters.

Some critics argue this unfiltered approach allows the administration to cast its agenda in the most positive light and sometimes dodge pesky questions from the press.

But this technology savvy White House, whose top aides like Deputy Spokesman Bill Burton have become obsessed with the new iPad tablet, sees new media as an extension of the old. One way to get their message across even on days when the media spotlight might be focused elsewhere.

Filed under: issues • President Obama
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. jean

    It is unseemly how this President diminishes the position he holds. Infomercials AND the View – what next – a guest spot on The Family Guy?

    July 28, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  2. Wisconsinite - Vote NO to the GOteaP in November & 2012

    Thank you for Health Care Reform President Obama! Because of you hanging in there and pushing forward my 24 year old, unemployed son who has health issues is now able to be on my employer provided health insurance. This has relieved a HUGE burden for me and my family. Yes, I pay for his insurance . . . .but at least now, thanks to the President and the Democrats in Congress I have the OPTION of being able to pay for it.

    So southern cousin, Enough, Puppet Obama?, Bedtime for Obonzo, goofus, jay1975, The Real Me, & rm . . . . STFU! You think there's some kind of bogus "revolution" going on by the bogus GOteaP??? You have not SEEN revolution the likes that will happen if somehow you morons have your way and this incredibly helpful piece of legislation gets repealed!

    July 28, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  3. jim in virginia

    This so called healthcare legislation is a sham.For example it does nothing ,nada ,zilch from preventing insurance from pricing you out of the market.True, it forces insurance companies to insure you but if they set a price which you can not afford than what good is that. I know from personel experience because it happened to me in the last month.They(Anthem)have different levels based on risk and they will move you to a different level that they know that you couldn't possibly afford and allow you to make that determination of not having health insurance and this so-called health reform does nada,zero,zilch,.and nothing to prevent this.So all you progressive that are praising this legislation pull your heads out of the dark place and see this legislation for what it is-–a SHAM !!!!

    July 28, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  4. GoldMember

    Haters, don't let the facts get in the way of your reasoning.

    The haters here are amazing, they just keep repeating the same tired arguments from August last summer when the Tea Party was in full display.

    Bush would have never done something like this, they were too busy promoting wars and kicking butt, but when it came to a national agenda he would concentrate on more Tax Cuts for the rich.

    Puppet Obama: Do you remember Bush when he was Golfing and cutting brushes in his farm, while our soldiers were dying for us in Iraq?..... do you?

    I know you don't...facts means nothing to you

    July 28, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  5. NC

    Thank you Mr. President.

    July 28, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  6. mj

    What Health Care Reform??? It was just reported that those who have Private Insurance the cost is skyrocketing. I paid over $800/month with a deductible of $5000. Have never met the deductible, yet my premiums went up every year (with Healthy Discount). After spending over $45,000 I cancelled. Guess you have to be poor or work for the Government to have insurance.

    July 28, 2010 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  7. Nick E - OH

    The level of poise this President has was missing the previous 8 years.

    July 28, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  8. GoldMember

    Thank you President Obama for this victory for the people, my 2 daughters have jobs without insurance, but with your help, now they can concentrate in getting back to College and finish their careers.
    One my daughters specially as she has a medical condition that my insurance was refusing to cover..

    July 28, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  9. Seth

    Obama's strength is talking to the people especially when those who oppose him sound like fanatics and they scare the moderate voters.
    my only question is, what took him so long to launch his media initiative?

    I can now see Obama painting a picture, a picture that will com into focus November, a picture of a Republican/Tea-Party without the ability to govern, a Party with a distaste for Middle-Class Americans.

    July 28, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  10. Poser

    @southern cousin
    Does he say the mandatory participation is not a tax, like he did before it passed?
    Having health insurance is a good thing. Why in the world would you complain about that. By not having it, everyone else needs to pay for your sorry rear when you get sick or run over by a truck and need to go to the emergency room.

    Did he say why the government mandates that my doctor provide my BMI to them?
    The law doesn't mandate anything about your BMI. Stop repeating lies.

    Does he say again that this will not cost us one more dime?
    He actually said the exact opposite. Go back and review the video of him meeting with Republicans just before the final vote. He made it very clear that when you cover more people, it's going to cost more. There are savings in other areas and the non partisan CBO says it will reduce the deficit by hundreds of billions over the next ten years.

    Want to hear him explain how taxing those of us with employer provided health insurance is good for America........unless you are in a Union and are exempted from this.
    Your health insurance benefits are not going to be taxed. That is another lie being spread by the right wing propaganda machine. Look up H.R.3590 on congress.gov and READ the law.

    At the same time, that plan does NOT address one single reason for why health care costs as much as it does (insurance fraud, bloated bureaucracies, exorbitant payoffs in medical lawsuits, etc.).
    Insurance fraud is already illegal. Are you suggesting the new law should have made it illegal again to somehow save money. If an private insurance company is being defrauded, it should work with enforcement officials and prosecute the offenders. The same goes for defrauding the gov't.
    Bloated bureaucracies exist in large insurance companies. So are you suggesting a gov't takeover of private health insurance companies? The law doesn't do that by the way (see the mandate to buy private insurance).
    exorbitant payoffs in medical lawsuits
    There are cases where payoffs are too high. I support the idea of tort reform but the proposed implementation by the GOP was pretty bad. It would save 50 billion over ten years. That's 5 billion per year. That sounds like a lot until you see we spend over 2 trillion per year on health insurance (google finance the big health insurance companies and look at gross revenue). So, 5 billion per year is about 1/100th of a percent savings. If you spend 10,000 per year on insurance, it saves you about 20 bucks. For that 20 dollars, you can sue for a max of 250,000. If a doctor screws up and I lose my eyes for example, 250,000 doesn't even come close to just compensation. I don't think 20 dollars per year is worth giving up my right to fair compensation.

    I'm glad I can cover my kids up to age 26. I'm glad I'll be protected from having my coverage dropped if I get sick. I'm glad there isn't a lifetime limit on how much the insurance company will pay if I get sick. I'm glad there isn't an annual limit to how much the insurance company will pay if I get sick. I've paid for health insurance for decades and I think it's only fair that they should be forced to make good on their promise to pay when I get sick. It's a promise I PAID for.

    July 28, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  11. Augsbee

    to mj: are you aware that when the new law kicks in you will have to buy a health insurance policy or pay the IRS a tax????

    July 28, 2010 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  12. bj

    For all of the idiots that still don't get it and believe all of the lies of the Republicans, I will forgive you. You can't help if you just don't get it. The mere fact that children can get insurance regardless of a previous condition and there are no more ceiling limits on coverage is great. Perhaps you know no one that has had a serious health challenge, this may be the only reason you don't get it. Republicans know that their base is, a bunch of haters and biggots. Good job knuckleheads.

    And oh yes, he has a right to take a vacation. STFU

    July 28, 2010 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
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