Obama talks to Web MD and Ryan Seacrest to tout Obamacare
March 14th, 2014
02:39 PM ET
9 years ago

Obama talks to Web MD and Ryan Seacrest to tout Obamacare

Washington (CNN) - As part of the administration's final push to encourage people to sign up for health insurance before the March 31 deadline, President Barack Obama spent nearly 30 minutes Friday answering questions about premium prices, Medicaid expansion and other issues from WebMD users from all 50 states.

Lisa Zamosky, WebMD's health care reform expert, said the site got a "huge response," receiving hundreds of questions and from some users who were concerned about the Affordable Care Act, others who were confused about the law, and still others who wanted to thank the President for signing it into legislation.

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In response to a question about high premiums, Obama encouraged people to log onto Healthcare.gov to find out about the plans being provided and whether they qualify for financial help, in the form of a tax credit.

"If you are young it may end up costing as little as $50 for good, solid coverage that not only protects you in the case of illness or accident, but also allows you to get free preventive care," the President said. "What I would suggest for most folks is that having good, solid insurance with some deductibles and co-pays is better than no insurance at all."

The administration says 4.2 million people signed up for coverage on the state or federal exchanges by the end of February, but unless the rate of signups increases significantly this month, it is unlikely officials will reach their goal of 6 million signups by March 31.

The President received a lot of attention when he appeared earlier this week on the Funny or Die web series called "Between Two Ferns", hosted by actor Zach Galifianakis. The internet program is popular with the young adults the administration is hoping to attract.

Another interview Friday with DJ and tv personality Ryan Seacrest and recruiting celebrity pitchmen like basketball superstar Lebron James and singer Lance Bass are also part of efforts to drive traffic to the Healthcare.gov website.

The White House touted Friday's event as the first-ever WebMD interview with the President and said the site had "enormous reach with moms and women." The administration has tried to target mothers in particular because of their perceived ability to influence their adult children and other family members to sign up for coverage.

Filed under: Healthcare • Obamacare • President Obama
soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. The Real Tom Paine

    -Celebrity Dictator

    Tampa, you can't blame FOX – the ONE conservative network, for this disaster. Obamare is hated because it's flawed and because it's increased deductibles and premiums to the point that people can't afford it. FOX did not force Obama to lie 22 times and claim that we could "keep our healthcare and doctor if we liked it". That was all on Obama. FOX only reported it. Stop shooting the messenger and accept that our Celebrity Dictator is over his head and has zero clue what he's doing.
    So, beating the drum against the ACA for almost 6 years did not result in scaring people from signing up? As far as the Celebrity dictator comment is concerned, you lost what little chance you had of proving a point by adopting such a juvenile tactic, but, that's what we've come to expect from the whack-job chorus on the Right. So, having declared it a failure, how do you propose you extend health insurance coverage?

    March 14, 2014 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  2. Bill from GA

    Insurance is the PROBLEM – " ...NEVER HAS been able to control health care prices."

    Worse yet, the law now requires insurance companies to spend 80% of premiums on healthcare and they get 20%.

    Seems like that gives them incentive to RAISE COSTS/PAYOUT so they get more dollars for themselves.
    Like, 20% of 1100 is better than 20% of 1000.

    March 14, 2014 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  3. smith

    I just love the liberals on here with their theories that if someone has been affected in a negative way by the ACA they must be lying, haven`t reseached the website, had a junk policy before, hates Obama, and so on.

    March 14, 2014 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  4. Silence DoGood

    @Tampa Tim
    I kept my policy and my doctors too. I guess I am one of the fortunate 275 million, and not one of the junk policy 2 million who will only get to keep their policy this year.
    If the TeaParty can find one person that paid more or is not happy then the End Of The World will still be declared. They are not real good at the math thing. It must have gone out the window just after Evolution.

    March 14, 2014 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  5. smith

    @Tom P-By making people buy health insurance that doesn`t fit them or their needs so others can have insurance or better coverage.

    March 14, 2014 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  6. somebody

    Celebrity Dictator

    Yolanda, my friends are professionals who hold decent jobs – middle class citizens who work their tails off! Which is precisely why they do not qualify for any of the Obacare tax subsidies! Basically, anyone making more than 40K gets screwed. The whole thing is s ponzi scheme!

    I am a professional holding a decent job and work my tail off. I make more than 40K per year and I'm not getting screwed by the ACA.

    Prior to the ACA, my insuance rates increased significantly each year. That has slowed to near zero since the ACA was passed. Our family prescription costs have dropped. We can keep our kids on our insurance which saved us a ton of $$ when one needed to go to the emergency room. If you're not happy with the rates that your insurance company is charging, blame your insurance company and go spend your money some other place.

    I don't have any pre-existing condition but as I get older I realize I will because everybody eventually will as they get old. I don't want to be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition and the ACA protects me from that. I have been paying for insurance for decades and it's only fair that I should be able to continue to buy insurance when I'm not as profitable as when I'm young. I've been very profitable for the insurance companies over the years.

    My parents and in-laws enjoy the benefits of closing the Medicare prescription donut hole.

    People who are getting subsidies for Obamacare are the same folks who would go to the emergency room for their care. Calling that health care isn't really correct because you can't go to the ER for an annual checkup. Prevention is a lot cheaper than waiting until a disease is critical. Helping those people buy insurance is cheaper for everyone. Wouldn't you rather they be paying part of the cost vs none?

    One last thing. Since the ACA I have kept my insurance and my doctor. So have 97% of the people with insurance. Those that say they have lost their policy almost always can find one as good or better if they're not too lazy or stubborn enough to refuse to shop around. The advertisements around this issue are constantly being debunked as outright lies or misleading at best.

    March 14, 2014 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  7. Tampa Tim

    Silence – I saw the Koch add about the woman from Michigan who has cancer and how Obamacare will cost her more. A real tear jerker, but it is a lie. Thanks to ACA, she saves over a thousand a year, but she still hates ACA.

    March 14, 2014 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    "PolitiFact has selected Romney's claim that Barack Obama "sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China" at the cost of American jobs as the 2012 Lie of the Year."

    Hehe...that plant in Ohio is actually BOOMING now. Romney couldn't have been more wrong.

    March 14, 2014 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  9. Tampa Tim

    Smith – read the posts, you are wrong. Also, if you find time go back to the 1980s articles about Koresh, ATF in the summer of 1992, and the events during HW's presidency.

    March 14, 2014 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  10. MarketLawyer

    Strange how this article neglects to mention that Obama said:

    “For the average person, many folks who don’t have health insurance initially, they’re going to have to make some choices. And they might end up having to switch doctors, in part because they’re saving money,”

    Contrast that with his words from July 2009: “If you like the plan you have, you can keep it. If you like the doctor you have, you can keep your doctor, too. The only change you’ll see are falling costs as our reforms take hold.”

    Did he lie? Why is this not being reported?

    March 14, 2014 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  11. Tommy G

    The Real Tom Paine
    So, beating the drum against the ACA for almost 6 years

    Try 4 years... as long as Obama has been LYING about it. You're as clueless as the Liar in Chief.

    March 14, 2014 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  12. Horrible Law

    If this law is so great Democrats, then why are do they continue to make exceptions for who has to use it? Why do parts of the law keep getting delayed for enforcing? And why are there now 14 excuses you can use for not getting it? If its so fantastic why not keep delaying it and giving people excuses for not getting it?

    March 14, 2014 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  13. jerome

    If it's so good, why doesn't it sell itself?

    March 14, 2014 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    "Worse yet, the law now requires insurance companies to spend 80% of premiums on healthcare and they get 20%.

    Seems like that gives them incentive to RAISE COSTS/PAYOUT so they get more dollars for themselves.
    Like, 20% of 1100 is better than 20% of 1000."

    It works exactly the opposite of what you said, Bill, and, in fact, the 80/20 rule already resulted in over $1 Billion in rebate checks being sent out by insurers last year. There will be more this year. Insurers have ZERO incentive whatsoever to try to pay for unnecessary procedures and medical acre in the manner you're suggesting...and the medical industry won't and can't support that kind of imaginary excessive services paradigm in the first place. The procedures/treatments cost what they cost and those costs are frequently negotiated between providers and insurers, like when a provider wants to be in a certain network. The only way to achieve what you're suggesting would be for insurers and providers to collude in a massive fraudulent scheme to provide unnecessary services...and that's not going to happen.

    March 14, 2014 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  15. Name

    I did not keep my plan. I had 3 choice before and now I had only 1 option.

    March 14, 2014 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
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