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. Tampa Tim

    As long as there has been flies on a cow's butt, there will be Fox viewers on here posting Hannity stupidity.

    March 14, 2014 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  2. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the majority repub/tea bag members

    Every health plan in the country has been preparing for Obamacare because they know it is the law of the land – and because they all know they are gaining new customers because of it.

    You would think the gop/tea bags would be celebrating this! But instead, they whine and cry and hiss and moan, because success of Obamacare would mean a legislative "win" for President Obama – and God forbid that should happen!

    See how pathetic and destructive the party-over-people crowd has become?

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

    March 14, 2014 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  4. Celebrity Dictator

    My bad Yolanda. Didn't realize you were on the right side of this argument.

    March 14, 2014 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the majority repub/tea bag members

    @CALIFORNIA: "Obamacare is as pathetic as the person it's named after. How fitting."

    Based on what? Not losing your insurance when you get sick? Your kids being able to stay on your plan until they are 26? Not being denied coverage for a pre-existing condition? Not being stuck in a job you hate because if you leave, you lose your insurance? Finally having the ability to see how much healthcare really costs so you can shop around?

    The individual mandate was a REPUBLICAN idea (Heritage Foundation), so quit your moaning on about that. And while President Obama should have been more complete in his answer by saying you can keep your plan if it isn't a piece of crap, the fact that everyone will have basic coverage will bring down healthcare costs overall (and don't complain about covering services you'll never use – that's how insurance HAS ALWAYS WORKED).

    The pathetic ones in this scenario are the righties!

    March 14, 2014 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC


    If Obamacare is such a good program, why does he have to keep pushing it. Everybody should be out there signing up like crazy if it a good thing for us.
    Why? Why?? Because there are people, like yourself, out there pushing hard and harder against it.

    March 14, 2014 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  7. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the majority repub/tea bag members

    @Deathstalker74: ""Obama needs to get the message out. I have talked recently to several people scared to death by rumors and lies spread by conservative talk shows big-mouths"

    What a crock. You don't need to listen to conservative talk show hosts to know that this thing is a failure. Go out and talk to the people in your neighborhood. I've spoken to at LEAST six families who have been negatively impacted by this tax – who have seen their premiums and deductibles skyrocket. If you're trying to sell Obamacare (tax), you're either being disingenuous, ignorant, or you've been paid to lie and most likely work for this administration in some form or other.

    I would wager none of the people you've talked to have gone on the website and checked to see if they qualify for subsidy.

    And if only paid liars support Obamacare, then please explain why all health plans are embracing it?


    March 14, 2014 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  8. Fred Jones

    CALIFORNIA, before Obamacare most of us had no way of getting health insurance. Instead of whining about a federal law that makes insuring us possible. I'll tell you what, why don't you develop some serious health problems or an expensive disability and see how it feels not to be able to pay for your own health care or get hired because of discrimination against the disabled.

    March 14, 2014 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  9. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the majority repub/tea bag members

    @Chris-E...al: "How could Russia be a threat with two nuke powered subs 100miles off the east coast an a supply ship at a Cuban port be a prob ? nae no prob at all . right !"

    We have more personnel and firepower than Russia.


    March 14, 2014 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  10. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the majority repub/tea bag members

    @Reggie53: "If Obamacare is such a good program, why does he have to keep pushing it. Everybody should be out there signing up like crazy if it a good thing for us. He knows along with democrats that this program is not good for the American people and they should not try to fool us into buying it. They should stop telling us lies.....tell us the pros and cons of the program and let us make up our own minds if we want it but they keep trying to push it down our throats."

    You obviously get all your info from fox and other RWNJ outlets. Get on the intertubes and do a little research – including going to the healthcare gov website – and read for yourself the pros and cons of the program.

    Sheesh, you're lazy!

    March 14, 2014 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  11. just asking

    i thought obama was the president of the country and not some insurance huckster? this is really starting to look really pathetic on his part. every measure obama and the democrats gave as a sign of success ha snot been met, over and over. so what do they do? keep lowering and changing the standards and the law.

    obamacare has become one giant joke and a total flop. 50 million people needing insurance we were told! we wrecked our healthcare system and had the government take it over for what? a few million people healthacre they could have gotten without this massive fiasco.

    the american people will not be fooled any longer by the lying democrats and their games with obamacare. their judgement will be rendered this november. the tens of millions you have hurt with this train wreck will let their feelings be known. we simply did not have to blow up the system in order to fix a few problems.

    March 14, 2014 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  12. Jan Nappylotto

    "You can keep your policy. Period." – Barack Hussien Obama

    March 14, 2014 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  13. Chris-E...al

    Tim it takes 5oz of feed an 10oz of water for a hen to make a egg ! And your bull is get n old .

    March 14, 2014 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  14. Tommy G

    So if Obamacare is so great, why haven't the supposedly 50 million uninsured signed up??? Instead only a few million and of those we have not idea how many have actually paid yet. Obamacare has bceome Obamascam and everybody knows it. The Liar of the Year screwed this country over royally.

    March 14, 2014 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  15. Tampa Tim

    Chris E – Your non stop lies are so refreshing. Your stupid posts make me proud to be a democrat.

    March 14, 2014 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Bill from GA

    Rudy NYC – " Pres. Obama dropped the ball when he jumped the gun and embraced the nickname "Obamacare"... "

    If our President had to Dumb Down everything to counter the idiots who believe everything from the right-wing propaganda network, our cause is hopeless, our country is doomed, and all progressives should just surrender.

    That may be the case, as the right-wing propaganda network seems to be gaining ground. Temporarily, I hope.
    I think "Obamacare" is a Great Name for it. 100 years from now, Barry will still be getting credit.
    It is a good name. Unfortunately, the pubilc perception of the name is a negative one. I still think that he committed a severe tactical error by embracing the name before the lies were fully debunked and put to rest. I was shocked when he did it. By embracing the name when he did, he only validated the lies and misconceptinos.

    March 14, 2014 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  17. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Thanks, but my biggest worry is the older Americans, particularly susceptible to this kind of nonsense, that are afraid to go to their doctors now (I know several) because of the last thing Rush or whoever said. He can lie, people are literally scared away from help, and he just walks free without responsibility?"

    Hell, this group has been so used and abused by the GOP over the years that I doubt at this point anyone can reach out to them in a reasonable manner. It literally sickens me when Palin and company pull their shenanigans using this particular group of voters. I'd call them vulnerable, but wouldn't want to add to the distress others have heaped on them year after year.

    March 14, 2014 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  18. 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.

    March 14, 2014 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  19. Celebrity Dictator

    Obamare "tax" is the "law of the land"? Really? That's why Obama keeps changing it to exempt people and continues to push back the sign up dates? This TAX is a sham. They've only got 3 million people signed up (subtracting the 900K who haven't paid yet) when they NEEDED 7 million to make it work. Where do you think they're going to get the money to subsidize the parasites who are waiting for their free healthcare now? That's right – the MIDDLE CLASS!

    March 14, 2014 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  20. Tampa Tim

    This just in, a right wingnut spotted two Russian subs on the North Platte River. Oops, never mind.

    March 14, 2014 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  21. 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.

    March 14, 2014 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  22. Celebrity Dictator

    "IF YOU LIKE YOUR HEALTCHARE, YOU CAN KEEP IT – PERIOD". This is why we don't trust this president. TWENTY TWO TIMES he lied to us, knowing the entire time that this would not be the case. Can't blame FOX News for this one. Sorry, you can't spin this away.

    March 14, 2014 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  23. The Real Tom Paine


    Reggie53 is spot on with his comment. People aren`t signing up in droves because the ACA is not helping everybody, it only helps a small protion of the country. The lies are on both sides of the isle and Obama. All the ACA really is redistribution of wealth.
    We have already been undergoing a redistribution of wealth for a generation courtesy of Supply-side economics, which David Stockman admitted benefitted no one except those who were already wealthy. How is buying private insurance a re-distrubution of wealth, when its been in effect for less than 6 months in terms of getting signed up? People have been declaring this as a monstrosity not based upon any real data, but on an emotion, ideological reaction.

    March 14, 2014 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  24. Tampa Tim

    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.

    March 14, 2014 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  25. Tampa Tim

    Obamacare is not hated, that is a Fox lie. It is a start, and the majority of Americans do not want it repealed. 275 million were unaffected.

    March 14, 2014 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
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