Obama talks health care, ‘Scandal’ and celebrity selfies with Ellen
March 20th, 2014
09:56 AM ET
6 years ago

Obama talks health care, ‘Scandal’ and celebrity selfies with Ellen

(CNN) - With less than two weeks until enrollment closes on Obamacare insurance exchanges, President Obama took his health care pitch to “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” on Thursday, urging moms to get their kids covered and explaining to DeGeneres how different television’s White House is from the real thing.

“If you don’t have health insurance right now, you should go on HealthCare.gov and especially all the moms out there who may have young people - 26, 27 - don’t have health insurance but they think they’re invincible and nothing’s ever going to happen to them,” Obama said in a remote appearance from what the host called the “Ellen Blue Room” at the White House.

Delivering what has become the White House’s closing argument in its push to get young people to buy insurance before March 31, the President said that health insurance protects against life’s uncertainties, “And it gives you some financial security, it gives moms some mental security that their kids are going to have some decent care.”

Obama acknowledged how key youth enrollment is to keeping insurance costs down. Responding to a question about why there needs to be an enrollment deadline at all, the President explained that insurers need to know what their customer pool looks like so they can set rates for next year.

“The insurers, they’re pricing for a year, and then they need to figure out how many people have signed up, what the risk pool looks like, how many elderly people there are, how many healthy people, how many young people, and that’s how they set prices for the following year,” Obama said, explaining that uninsured people who don’t sign up by March 31 will have to wait until November for their next opportunity.

DeGeneres also inquired about the President’s television-watching habits, asking if he watches two of the most popular Washington D.C.-based shows, ABC’s “Scandal” and Netflix’s “House of Cards.”

“I have to tell you, life in Washington is a little more boring than displayed on the screen,” Obama said, acknowledging that he’s watched the Netflix political drama. “If you followed me, most of my day is sitting in a room, listening to a bunch of folks in grey suits talking about a whole bunch of stuff that wouldn’t make very good television.”

Comparing it to DeGeneres’ show, where the host dances to kick off every episode, Obama said, “There is not much dancing in the Situation Room as a general rule.”

With First Lady Michelle Obama taking the rest of the family on a goodwill trip to China Wednesday, DeGeneres introduced the interview as an appearance from her friend “Michelle’s husband,” who is home alone.

“Did you make your bed this morning?” DeGeneres asked, checking in on how the President was getting along in his family’s absence.

“That would be no,” Obama said. “And when she’s out of town, things get a little slovenly around the house, socks everywhere.”

The President reported that he had in fact been taking care of himself, eating “carrot sticks along with the potato chips,” but the White House is “abandoned,” which means he’s expected to walk the dogs.

DeGeneres also apologized for breaking the President’s record for the most retweeted picture in history with her celebrity selfie taken during the Oscars in early March.

“I thought it was a pretty cheap stunt myself,” Obama joked, “Getting a bunch of celebrities in the background, feeding them pizza.”


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Tampa Tim

    I will not vote for any republican. They have all been bought and paid for by the Kochs. Until you have a family member with a pre existing condition, and the surgery is in excess of $45,000, you will not realize what a couple of wealthy low life's these brothers are for spending $800 million to deny health care.

    March 20, 2014 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  2. Phyllis Gwendoline Williams

    His smile always brightens my day. My health-care is done by the place I retired from in 1999 so it is no problem
    personally.

    March 20, 2014 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  3. smith

    So basically we have the unhealthy, folks with pre-existing conditions, and the elderly signing up for the ACA. Since the youth really could care less, they aren`t signing up or they are on their parents plan. All this equals to some really high premiums next year.

    March 20, 2014 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  4. Wake up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    I love our POTUS, but I have to admit I dread seeing any article relating to him on the Ticker. It's going to be chock full of hateful, thinly veiled racist comments posted by uneducated people. It's very disconcerting to say the least.

    March 20, 2014 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  5. Jan Nappylotto

    Obama selling snake-oil on yet another talk show. Obama needs to spend a few millions on daytime/late night Obamacare infomercials.
    Sign up for one policy and get $1000 in food stamps for free! Don't worry if you are in the country illegally, we'll withhold criminal information from Law Enforcement agencies. Buy Obamacare now!!!

    March 20, 2014 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  6. rell87

    How do people who voted for Obama not feel absolutely humiliated by him?

    March 20, 2014 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  7. Fair is Fair

    smith

    So basically we have the unhealthy, folks with pre-existing conditions, and the elderly signing up for the ACA. Since the youth really could care less, they aren`t signing up or they are on their parents plan. All this equals to some really high premiums next year.
    --------
    Not just that. What you're going to see is insurers bailing out of the exchanges altogether. This means fewer choices, fewer doctors. And yes, those insurers who remain will jack up their premiums big time due to adverse selection. Bank on it.

    March 20, 2014 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  8. salty dog

    Jan, what do you hear when you read your post? Guess what I hear?

    March 20, 2014 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  9. Ken

    Funny how not one peron who is pitching the ACA will be enrolliing for coverage. It's the Obama administration way, DO AS I SAY NOT AS I DO

    March 20, 2014 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  10. Gunderson

    Yes,
    Every thing is fine in Rome. Nero Fiddles as Rome burns. Alferd E. Newman says, WHAT, ME WORRY.

    March 20, 2014 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  11. salty dog

    Simply pathetic .

    March 20, 2014 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  12. rs

    smith

    So basically we have the unhealthy, folks with pre-existing conditions, and the elderly signing up for the ACA. Since the youth really could care less, they aren`t signing up or they are on their parents plan. All this equals to some really high premiums next year.
    __________________________
    And the solution from the Right is?

    Really Smith, if you're going to whine about everything this nation does to help the poor, the elderly and the sick, you have to do better than "this is bad". What is the GOP proposing? From where I sit it is doing nothing, proposing nothing, and keeping anything from fixing the disastrous Bush years.

    March 20, 2014 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  13. rs

    rell87

    How do people who voted for Obama not feel absolutely humiliated by him?
    ________________________
    Because he's better than anything the GOP is putting up?

    March 20, 2014 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  14. liberal disease

    i wish Ellen were our President

    March 20, 2014 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  15. rs

    Fair is Fair

    smith

    So basically we have the unhealthy, folks with pre-existing conditions, and the elderly signing up for the ACA. Since the youth really could care less, they aren`t signing up or they are on their parents plan. All this equals to some really high premiums next year.
    --–
    Not just that. What you're going to see is insurers bailing out of the exchanges altogether. This means fewer choices, fewer doctors. And yes, those insurers who remain will jack up their premiums big time due to adverse selection. Bank on it.
    ___________________________________
    And if that failure happens will you rejoice? YOU support that failure. Your party supports that failure. Sick, deeply sick!

    March 20, 2014 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  16. Bill in VA

    Great – we have a crisis in eastern Europe that he has taken a pass on, we have chronic unemployment that he can't seem to fix, his policies are a drag on the economy and he goes and talks selfies. A real man of sustance.

    March 20, 2014 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  17. rs

    Gunderson

    Yes,
    Every thing is fine in Rome. Nero Fiddles as Rome burns. Alferd E. Newman says, WHAT, ME WORRY.
    _____________________
    Sorry Gundy- Mr. George W. Bush locked up the Alfred E. Neuman schtick ("hey watch this chip shot!"). You have to try again.

    March 20, 2014 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  18. scoot27

    Next he will be guest starring on Glee, Celebrity in Chief.

    March 20, 2014 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  19. much thunder...little rain

    wow ..putin must be laughing all the way to crimea watching our president on ellen ...unbieveable

    March 20, 2014 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  20. bill

    note how obama goes to the networks that will not question him-fox is the only one who holds him accountable. YOU CAN KEEP YOUR INSURANCE. In this day and age obamaites tell us they don't know how many people have paid--an 8th grader could get this info. YOU CAN KEEP YOUR DOCTOR. IT WAS A VIDEO. NOBODY TOLD ME. Playing golf while another obama "business" goes under-the solarcity has now lost $155,000,000-clinton was right, "obama doesn't have any business experience". GONE WITH THE WIND

    March 20, 2014 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  21. Whereisthemiddle?

    What would really HAVE been great; If all the people that are vehemently opposed to the ACA would have spoken out about pre-existing condition and lifetime maximums before it was even introduced. That is why we are here today. Not to mention the fact that health care cost has been outpacing income for decades. At some point something had to be done and it's sad that we had to put something in like the ACA in order to get people to talk about it. So, instead of crying of what is the ACA now let's start talking about how to accomplish the goals we need by changing or reforming it?

    March 20, 2014 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  22. Tony

    Bill, you can keep you insurance if you pay for it. You can keep your doctor if you pay for it. If your plan hikes your premium, or if your doctor charges you more, you can keep your plan or doctor if you pay for it.

    March 20, 2014 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  23. Me

    Wake up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    I love our POTUS, but I have to admit I dread seeing any article relating to him on the Ticker. It's going to be chock full of hateful, thinly veiled racist comments posted by uneducated people. It's very disconcerting to say the least.
    _________________
    Pot calling the kettle black, AS ALWAYS, go look at any post about Cruz, Paul, McCain, ETC, full of hate and razism just as with posts about Obama. And guess who is always posting hate about these people, ya that is right the usual liberal gang on here!!! And I am not a fan of Cruz or Paul, I don't mind McCain he seems to be moderate conservative. Hypocrites!

    March 20, 2014 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  24. TEK

    “Did you make your bed this morning?”

    Sadly, this might have been the "toughest" question anyone from the press has asked the President in a couple years.

    Mine would have been: "How can you justify spending $2.2 Trillion dollars to sign up less than 5 million people for healthcare?"

    But whether he made his bed today - with Michelle's absence - I guess that is important too as demonstrated by Ellen Degenres' interest. She afterall seems to "have the heartbeat" of today's nation.

    March 20, 2014 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  25. Fair is Fair

    rs

    Fair is Fair

    smith

    So basically we have the unhealthy, folks with pre-existing conditions, and the elderly signing up for the ACA. Since the youth really could care less, they aren`t signing up or they are on their parents plan. All this equals to some really high premiums next year.
    ––
    Not just that. What you're going to see is insurers bailing out of the exchanges altogether. This means fewer choices, fewer doctors. And yes, those insurers who remain will jack up their premiums big time due to adverse selection. Bank on it.
    ___________________________________
    And if that failure happens will you rejoice? YOU support that failure. Your party supports that failure. Sick, deeply sick!
    ------–
    Will I rejoice???? No, my liberal friend, I will not rejoice. Are YOU going to rejoice when the government has to bail out the insurance companies due to massive losses? Because you DO realize that the law calls for that, correct? Or will the bailout be OK because it's a law wholly owned by democrats? THAT is sick.

    March 20, 2014 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
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