Dems Unite to Push Obamacare in Last-Ditch Effort

The White House, joined by Democratic senators and congressmen, is mounting a three-part effort to push for Obamacare enrollment in the last week before open enrollment ends.

The push will include using Facebook, Twitter, and other social media with the hashtag #healthcare4all; events at which lawmakers will speak in honor of the program’s fourth anniversary; and speeches on the Senate floor lauding the program. The effort is the result of plans from White House, House, and Senate “healthcare strike teams” formed after the Obamacare rollout failed. Packets that delineate the benefits each state will receive as the result of Obamacare have been handed out to lawmakers so they can make the pitch to their constituents. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) chimed in with extra data and sample language.

One sample piece of supposed data is from federal health officials, who claim that almost eight million seniors have together saved $9.9 billion on drugs since Obamacare went into effect. The White House is planning to tweet a series of six graphics that will display certain benefits of Obamacare, including the jettisoning of lifetime limits, the acceptance of those with preexisting conditions as enrollees, and free birth control and mammograms. Barack Obama is including in the graphics an image of his signature on the Obamacare bill.

Senate Democrats are planning to hype Obamacare by referring to their commentary as “before and after the ACA,” according to a Senate aide. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CN), the leader of the last-minute push, joined Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) to discuss the plans with the Center for American Progress. Murphy gushed, “Now that the ACA is working, now that we've gotten beyond those early months, we have a really good story to tell.” Boxer added, “The election isn't tomorrow. We had a terrible rollout. It slowed us up. But it's falling into place now. The Republican answer is 'let's repeal it and take away these benefits from people.' That’s going to be very bad for them at the end of the day.”

DNC communications director Mo Elleithee boasted, “All signs point to Republicans running against Obamacare again in 2014. But this year will be a little different – for the first time they are running to take away benefits that virtually every American who has health care is benefiting from.” Pelosi’s deputy, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), tried to dispute the ideas that premiums will jump because of the paucity of young, healthy enrollees. He said, “You have to compare what premiums are in the Affordable Care Act to what they otherwise would be. That's the real question here.”

The 2015 marketplace rates will be made public this summer, and that may very well stimulate even more opposition to Obamacare, which already has nearly the highest ever percentage of Americans opposing it – 53%. Pew reports that Latinos, who used to strongly support Obamacare, now are evenly split on the issue.

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden said bluntly, “Every anniversary that comes up, there's a gift that goes with it. For the fourth anniversary, it's traditionally flowers. I think the gift from President Obama with Obamacare to Democrat candidates is not a dozen roses but rather a bunch of prickly pear cactus that they're not going to want to embrace.”


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