ESPN Host Helps White House Spin, Promote Obamacare
Hours before the 2014 NCAA tournament kicked off on Thursday, President Barack Obama appeared on an ESPN U program to promote Obamacare and claimed, without evidence, that more than five million people have already purchased Obamacare.
Obama's interview on The Herd with Colin Cowherd, which was taped earlier in the day, was airing simultaneously as he was giving a live address from the White House on Russia and Crimea in which he announced more sanctions on Russian leaders and banks.
Cowherd gave a favorable interview and gave Obama a forum to promote Healthcare.gov and gushed about the affordable plan his sister was able to purchase.
Obama admitted that the website did not work properly when it launched in October of 2013 and continued to promote Obamacare by saying, "if you don’t have health insurance, you are vulnerable to financial hardship or medical hardship if you get sick or you have an accident." He also said Obamacare helps people are aging jocks like he is and "think you can still play basketball and you can pop an achilles or something."
“I am pushing very hard for folks who may not be paying attention to day-to-day politics that they've got until March 31 to sign up for healthcare if they already don’t have it," Obama said before urging viewers to go to Healthcare.gov.
Obama repeated the White House talking point that some health plans were cheaper than a cell phone bill or car insurance payment and said even those who don't like him politically have found plans that were really good deals for themselves and their families.
"We’ve had over five million people already purchase private plans," he said without admitting that may be inaccurate because at least 20 percent of those enrolled for Obamacare, as of January, had not made payments, and therefore did not have insurance, according to a New York Times report. The White House announced that five million people have enrolled, but they have not released numbers on how many have actually made a payment.
Cowherd, the host, then jumped in and promoted Obamacare, saying his sister called him to say she saved the equivalent of a car payment per month by signing up for Obamacare.
Obama has used March Madness to promote Obamacare, even doing so on Spanish-language sports talk radio when he told Hispanics that their family members who may be in the country illegally will not get deported by the "immigration people" if they enroll in Obamacare.