The White House, joined by Democratic senators and congressmen, ismounting a three-part effortto push for Obamacare enrollment in the last week before open enrollment ends.
Thepush will include using Facebook, Twitter, and other social media with thehashtag #healthcare4all; events at which lawmakers will speak in honor of theprogram’s fourth anniversary; and speeches on the Senate floor lauding theprogram. The effort is the result of plans from WhiteHouse, House, and Senate “healthcare strike teams” formed after the Obamacarerollout failed. Packets that delineate the benefits each state will receive as the result of Obamacare have been handed out to lawmakers so they can makethe pitch to their constituents. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) chimedin with extra data and sample language.
One sample piece of supposed data is from federal health officials, whoclaim that almost eight million seniors have together saved $9.9 billion on drugs sinceObamacare went into effect. The White House is planning to tweet a series of six graphics thatwill display certain benefits of Obamacare, including the jettisoning of lifetimelimits, 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 totheir commentary as “before and afterthe ACA,” according to a Senate aide. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CN), the leaderof the last-minute push, joined Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) to discuss theplans with the Center for American Progress. Murphy gushed, “Now that theACA is working, now that we’ve gotten beyond those early months, we have areally good story to tell.” Boxer added,But it’s falling into place now. The Republican answer is ‘let’s repeal it andtake away these benefits from people.’ That’s going to be very bad for them atthe end of the day.”
DNC communications director Mo Elleithee boasted, “All signs pointto Republicans running against Obamacare again in 2014. But this year will be alittle different – for the first time they are running to take away benefitsthat 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 thepaucity of young, healthy enrollees. He said, “You have to compare whatpremiums are in the Affordable Care Act to what they otherwise would be. That’sthe real question here.”
The 2015 marketplace rates will be made public this summer, andthat 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 stronglysupport Obamacare, now are evenly split on the issue.
National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden said bluntly, “Every anniversarythat 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 withObamacare to Democrat candidates is not a dozen roses but rather a bunch ofprickly pear cactus that they’re not going to want to embrace.”