While the House Energy and Commerce Committee is holding Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ feet to the fire on Wednesday over the initial failure of the Obamacare rollout, Barack Obama will speak at a healthcare event in Boston touting his signature healthcare law.
The White House released a statement saying that Obama’s remarks will focus on “the importance of providing all Americans with quality, affordable health insurance and the experience in Massachusetts, which passed its bipartisan healthcare law in 2006.”
Obama has chosen to speak at Faneuil Hall, where former Massachusetts Gov. and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney signed Romneycare, the model for Obamacare, into law. By using that venue, the White House hopes to call attention to the initial glitches in Romneycare that were eventually ironed out.
On Friday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said:
When they began their open enrollment period, a grand total of 123 people signed up during the first month of open enrollment in Massachusetts. Obviously, the pace of enrollments increased dramatically as it got closer to the deadline. We expect to see a similar trend in those enrollment figures related to the Affordable Care Act.
Of course, the White House will not mention that in 2004, two years before Romneycare was implemented, health care costs per capita in Massachusetts were 27% higher than the national average, but by 2009, the state was 30% higher. Even when the premium costs dropped, the Boston Globe said the prime reason was that people were postponing care because the economy was so poor.