Obama launches campaign to boost landmark healthcare program
WASHINGTON | Fri May 10, 2013 5:35pm EDT
(Reuters) - President Barack Obama launched a campaign to promote his signature 2010 healthcare overhaul on Friday in the face of harsh criticism from congressional Republicans who say the program will raise costs and hurt hiring.
"If you're one of the tens of millions who don't have health insurance, beginning this fall you'll finally be able to compare and buy quality, affordable private plans that work for you," he said at an event at the White House.
"If you've already got health insurance, this is just enhancement. And if you don't, you're going to be able to get it," he said.
Ahead of the Mothers' Day holiday on Sunday, the president focused his remarks on how the plan could benefit women, who the administration believes will be less stuck on partisan objections to the plan and provide support that will make what has become known as "Obamacare" a success.
"Mothers are the number one validator for the young and uninsured and will be critical in the effort to encourage their kids to enroll for insurance in the fall," a White House official said.
Republicans say the law will raise the costs of healthcare for all Americans, spawn a welter of new regulatory burdens on businesses and inhibit hiring.
"There are many women in their 20s and 30s who will be unable to afford the law's massive premium increases," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Thursday. "And there are many mothers who won't be able to get by if their employers cut their hours due to Obamacare. Or if they lose their jobs because of it," the Kentucky Republican said.
Obama aides plan to use the same micro-targeting strategies that helped the president win re-election in November to sign up enough enrollees. Their outreach efforts will be central to the success of Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which aims