Fresh off progress fixing the federal health exchange website and news that Obamacare sign-ups nearly quadrupled in November, President Barack Obama is set to embark on a massive sales pitch of sorts on the Affordable Care Act starting Tuesday.
At 2:30 p.m. ET from the White House South Court auditorium, Obama will deliver a statement on the health care law. A White House official laid out what to expect from the speech:
"President Obama will hold an event at the White House to deliver remarks about the Affordable Care Act, highlighting the benefits that have already kicked in for millions of middle class families who have insurance and the importance of continuing to help as many hardworking Americans as possible enroll for their new health care options through the Marketplaces. Americans who have personally benefitted from the health care law and supporters of reform will join the President at the event."
Tuesday's event is only the start of a nearly month-long campaign from the White House and Democratic groups designed to promote the law's benefits and hit Republicans who argue for its repeal. Politico reports that the White House will look to highlight a new benefit of the law every day from now until Dec. 23, the deadline for people to sign up for insurance to get benefits by the new year.
On cue, the Democratic National Committee on Tuesday launched a new website — TheGOPHealthCarePlan.com. The site blasts Republicans for supporting repeal of the 2010 health-care law, something that Democrats clearly believe is going to become a liability. They cite polls showing that despite general opposition to Obamacare and clear problems with its implementation, still fewer than 40% of Americans support full repeal.
"That is a contrast that we are going to drive home every single day between now and the election," Mo Elleithee, the DNC's communications director, said in a statement of the difference between the Democratic position of arguing for fixes and the Republican position of repeal.
A DNC official said that the website would serve as a hub of sorts, leading to local Democratic officials going on the offensive using that messaging.
Congressional Democrats are also jumping on board, as well. In a memo to their caucus last week obtained by Business Insider, Senate Democrats urged an offensive that contained a number of "action items" to do that. Some of those — like collecting stories of people who "Got Covered" under Obamacare, collecting "Thank you ACA" testimonials, and the launch of a "#GetCovered" online campaign — are already underway.
The memo also suggests that Democratic senators could release a report on the consequences of repeal, including a sample press release headline:
[SENATOR] UNVEILS REPORT REVEALING THE CONSEQUENCES OF REPUBLICAN PLAN TO REPEAL THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT FOR [STATE] FAMILIES
As The Washington Post's Greg Sargent points out, Democrats "own" Obamacare. And they're betting that the narrative is shifting, even if the website fixes aren't the end-all to the law's problems. Two new ones were detailed on Tuesday — about one-third of Americans' applications to insurers contain errors, and there appear to be significant security issues with the site.
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