The White House will launch a campaign to refocus attention on the benefits of Obamacare, after two months of coverage about the troubled rollout of HealthCare.gov, Politico reports.
The administration will focus on a different benefit each day leading up to the Dec. 23 deadline to enroll in coverage beginning Jan. 1. Democratic members of Congress, the Democratic National Committee, congressional campaign committees, and advocacy organizations will help to spread the message over the next three weeks.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said Monday that the administration would not be advertising the improved site to encourage people to visit at this time.
“The issue is not with the number of people coming to the website and enrolling,” he said, citing the heavy traffic to the site Monday. Carney said the priority for now is making sure HealthCare.gov is working as well as possible for those who visit.
However, with the site functioning far better now, the White House wants to reverse the botched rollout narrative, and return to the idea that the health care law is more than a website.
“HealthCare.gov met our self-imposed November 30 deadline, and even as we continue to make improvements to the website, we’ll also remind the public about how the Affordable Care Act is already making a positive difference in the lives of millions of Americans today,” said Josh Earnest, a White House spokesman.
The push is intended to restore faith both in the public and in Democrats in Congress, who have become increasingly concerned about losing voter support amid the problematic rollout.
Obama will kick off the effort with a White House event at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.
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Much has been made of David Brooks’s recent New York Times column, in which confesses to missing already the civility and humanity of Barack Obama, compared to who might take his place. In NewYorker.com, Jeffrey Frank reminds us how critical such attributes are to foreign policy. “It’s hard to imagine Kennedy so casually referring to the leader of Russia as a gangster or a thug. For that matter, it’s hard to imagine any president comparing the Russian leader to Hitler [as] Hillary Clinton did at a private fund-raiser. … Kennedy, who always worried that miscalculation could lead to war, paid close attention to the language of diplomacy.”
“We haven’t seen a true leftist since FDR, so many millions are coming out of the woodwork to vote for Bernie Sanders; he is the Occupy movement now come to life in the political arena.” So says Bill Maher in his Hollywood Reporter cover story (more a stream-of-consciousness riff than an essay, actually). Conservative states may never vote for a socialist in the general election, but “this stuff has never been on the table, and these voters have never been activated.” Maher saves most of his bile for Donald Trump and Sarah Palin, writing that by nominating Palin as vice president “John McCain is the one who opened the Book of the Dead and let the monsters out.” And Trump is picking up where Palin left off.