Effort begins to sell Obamacare to the public

The push to sell Obamacare to Americans got underway yesterday - in honor of the president's birthday. Volunteers with Obama's foot soldiers, Organizing for America, held small scale rallies in a couple of dozen cities and towns.

Politico:

A race to define Obamacare to the masses began today between the stacks at the Centreville Library. Over pizza in Decatur, Texas. And with a glass of wine in Naples, Fla.

Dozens of communities around the country hosted pro-Obamacare events, convened by the president's foot soldiers at Organizing for Action. The series is the first salvo in what is fixing to be a month of high-stakes health care spin. When Congress returns from its summer recess in early September, there will be less than a month until Obamacare's most sweeping coverage programs start signing up customers in new health insurance exchanges.

In the meantime, pro- and anti-Obamacare advocates are plotting to fill the silence any way they can.

 

That means gatherings like today's in Centreville - although the slow start here is probably not what OFA organizers had in mind. After a scheduling snafu over the start time, a few people showed up and left before it actually started. Just one volunteer stayed to help work the phone bank for the health law, and the event's organizer bolted after 20 minutes - although he was bound for another Obamacare event, a house party.

The poor turnout here in Centreville wasn't necessarily indicative of what's happening across the country at other OFA events Sunday afternoon and evening, which coincide with President Barack Obama's birthday. OFA sent out pictures of bigger and more enthusiastic turnout elsewhere, including some events in places like Ohio, Florida and Missouri where volunteer enthusiasm will be needed to overcome state government resistance to implementation. Most of the events were intentionally small-scale - house parties, leafleting near a beach or a farmer's market, not big rallies.

But in some ways, this suburban community 20 miles from Washington, D.C., captures the national ambivalence about the health law. Centreville is perched on the edge of two congressional districts, a red one represented by Rep. Frank Wolf - an ardent Republican opponent of Obamacare - and a blue one by Rep. Gerry Connolly, one of the health law's Democratic champions.

The Centreville event's lone attendee, Lynn Duvall of Fairfax, Va., told POLITICO that it was her family's own medical burdens that fueled her passion for Obamacare. Duvall's son Logan has Crohn's disease and under the law's provisions can stay on her health plan until he turns 26, next January. Then he'll be able to get coverage in the health exchange, despite his pre-existing condition.

The challenge facing anti-Obamacare activists is daunting. Benefits from the law are already apparent, as related by Mrs. Duvall above. But the real economy killers and health care problems won't become immediately visible. Some may take years to reveal themselves. In that sense, the OFA has the upper hand in this message war.

With a billion dollars to spend promoting Obamacare, it seems likely that at least some of their goals will be reached. But none of that will change the ill-concieved insurance exchanges or difficulty in signing up. How the public reacts to that will tell the tale about how successful the launch of Obamacare will be.




The push to sell Obamacare to Americans got underway yesterday - in honor of the president's birthday. Volunteers with Obama's foot soldiers, Organizing for America, held small scale rallies in a couple of dozen cities and towns.

Politico:

A race to define Obamacare to the masses began today between the stacks at the Centreville Library. Over pizza in Decatur, Texas. And with a glass of wine in Naples, Fla.

Dozens of communities around the country hosted pro-Obamacare events, convened by the president's foot soldiers at Organizing for Action. The series is the first salvo in what is fixing to be a month of high-stakes health care spin. When Congress returns from its summer recess in early September, there will be less than a month until Obamacare's most sweeping coverage programs start signing up customers in new health insurance exchanges.

In the meantime, pro- and anti-Obamacare advocates are plotting to fill the silence any way they can.

 

That means gatherings like today's in Centreville - although the slow start here is probably not what OFA organizers had in mind. After a scheduling snafu over the start time, a few people showed up and left before it actually started. Just one volunteer stayed to help work the phone bank for the health law, and the event's organizer bolted after 20 minutes - although he was bound for another Obamacare event, a house party.

The poor turnout here in Centreville wasn't necessarily indicative of what's happening across the country at other OFA events Sunday afternoon and evening, which coincide with President Barack Obama's birthday. OFA sent out pictures of bigger and more enthusiastic turnout elsewhere, including some events in places like Ohio, Florida and Missouri where volunteer enthusiasm will be needed to overcome state government resistance to implementation. Most of the events were intentionally small-scale - house parties, leafleting near a beach or a farmer's market, not big rallies.

But in some ways, this suburban community 20 miles from Washington, D.C., captures the national ambivalence about the health law. Centreville is perched on the edge of two congressional districts, a red one represented by Rep. Frank Wolf - an ardent Republican opponent of Obamacare - and a blue one by Rep. Gerry Connolly, one of the health law's Democratic champions.

The Centreville event's lone attendee, Lynn Duvall of Fairfax, Va., told POLITICO that it was her family's own medical burdens that fueled her passion for Obamacare. Duvall's son Logan has Crohn's disease and under the law's provisions can stay on her health plan until he turns 26, next January. Then he'll be able to get coverage in the health exchange, despite his pre-existing condition.

The challenge facing anti-Obamacare activists is daunting. Benefits from the law are already apparent, as related by Mrs. Duvall above. But the real economy killers and health care problems won't become immediately visible. Some may take years to reveal themselves. In that sense, the OFA has the upper hand in this message war.

With a billion dollars to spend promoting Obamacare, it seems likely that at least some of their goals will be reached. But none of that will change the ill-concieved insurance exchanges or difficulty in signing up. How the public reacts to that will tell the tale about how successful the launch of Obamacare will be.




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