New Obamacare Push Expected With Less Glitchy Website
After months of negative press about Healthcare.gov's faulty website, President Barack Obama is ready to turn a new leaf. In a White House event Tuesday, he is expected to roll out a new Obamacare campaign that goes back to the basics and reminds Americans why the healthcare law was passed. According to Politico, the White House plans to highlight one benefit of the law each day until Dec. 23 — the deadline for coverage beginning Jan. 1. Members of congress and various Democratic arms are expected to join in the effort.
At Tuesday's White House event, Obama is expected to kick off the campaign, and to target Republicans who are trying to repeal the law by arguing that they are not presenting any viable alternatives. He will likely also touch on the revamped Healthcare.gov site, which can now handle more visitors and offers those who exceed its capacity a queue so that additional hits don't slow down the main shopping website. But the real traffic surge is expected in mid-to-late December, just ahead of the deadline for enrolling for Jan. 1 coverage.
Healthcare.gov's failed Oct. 1 launch — when the website crashed after failing a test drive with just a few hundred users shortly before the unveiling — was just the first in a series of gaffes surrounding the healthcare rollout. That embarrassment was amplified by the time it took to fix the website, and the reveal that Obama's "If you like your healthcare, you can keep it" line was a lie in certain cases.
Now, the focus will be on turning away from the failures of the launch. "Healthcare.gov met our self-imposed November 30th 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," Josh Earnest, a White House spokesman, said in a statement, adding that the benefits will become more and more apparent as time goes on.
But Republicans say that the Democrats have already squandered their credibility on this issue. "Democrats will spend the next year promising to ‘fix’ Obamacare, but they’ve already lost all credibility with voters," said National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Brad Dayspring. "They can’t be trusted to keep their promises."