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Obama kicks off Obamacare PR blitz following months of website woes

English.news.cn   2013-12-04 08:17:16            

U.S.-WASHINGTON D.C.-OBAMA-AFFORDABLE CARE ACT
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks on the affordable care act in the South Court Auditorium of the White House in Washington D.C. Dec. 3, 2013. Barack Obama on Tuesday launched a three-week coordinated campaign with Democrats at Capitol Hill and outside allies to reboot his signature healthcare overhaul, following two months of intense media coverage of the federal healthcare website failures. (Xinhua/Zhang Jun)

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WASHINGTON, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday launched a three-week coordinated campaign with Democrats at Capitol Hill and outside allies to reboot his signature healthcare overhaul, following two months of intense media coverage of the federal healthcare website failures.

The president, flanked by 19 individuals whom said they had benefited from the Affordable Care Act, played defense for his signature healthcare overhaul at a White House event, trying to re- ignite efforts to sell his message.

"My main message today is we are not going back," Obama said.

He said that the "poor execution" of the rollout of the Healthcare.gov, a federal on-line marketplace that serves as the centerpiece of the healthcare overhaul, had "clouded" the fact that people could benefit from the law.

The federal on-line marketplace, serving consumers in 36 states, is key to Obama's signature healthcare overhaul aiming to get more uninsured Americans coverage.

However, the website was almost out of service during the first two weeks after it was launched on Oct. 1 and has been plagued by technical glitches. Many consumers have reported difficulties in signing up and getting enrolled. Obama's personal and political approval ratings have taken a beating since the website's glitch- riven debut.

The Obama administration said on Monday the technical team had already met its self-imposed deadline on Nov. 30 to fix the website. The officials said the website can now handle its original intended volume of 50,00 con-current users and a total of 800,000 visitors a day.

In his remarks on Tuesday, Obama stressed that the website is " now working well for the vast majority of users."

"We're not repealing it as long as I'm president," he added. "I want everybody to be clear about that."

"The bottom line is this law is working and will work into the future," said Obama.

The event was the first of many in a "renewed effort to refocus the public and the public's attention on the benefits of the law," said White House spokesman Jay Carney Tuesday in a daily briefing.

Carney said that in the coming days, the president and other White House officials would talk about existing benefits under Obamacare through "a number of different venues," including press events and social media advertising campaigns.

In the coordinated fresh push, the Democratic National Committee on Tuesday launched a new website highlighting the negative consequences if the Republicans succeed in repealing Obamacare.

More events are expected from now through Dec. 23, the enrollment deadline for Jan. 1 insurance coverage, according to the Affordable Care Act.

The 2010 Affordable Care Act, which passed with no Republicans' support, has been a long-time controversial issue in Washington and across the country. The Republicans, in particular, have never been back down from their efforts to dismantle the healthcare overhaul or delay its implementation.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday the president's "campaign-style event won't solve the myriad problems facing consumers under Obamacare."

"It's not just a broken website, this bill is fundamentally flawed," said House Speaker John Boehner Tuesday.

Related:

Obama rallies supporters to help with Obamacare enrollment

WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama sought to rally supporters Monday to help with the enrollment of the error-ridden centerpiece of his signature health care overhaul.

Obama held a conference call with his supporters hosted by Organizing for Action, a political group born from his re-election campaign. Full story

Obama urges U.S. senators to delay new sanctions on Iran

WASHINGTON, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday appealed to senators to delaying voting for tougher sanctions on Iran, as part of his administration's continuing efforts to buy negotiators more time and space to seal a deal on Iran's controversial nuclear program.Full Story

Editor: Shen Qing
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