HHS Secretary Sibelius touts
benefits being implemented
Cabinet Secretary Kathleen Sibelius touts Obamacare in PR blitz. Click image to enlarge.
THE BATTLE OVER the Affordable Care Act – aka Obamcare – already at the boiling point, threatens to intensify just after Labor Day when Tea Party radicals plan a rally at the House Speaker’s office.
Meanwhile, the Obama Administration is fighting back with a public relations blitz touting the benefits already being enjoyed by Americans – or soon to be implemented.
An advisory from the White House Office Of Communications alerted me late Tuesday to the availability of the video published with this story.
WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW THE FOLD
IT WASN’T JUST the video – it was an entire package of materials.
“On behalf of the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), I wanted to share a brand new Radio and Video Address by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about the options available to young Americans through the Health Insurance Marketplace,” wrote Fabien Levy, press secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
“This address focuses on the resources available to young Americans, as well as a new competition we recently announced with the group the Young Invincibles.”
Meanwhile, the small but respected Washington D.C. paper The Hill had a different take in Tea Party to rally against ‘BoehnerCare’ over fight to defund healthcare law on Aug. 26.
The results of a Kaiser Health Tracking Poll released on Wednesday. Click image to enlarge.
Lara Seligman writes: “Tea Party activists are planning a rally outside Speaker John Boehner’s (R) Ohio office on Tuesday (Sept. 3), vowing they will rebrand President Obama’s healthcare reform law “BoehnerCare” if he does not get behind a conservative effort to defund the legislation.
“If he funds it, he will own it,” said Janet Porter, president of Faith2Action, one of the groups scheduled to participate in the rally, according to The Washington Times.
“Boehner, along with congressional GOP leaders like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), has yet to voice support for the effort.”
On Wednesday, however, the Tea Party and its GOP friends in Congress were dealt a significant blow when a widely respected poll found a majority of Americans oppose defunding the health insurance reform.
The Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: August 2013 published on Wednesday reported:
“As the Oct. 1 opening of the ACA’s health insurance marketplaces approaches and outreach efforts ramp up, this month’s Kaiser Health Tracking Poll seeks to understand where the public is turning for information about the law, and which sources of information they trust most.”
Among its most interesting findings for media types like me is that 81 percent of respondents say they have heard at least “something” about Obamacare in the last 30 days.
The Hill’s story about the Tea Party rally for “Boehnercare.” Click image to enlarge.
That means the coverage is getting through the din about all the government spying scandals.
But of course the huge news for the Tea Party and its allies in Congress is that a large majority of Americans oppose any plans to defund Obamacare.
Asked the following question:
“Whether or not you like the health care law, would you say you approve or disapprove of cutting off funding as a way to stop some or all of the law from being put into place? – a whopping 57 percent disapproved; that is 21 percentage points greater than the 36 percent who approved.
Of course it is split along party lines. Democrats disapprove 81 percent to 15 percent; Republicans approve by 60 percent to 34 percent. (The remainder is undecided.)
THIS IS NOT GOOD NEWS for the Republicans in Congress, who face increasing pressure from their right wing radicals.
In fact it is just what In the (K)now blog predicted Aug. 20 in GOP fears nothing more than Obamacare success.
In a CBS news story on the poll, Majority oppose GOP plan to defund Obamacare, poll finds Stephanie Condon reported:
“There are clear partisan divides — six in 10 Republicans say they approve of the idea, while just 15 percent of Democrats and 39 percent of independents support it.
“The current effort to defund Obamacare has driven a wedge in the GOP and ultimately would have little impact on the implementation of the health law, but a passionate contingent of Republicans has nevertheless kept the idea alive.”
What a pretty dilemma.
Adding insult to injury, we learn in Tea Partiers Run with Mark Levin’s ‘Boehnercare’ Rebranding at MEDIAite that the right is planning an attack on the Speaker of the House next week.
Matt Willstein reported Aug. 26: “Several tea party groups are reportedly
threatening to rebrand Obamacare as “Boehnercare” if House Speaker John Boehner does not back the conservative effort to defund the Affordable Care Act. And they may have taken their inspiration from radio host Mark Levin.”
Meanwhile, a transcript of a statement from Sibelius was included in the press packet.
“Hi, I’m Secretary Kathleen Sebelius with some great news for young Americans. If you don’t have insurance, help is on the way,” she says.
“Starting October 1, you’ll be able to sign up for good coverage at a price you can afford. Without insurance, we’re all just an accident or illness away from a devastating medical bill.”
And the closing slogan is right out of MadMen, the popular TV show:
“The Affordable Care Act: Better options. Better coverage. Better health.”
Judge for yourself. Watch the video below.
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