KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

White House Readies New Health Law Push After Website Woes

President Barack Obama and the White House will launch a new three-week health law offensive to re-sell the law to Americans after woes with the federal online website to buy health coverage hurt public perception of the law. Obama himself plans on buying coverage on the federal exchange website.

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Obama Tries To Move Past Health Care Website Woes
President Barack Obama will focus on those benefits at a White House event Tuesday. Flanked by Americans who the White House says have benefited from the overhaul, the president will try to remind Americans that his health law is preventing insurance discrimination against those with pre-existing conditions and is allowing young people to stay on their parents’ coverage until age 26. He’ll also take aim at Republicans, arguing that the GOP is trying to strip away those benefits without presenting an alternative (12/3).

Politico: White House Returns To Obamacare Sales Mode
President Barack Obama will launch a coordinated campaign Tuesday by the White House, congressional Democrats and their outside allies to return attention to why the Affordable Care Act passed in the first place. After two months of intense coverage of the botched HealthCare.gov rollout, the president will host a White House event kicking off a three-week drive to refocus the public on the law’s benefits, senior administration officials told Politico (Budoff Brown and Allen, 12/2).

The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire: Obama Speech To Kick Off Health Push
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will launch a new effort aimed at highlighting the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, as the White House works to shift the conversation away from the botched rollout of HealthCare.gov. A White House official said that while work continues on the website, the administration wants to renew its focus on aspects of the law that it says are already helping consumers. Mr. Obama will speak Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. at the White House, kicking off a three-week, coordinated campaign that will feature a benefit of the federal-health law each day (Nelson, 12/3).

Reuters: With Website Improved, Obama To Pitch Health Plan
President Barack Obama will try to sell the American people on the relaunch of his troubled healthcare program on Tuesday in a bid to restore confidence in his signature domestic policy initiative and, more broadly, in his presidency. Obama will speak on the health care program, formally called the Affordable Care Act, at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, the White House said (Felsenthal, 12/3).

Bloomberg: Obama To Tout Health Law’s Benefits To Rebuild Support
President Barack Obama plans to highlight the 2010 health-care law’s benefits at a White House event today, kicking off a three-week campaign to regain support for a program marred by a troubled implementation. Obama will emphasize the importance of using the newly-repaired federal online insurance exchange to enroll Americans in health plans, the White House said in a statement (Dorning, 12/3).

CNN: Official: White House To Push Benefits Of Obamacare, PR Offensive On The Way 
Battered by two months of bad publicity over the Obamacare website, the White House is going on the offensive to tout what it sees as the benefits of the President's signature healthcare plan, a White House official told CNN. The offensive is a sign the White House no longer feels weighed down by the problem-plagued HealthCare.gov. Over the weekend, officials announced they had met their self-imposed November 30 deadline for getting the site working for the "vast majority" of users, saying response times and error rates had been slashed while capacity increased (Acosta and Payne, 12/3).

The Wall Street Journal: West Wing Set For New Blood
President Barack Obama will likely soon have three top staff positions to fill, at a time when he is under mounting pressure from the public and Democratic lawmakers to prove he can manage more adeptly and restore confidence in his signature health care program. The White House said over the weekend that it would create a new, permanent position overseeing HealthCare.gov, the troubled website that has threatened the success of the 2010 health law and been one of the most serious challenges facing the Obama presidency. Jeffrey Zients, who leads the online effort on a temporary basis, leaves early next year to become director of the president's National Economic Council (Nicholas and Lee, 12/2).

Los Angeles Times: Obama To Use Federal Health Insurance Exchange To Find A New Plan
The president plans to buy new health insurance through the online marketplace created by his signature health care law, a spokesman said Monday, confirming a promise the White House made nearly three years ago as it fought to push the legislation through Congress. White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters that he did "not have any update" on the president's plans to enroll but suggested Obama was among the many Americans who are taking their time signing up for a new insurance plan. Open enrollment ends March 31 (Hennessey, 12/2).

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