KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Obama Campaigns For Health Law In Advance Of Oct. 1 Launch

President Barack Obama is slated to speak about the health law again today, this time at a Maryland community college, in an effort to "cut through all the noise." Meanwhile, the White House stressed that next week’s launch of new online insurance exchanges will include glitches — but that the exchanges will open whether the federal government is shut down or not.

Politico: A Final Pitch For Obamacare
It began earlier this week in a public conversation with former President Bill Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative’s conference in New York, and Obama promises to borrow a note from Clinton’s lecture style Thursday by delving into a detailed explanation of how the new health exchanges work. In between, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) seized national attention with a 21-hour Senate floor oratory aimed at calling attention to quixotic GOP demands that Obama hamstring his own health care law in exchange for Republicans voting to keep the government open and pay the nation’s debts. “The president will cut through all the noise coming out of Washington,” a White House official said of the short trip to the Largo, Md., campus, which is a 14-mile car ride from the White House (Allen, 9/26).

CBS News: Obama Continues Touting Health Law As Kickoff Approaches
With just five days to go before the Affordable Care Act hits another major milestone, President Obama is keeping up his efforts to raise awareness about the health law's benefits and counter the ongoing conservative campaign against it. The president will deliver a speech at Prince George's Community College in Largo, Md., on Thursday, according to the White House, "to lay out one of the cornerstones of what it means to be middle class in America: having access to affordable health care that you can count on” (Condon, 9/26).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Obama To Promote Health Law, Urge Public To Get Insurance Through Exchanges Opening Next Week
President Barack Obama is promoting the benefits of his health care law before new insurance exchanges open for business next week. The White House says Obama will explain Thursday how Americans can comparison shop for insurance that meets their needs. He plans to tell an audience at a community college in Largo, Md., that they’ll have lots of options, including plans that are affordable on a variety of budgets (9/26).

Politico: W.H. Lowers Expectations For Obamacare Launch
Americans probably won’t flock to sign up for Obamacare coverage in October or even in November — and the White House doesn’t expect them to, a top Obama adviser said Wednesday. Enrollment will go through lots of ebbs and flows over the six-month enrollment period rather than remaining steady, communications adviser David Simas told reporters during a 45-minute interview at an event sponsored by Third Way, where he downplayed the Obama administration’s expectations for the law’s rollout starting next week (Cunningham, 9/25).

Dallas Morning News: White House: Health Insurance Enrollment Will Have Glitches, But Won’t Be Stopped
The White House on Wednesday said that next week’s launch of the health insurance exchanges won’t go forward without snafus — but that they will launch whether the federal government is shut down or not. “Newsflash: There will be glitches. When glitches occur, we will fix them,” said David Simas, special assistant to the president. “But the phones will be opened and manned, government shut down or no government shut down” (Lindenberger, 9/25).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Health Care Rollout Would Proceed If Government Shuts Down, Uninsured Would Still Get Covered
A partial government shutdown next week would leave the major parts of the law in place and rolling along, according to former Democratic and Republican budget officials, as well as the Obama administration itself. Health care markets for the uninsured would open as scheduled on Tuesday. Deleting the money to implement the law, the GOP’s dream scenario, would indeed cripple Obamacare. But that’s much less likely to happen than a government shutdown. Obama wouldn’t allow the ruin of his hard-fought namesake legislation (9/26).

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