Supporters, Opponents Plan New P.R. Blitz
The health law is signed though some changes are still pending but the fight continues, The Washington Post reports. "Interest groups that spent the past year fighting over President Obama's health-care overhaul are quickly transforming themselves for battle in a new arena, working to sway the law to their benefit while helping the lawmakers who supported them during the bruising legislative debate. For instance, labor unions and industry lobbying groups will attempt to influence regulation writing. Progressives and unions will spend millions to sell the still-controversial plan to voters. Conservatives who opposed it are now retargeting their ire to vulnerable Democratic lawmakers who supported the legislation (Eggen, 3/24).
The Wall Street Journal : Even the ceremony at which the bill was signed "opened an intense White House effort to sell the new law to an often-skeptical public. The president emphasized provisions that take effect right away, such as rules barring insurers from rejecting children who are already sick. He also singled out individual Americans who will be helped, a technique that's likely to be repeated often between now and the November elections" (Meckler and Hitt, 3/24).
Roll Call : Obama continued with his new task of selling the plan when he gave a speech at the Interior Department Tuesday. "'We don't fear the future! We shape the future! That's what we do! Thats who we are!' Obama shouted to a crowd of about 500 supporters who were on their feet during a fiery speech. So far, the only campaign-style stop on the president's schedule is a trip to Iowa City on Thursday, where in 2007 he outlined a grass-roots health care reform plan. The district is represented by Rep. Dave Loebsack (D), who won the seat in 2006 after unseating 15-term Republican Jim Leach" (Bendery, 3/24).
Indeed, Democrats and Republicans appear to hold conflicting views of the political aftermath of the overhaul debate, Politico reports. "Democrats think health reform - now that voters can focus on the substance rather than the messy deal-cutting process that preceded its passage - is the key to improving their political fortunes." Meanwhile, "Republicans think they can use the issue to rout the Democrats in the midterms." Politico takes a look at five groups both sides will try to woo, including independent voters and senior citizens (Allen and Brown, 3/24).
Roll Call reports that "enthused House Democrats said Tuesday they are eager to go home to sell the plan while simultaneously pivoting to an agenda tightly focused on jobs" (Dennis and Newmyer, 3/24).
Meanwhile, USA Today reports: "More Americans now favor than oppose the health care overhaul that President Obama signed into law Tuesday, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds - a notable turnaround from surveys before the vote that showed a plurality against the legislation. By 49%-40%, those polled say it was 'a good thing' rather than a bad one that Congress passed the bill." The survey was taken Monday and has a margin of error of +/-4 percentage points (Page, 3/24).