ObamaCare blitz coming to an end Thursday

The White House will conclude its 16-day media blitz designed to promote ObamaCare on Thursday with the release of a series of reports touting state-specific benefits of the president’s signature law, according to an official familiar with the plan.

“These state reports mark the culmination of a multi-week effort by the White House and supporters of reform to bring a renewed refocus on each of these benefits and what the cost of repealing them would mean,” the White House official said.

ADVERTISEMENT
According to the official, the reports will show what the cost of repealing the controversial law would mean to average families across the country.

The administration has touted the broader publicity push as an effort to rebrand the law after completing emergency repairs on the ObamaCare website, which proved badly broken throughout the first two months of open enrollment.

At an event announcing the initiative earlier this month, the president admitted that “poor execution" of HealthCare.gov's rollout had "clouded" the positive aspects of the bill.

"If I've got to fight another three years to make sure this law works, that's what we'll do," Obama said.

The rebranding efforts have intensified in the final days before the president and his family depart for their annual Hawaiian vacation. On Wednesday, he and the first lady hosted mothers at the White House for an event promoting ObamaCare. The first lady also taped a series of interviews with urban radio networks, while other female administration officials spoke to some of the nation’s most-read women’s magazines about the health law.

But the effort as a whole has been complicated in recent days by a series of intervening major news stories.

On Dec. 5, former South African president and anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela died, monopolizing headlines and necessitating the president’s travel to a memorial service in Johannesburg. 

Last week, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) announced the first bipartisan budget deal since the president’s first year in office. That legislation moved to the president’s desk, after the Senate voted 64-36 to approve it on Wednesday.

Still, there appears to be some evidence that the White House's messaging efforts on ObamaCare have succeeded. 

A poll from The Washington Post and ABC News released earlier this week found that 46 percent of Americans support ObamaCare, with 49 percent opposed. While still underwater, that’s a significant improvement from the prior month, when a record 57 percent of Americans said they opposed the law.

The White House insisted Wednesday that, although the daily ObamaCare messaging push would wrap up for the holidays, the administration would continue to push consumers to purchase coverage over the next three months.

“We will continue to focus on consumer outreach and enrollment to reach as many Americans as possible about signing up for insurance through the remaining months of open enrollment,” the official said.

That effort will include the promotion of personal stories about those who have benefited from the law, something Democratic strategists have argued could help turn the tide of public opinion.