Healthcare reform might be law, but the salesmanship goes on.
President Obama on Wednesday evening shifted his attention away from the Gulf disaster to trumpet the benefits of the Democrats' sweeping healthcare legislation -- the latest in a string of efforts to highlight the numerous provisions of the new law.
Speaking before members of the American Nurses Association in Washington, Obama noted some of the reforms that have already arrived, including tax credits for small businesses and a $250 rebate for thousands of seniors caught in Medicare's prescription drug doughnut hole. He touted the coming insurance reforms that were central to the bill, including a prohibition on lifetime coverage caps, which takes effect in September. And he reiterated today's earlier announcement of $250 million to bolster primary care services, including $30 million to help part-time nursing students switch to full-time.
Obama's short 10-minute speech contained nothing new. Still, it provided more evidence that, despite GOP hopes that health reform will play to the advantage of Republicans in November, the Democrats continue to view the law as a political winner.
The president ended the speech by applauding the efforts of the nation's nurses, calling them the "beating heart" of the nation's healthcare system.
"You're saving lives, you're offering solace," he said. "You're helping to make us a better nation."