So far the #StopObamacare campaign has crushed Obama in the advertisement department with its expensive and sometimes horrifying campaigns. Well, the White House is finally ready to dig its heels into the Obamacare ad war. As The New York Times reports, Obama is rallying the troops this week, from now until the end of the enrollment period six months from now.
Obama's got Bill Clinton speaking in New York this week and Joe Biden recruiting nurses on a conference call. The first lady is working the moms and veterans front, and all the cabinet members have their assignments. And on Thursday, while John Kerry is chatting it up in New York with Iran's foreign minister, Obama will be in Maryland chatting up healthcare. Meanwhile insurance companies are gearing up to spend one billion dollars or more on an advertising campaign to encourage people, especially young folks, to sign-up.
Not to be bested, the Republican National Committee has launched an "awareness campaign" to, basically, make sure that every talk show has an anti-Healthcare Act detractor on hand to detract from any pro-Healthcare Act guests. So far they've book a few decent gigs, including the wildly popular primetime radio event The Mike Huckabee Show.
In some ways, Obama may have a harder time convincing people to join than his opponents will convincing people not to join. As we've reported before, it's hard to convince young people they need to pay for health insurance. And, as Obamacare's launch gets closer, some of its potential drawbacks are being given more scrutiny. Insurance providers are cutting down the number of providers in their insurance networks to keep costs down, The New York Times reports, which would become a (possibly expensive) problem when you need to see a certain specialist outside of the network.
More worrying for healthcare providers are the tens of millions of uninsured people with untreated illnesses who'll flood into hospitals once they're insured, reports Stephanie Armour at Bloomberg. But some professionals are convinced that's an overreaction. “It’s going to be a slow ramp up,” Sara Rosenbaum, a health-law professor, told Bloomberg News. “It’s not like seven million people will get insurance at once. They’re not going to all come racing in the door,” she added, referring to the seven million uninsured Americans who officials estimate will begin shopping for insurance next week.
Obamacare's viability is somewhat tied up in Rosenbaum's prediction. If people can't get treated at their local hospitals because there are too many patients and not enough doctors, that would be a stronger #StopObamacare advertisement than anything a conservative group could come up with.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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