Obama opens health plan sales campaign

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fighting backU.S. President Barack Obamaphoto:reuters
fighting backU.S. President Barack Obamaphoto:reuters

President Barack Obama has launched a campaign to bombard Americans daily about the benefits of his health care overhaul, pressing them to give the troubled web sign-up portal a fresh try after two months of emergency repairs while trying to blunt noisy Republican calls to delay or scrap the new health insurance system as an unworkable, big government blunder.

The president is fighting back after seeing his approval rating fall dramatically, trying anew to sell Americans on the massive health care changes that are designed to provide coverage to millions of uninsured Americans and to end health insurance companies’ practice of denying insurance to people who have a pre-existing medical condition or to cancel coverage when they become ill.

While telling critics of the law some of whom he said were “rooting for it to fail” that he would work with them to improve the measure, he declared on Tuesday he would not allow the law’s repeal.

“If I’ve got to fight another three years to make this law work, that’s what I’ll do,” said Obama, flanked by a group of Americans who reported being helped by the law. And he challenged Republican foes to present their own plan- “Tell us specifically what you’d do differently.”

Congressional opponents have not proposed any plan beyond rescinding the law.

Obama and his administration have a huge job as they try to overcome the faulty Oct. 1 roll-out of the government website that was to have provided a simple means of signing up for insurance plans offered by private carriers.

The site failed miserably and is only now working reasonably well but not for everyone. The sign-up period runs through March 31, but people need to enroll in a plan by Dec. 23 in order to have coverage in place by Jan. 1.

Obama signed the new law in early 2010, but most of its features were not to have gone into effect until Oct. 1. It carries a mandate that all Americans must obtain health insurance or pay a fine.

As an enticement, the law provides income tax credits to low-income Americans to subsidize the purchase of insurance plans.AFP

If I’ve got to fight another three years to make this law work, that’s what I’ll do



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