The push comes shortly after Obama’s deputies argued that the public doesn’t want to hear more arguments about the far-reaching, $1.76 trillion, government-directed reorganization of the nation’s health sector.
The president’s weekend message, for example, focused on fires in Colorado — not on the law or the Supreme Court’s June 28 decision to relabel the law’s controversial penalty as a tax.
His weekend message followed his long-standing policy of saying little about the sensitive law, except that it provides free services to young people and women.
“Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, Nikki can stop worrying about her daughter’s future,” reads a 1:53 p.m. tweet from Obama’s campaign staff.
“There are many different reasons for supporting this campaign,” reads a post on the campaign’s website. “For four women in Nevada, it’s the difference the Affordable Care Act has made,” the post continues, citing a testimonial from “Nancy” — one of Obama’s donors.
“I’m a diabetic, and I appreciate knowing that I will be able to continue getting the care I need regardless of my pre-existing conditions. It’s hard not to support someone who fights for you like that,” says “Nancy.”
The site’s testimonials come from Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Indiana, Washington and California.
The site also offers a prominent buttons: One, titled “Obamacare is Upheld,” links to a fundraising page, another, titled “I Like Obamacare,” links to a page where the law is championed. (RELATED: Full coverage of the health care law)
“Millions of Americans — from the women who can now access free checkups to the seniors saving on their prescriptions to the 105 million people that have seen lifetime limits on their insurance coverage lifted — can continue to enjoy these important benefits” the page reads.
“12.8 Million Americans Receive Insurance Rebates [and] 3.1 Million Young Americans Gain Health Coverage,” reads the page’s headline.
And several polls taken after the court decision show an uptick — though not a majority — in support for the law.
But Republicans say they welcome the public’s renewed focus on the federal law, because their polls show right-of-center base voters and many swing voters resent the law’s growing expense, intrusiveness and its damaging impact on employment.
“Democrats celebrate Obamacare’s job-destroying impact on small businesses,” read a June 3 statement from the Republican National Committee. The statement also listed opposition from multiple business groups, including the Chamber of Commerce and the National Federal of Independent Business.
The purpose of the Obama campaign’s new public relations campaign is unclear.
It may be a short-lived effort to spur fundraising from hardcore supporters, or it may be intended to spur November support among groups of Obama’s base voters, such as unmarried women and Latinos.
The campaign might also be intended to defuse opposition to the law from swing-state voters, many of whom know little about the law except that it boosts the power, tax-revenues and reach of the federal government.
Whatever the campaign’s purpose, the new pitch is aimed at Obama’s base groups.
GOP officials, however, say the law is unpopular among swing voters, especially because of its unpopular tax-penalties for people who don’t want to buy the government-designed insurance packages that are due in 2014.
The packages are expected to be expensive for employers and for consumers.
Their price is expected to grow as lobbies add more features that are unwanted by poor or younger Americans, who often prefer to spend their money on education, families, housing or entertainment.
Media coverage of the GOP’s opposition to Obamacare has played up the call to “kill” the law. That dramatic angle usually sidelines statements by GOP leaders — including presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney — who say that they want to preserve popular portions of Obamacare when crafting a free-market replacement law.