Politics

Obama plans media blitz as polls, Obamacare, crash

Neil Munro White House Correspondent

President Barack Obama will go on the offensive this week to shift the public’s focus away from the catastrophic and politically damaging roll-out of his Obamacare network.

He’s got a closed-door Nov. 4, meeting with political allies at his Organizing for America group, where he’s expected to tout the program which is driving up health-care costs for millions of Americans.

He’ll push for a big immigration increase on Tuesday, fly to Texas on Wednesday for a health-care speech, and jet to New Orleans Friday for another speech on the stalled economy.

He’s launching his blitz as Gallup reports that his favorability polls have slid down to 40 percent, near his record low of 38 percent, amid continuing damaging publicity about the Obamacare shocks.

That damage is even coming from some of the media outlets that championed his federal takeover of the health-care sector needed by 300 million Americans.

“Americans who face higher ­insurance costs under President Obama’s health-care law are angrily complaining about ‘sticker shock,” says a Nov. 4 Washington Post article. The complaints are “threatening to become a new political force opposing the law even as the White House struggles to convince other consumers that they will benefit from it,” the Post wrote.

Last week, as millions of people got insurance cancellation letters in the mail, Obama flew to Boston to justify his many pre-2013 declarations that “if you like your health-care plan, you will be able to keep your health-care plan, period.”

“If you had one of these substandard plans before the Affordable Care Act became law and you really liked that plan, you’re able to keep it,” he declared in Boston. “That’s what I said when I was running for office,” he insisted.

On Wednesday, he’s flying down to Dallas to raise funds for the 2014 election, and also meet with some of the workers who are supposed to help people use his crippled Obamacare website, according to media reports.

In Dallas, he’s likely to give a speech where he’ll try to reconcile growing public anger of cost-spikes and cancelled insurance plans, with his repeated claims that no-one will lose insurance policies and that premiums will drop.

Obama is also planning a D.C. event on Tuesday to push for an immigration increase, even though 20 million Americans are unemployed or underemployed.

For almost a year, he’s been pressing GOP leaders of the House to support a big immigration rewrite similar to that passed by the Senate in June. But his campaign has been stymied by the October budget fight and the growing problems with the Obamacare network.

If approved by the House, the Senate’s immigration bill would provide work authorization to more than three million immigrants per year, and import roughly 1.5 million guest workers a year, for the next decade. That’s roughly one working-age immigrant or guest worker for every American who turns 18, in a time of accelerating automation, high unemployment, declining wages, and increasing public worries about the future.

But the bill is strongly backed by progressive groups, as well as business and agriculture companies. Increased immigration would provide business with millions of new workers, and likely deliver millions of new Democratic-leaning voters to the polls after 2020.

Obama is also expected to support a Senate bill that that would forbid states and companies from recognizing employment-related differences between homosexuals, transgender people and heterosexuals.

He used a Nov. 3 article in The Huffington Post to announce his support for the bill to the site’s liberal audience.

Democrats in the Senate are expected to vote Nov. 4 on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which has failed to pass in prior years.

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