(Photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta, AP)
(CBS News) -- President Barack Obama makes a new push on Friday for the
health care law with an event at the White House. But the law, which has
long been a target of Republicans, is now getting pushback from
Getting the new health care law
successfully launched is the key to Mr. Obama's legacy. But there's a
lot of confusion about just how that's going to happen, so you'll see
the president talking about it a lot for the next several months,
reports CBS News White House correspondent Bill Plante.
Friday, he'll highlight benefits for women that are already in place --
and urge mothers of young adults to get them signed up when enrollment
begins this fall.
"We are pushing very hard to make sure that we're hitting all the deadlines and the benchmarks," Mr. Obama said last month.
president's health care law goes into effect at the beginning of next
year, with signup beginning Oct. 1. But a lot of uncertainty about the
plan remains -- and the Obama administration is taking bipartisan
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell,
R-Ky., said, "The president needs to get out in front of this train
wreck before Americans, men and women alike, are completely blindsided
And Democrats have used the phrase, too. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., said recently, "I just see a huge train wreck coming down."
importance of the health care overhaul to the Obama administration
can't be overstated, as Vice President Biden summed it up the day the
bill became law: "This is a big (expletive) deal." But there are fears
that health insurance costs for small businesses may rise as the law
goes into effect. And there's a concern that rules governing the new law
are still being written, even though it goes into effect Jan. 1.
for the White House, the biggest concern is that uninsured Americans
won't sign up for coverage. In a speech in April, the president said,
"If Americans don't know how to access the new benefits and protections
that they're going to receive as we implement this law, then health care
reform won't make much of a difference in their lives."
recent poll by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation shows that four in
10 Americans do not even know the Affordable Care Act was coming into
effect, so some states have begun advertising campaigns promoting it.
The Department of Health and Human Services has also announced $150
million to help community health centers to enroll more people into the
Affordable Care Act.
Meanwhile, the House of
Representatives is about to vote again to repeal Obamacare for the 38th
time. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, says he's holding the vote
because there about 70 freshman House Republicans who haven't yet gotten
to express their opinion.
This signature issue of Mr. Obama's presidency is something he now
has to sell to the American people for both policy and political
reasons, CBS News political director John Dickerson explained on "CTM."
"On the policy front, he needs more people to sign up because that will
keep costs lower, particularly younger Americans," Dickerson said. "If
those younger Americans don't join these new exchanges, the premiums
will go up because the people who do join the exchanges will be the
chronically ill. So he's got to sell it to make it work better, so
that's the policy piece. And politically, Republicans are gunning for
this for the 2014 elections. They're hoping to run against all Democrats
on this, so the president has to goes out there and provide cover,
explain why there are good parts of it and get out there and sort of
rebut the attacks as best he can."
As implementation of the ACA goes forward, Mr. Obama's explanations
are all the more immediate, according to Dickerson. "This is not a
pretty piece of legislation," he said. "Remember how it was put
together. This is not a sleek operation with Swiss watch timing, and so
it's going to be bumpy and it's going to be ugly as it gets implemented.
The best thing the president can do is try and accentuate the best
parts of it and also educate people because there's no better voice for
educating than the president of the United States."
"All legislation is pretty ugly and this was particularly ugly
because of the way it was put together and it had to be jammed through
at the end," Dickerson added. "It's complicated -- it's dealing with
bringing millions of new people into this insurance system. It's forcing
people to change the way they do things, and so it's got lots and lots
of different moving parts. And also, by the way, when Democrats talk
about 'train wreck' here, what they're saying, some of them, is
Republicans have not funded this as much as we, the Democrats, would
like and also Republicans governors are dragging their feet. So there's
some opposition that's constant here."