Obama agenda: The final health-care push

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Obama’s approval fell to its lowest point since Sept. 2011 (when the debt ceiling debate was last happening and the country’s credit was downgraded) in a Bloomberg poll at 45% and, for the first time, hist fav/unfav is upside down at 47%/49%. A whopping 68% say the country is on the wrong track.

“President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton took to the same stage Tuesday to promote the new health care law that Obama championed after Clinton’s own efforts to reform health care years earlier fell flat,” AP writes, adding, “Clinton, acting as host, lobbed the questions; Obama answered with the eagerness of a guest on a daytime TV talk show.” The event “also took place around the 20th anniversary of Clinton’s address to a joint session of Congress calling for an overhaul of the health care system. That effort, by Clinton and former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, was unsuccessful.”

Hillary Clinton introduced them… AP: “Mrs. Clinton, who ran against Obama before becoming his first-term secretary of state, introduced the two presidents with a list of what they have in common. They’re both left-handed, love golf and have fabulous daughters, she said. And one more thing: ‘They each married far above themselves,’ Clinton said with a laugh.”

It’s just the start of a final sprint to sell implementation: “Obama also plans to promote the law during a speech Thursday at a community college in Maryland. Vice President Joe Biden will reach out to nurses across the country on a conference call and Obama will hold a separate call with mayors and other state and local officials, the White House said. First lady Michelle Obama plans outreach to key groups, such as mothers and military veterans, through editorials.”

The White House in a blog post pushing the Affordable Care Act and exchanges, which are set to go into motion Tuesday: “A new report shows that the Affordable Care Act will deliver on its promise to make health insurance more affordable and accessible for Americans who need it. The report, released by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), finds that in state after state, affordable options will be available through the Health Insurance Marketplace in 2014. Nearly all eligible uninsured Americans (about 95%) live in states with average premiums below earlier projections. And nearly all consumers (about 95%) will have a choice of health insurance companies, each of which offers a number of different plans. Competition and transparency are driving a new set of affordable options for consumers – it is how the law was designed. This new report shows the real impact it could have – a working a family with income of $50,000 could pay less than $100 per month for the lowest bronze plan, after tax credits.”

New York Times: “At the United Nations on Tuesday, Mr. Obama drove home the conclusion that he came to after his own party deserted him over a military response to the chemical weapons attack that killed more than 1,000 Syrians: The bigger risk for the world in coming years is not that the United States will try to build empires abroad, he argued, but that there will be a price to be paid in chaos and disorder if Americans elect to stay home. To Mr. Obama’s mind, his aides say, his worldview has changed little since he came to office in 2009, after a campaign promising to end a ‘dumb war’ and to renew outreach to America’s adversaries.”

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