The White House is mapping out a strategy to deploy the president, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Jill Biden in what will be their most coordinated effort yet to sell Obamacare, senior administration officials said.That will all help and is absolutely necessary because there are still very large gaps in awareness and understanding of the law. The August tracking poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that half the public says they "don’t have enough information about the ACA to understand how it will impact them and their family," and those numbers are even higher in target populations: "Hispanics (64 percent), the uninsured (62 percent), young adults (62 percent of those ages 18-25), and those with lower incomes (60 percent of those with family incomes less than $40,000 a year)."
A burst of activity will coincide with the October opening of the insurance marketplaces, but the West Wing views this next phase as something more akin to a political campaign’s push for early votes. Over the six-month enrollment period, the White House will use the Obamas and Bidens strategically, tracking the turnout for the exchanges in key states and sending them into weak markets to boost numbers. [...]
The increased involvement comes at an obvious juncture, as the unpopular law enters prime time. But it also signals the stakes for Obama: It’s his best opportunity to prove critics wrong and begin turning around public opinion if the rollout can beat expectations, which the president is already trying to downplay with his refrain that Obamacare won’t be the first flawless enterprise in human history. [...]
There will be an coordinated push, with events by advocacy groups and tweets from celebrities, but aides said they’re reluctant to over-hype the first day. Glitches and problems are likely. At least one state, Oregon, has delayed opening its exchanges until mid-October. And the actual coverage doesn’t begin until Jan. 1.
Obama also needs to enlist some back-up from the medical community, according to the KFF poll. Doctors and nurses are at the top of the list of most trusted sources of information about Obamacare, with pharmacists coming in at number four.