U.S. President Barack Obama will use an international conference hosted by former President Bill Clinton tomorrow in New York to kick off what the White House is calling an aggressive campaign to promote Obamacare.
With congressional Republicans trying to use the budget and the federal debt ceiling as leverage to strip funding for the president’s health-care law, Obama is seeking to promote its benefits one week before Americans can begin signing up for insurance coverage under the measure.
Obama is scheduled to sit on stage with the former president at the Clinton Global Initiative to talk about the impact of the 2010 law, according to a White House statement.
The appearance marks the start of an effort by the Obama administration to get uninsured Americans to sign up for coverage under the law. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that 7 million Americans who don’t get health coverage at their jobs will enroll through new insurance marketplaces.
The Republican-controlled House last week passed legislation that would finance government operations past the Sept. 30 end of the fiscal year but would also eliminate funding for the health-care law. That sets up a showdown with the White House and Senate Democrats.
If that effort fails, Republican leaders have threatened to introduce a bill that would tie raising the country’s debt limit to delaying implementation of the health law for a year.
The partisan clash over the law has dragged on for three years since Congress passed the Affordable Care Act, Obama’s signature legislative achievement.
Republican-run legislatures and governors in at least 21 states have refused funding to expand Medicaid coverage for the poor and 27 have declined to set up the insurance exchanges created under the measure. House Republicans have voted more than 40 times to repeal or defund all or parts of the law.
To counter Republican attempts to scuttle the law, the White House is dispatching Cabinet members and calling on celebrity supporters including former talk show host Oprah Winfrey, rock musician Jon Bon Jovi and comedian Amy Poehler.
Obama will talk about the law again Sept. 26 at an event in a Maryland suburb of Washington, and first lady Michelle Obama plans to attend events designed to highlight the benefits for women and veterans. Vice President Joe Biden will hold a call with nurses across the country while other Cabinet officials will hold events with local officials across the country.
This is the second high-profile event Clinton has hosted to promote the law that has become known as Obamacare. Earlier this month, the former president delivered an almost hour-long speech that was broadcast on the White House website.
“The health of our people, the security and stability of our families, and the strength of our economy are all riding on getting health care reform right and doing it well,” Clinton said, in the Sept. 4 address at his presidential library in Little Rock, Arkansas.
The issue is one the former president cares deeply about: Clinton and his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, failed in their attempt to pass a comprehensive health care law two decades ago. Hillary Clinton, a potential presidential candidate in 2016, plans to introduce the two men at their event tomorrow.
More than 1,000 business, government, and philanthropic leaders are descending on New York for the Clinton Global Initiative, an annual meeting hosted by the Clinton Foundation. Participants include Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein, Cisco Systems Inc. CEO John Chambers, Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates and Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan.
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