December 4th, 2013
07:45 AM ET

President’s Push to Refocus Public on Obamacare Benefits

Stop worrying about the website and start talking about Obamacare's benefits.

That was President Barack Obama's message to the nation on Tuesday as he kicked off a three-week public relations blitz intended to generate more participation in his signature health care reforms, reports CNN's Brianna Keilar.

A day after officials declared the previously dysfunctional HealthCare.gov website working smoothly for most users, Obama held a White House event to try to shift the focus of a fiercely partisan public debate to how much help the 2010 Affordable Care Act offers Americans in need.

He noted the botched website launch of October 1 set back implementation of the reforms, and encouraged supporters to help him reintroduce the law to a still skeptical nation.

"Our poor execution in the first couple months on the website clouded the fact that there are a whole bunch of people who stand to benefit," Obama said. "Now that the website's working for the vast majority of people, we need to make sure that folks refocus on what's at stake here."

The administration hopes the new ability of HealthCare.gov to handle 800,000 users a day or more without major problems signals a major step forward in getting people to sign up for health coverage now required by law under the reforms.

"The White House seems to think it's going well so far, but they also acknowledge the real proof is going to be in the December enrollment numbers, Keilar reports. "That's really their focus now that they're turning the page from the troubled website."

However, officials including Obama, warn that glitches will persist and describe the website as a work in progress.

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