- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 9, 2013

President Obama plans to use this weekend’s Mother’s Day celebration to continue to sell his 2010 health care overhaul to the public amid growing concerns about its implementation.

The president Friday afternoon will deliver remarks on the impact of the Affordable Care Act on the “health, lives and pocketbooks” of women and their families, a White House official said Thursday afternoon.


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He will be joined on stage by women and families who support the new health care law and have positive stories to tell about how they have already benefited from it.

“Mothers are still the primary caregivers for kids and for aging parents ,” the official said. “The ACA has stopped insurance companies from denying coverage for kids, helped women gain access to preventative services like mammograms and birth control, and helped 3.1 million kids get on their parents health insurance.”

The audience for the president’s event will include representatives from liberal and feminist organizations that will help sell the benefits of the health care law to women around the country.

The direct appeal to women and mothers will come one day after the White House announced a new $150 million initiative Thursday to get uninsured Americans covered under the new health care law.

The administration will direct the $150 million to 1,200 community health centers to hire and train thousands of workers who will help people obtain coverage through new subsidized online marketplaces and an expanded Medicaid program for the poor.

Democrats are turning up the volume on their public outreach campaign touting the law in an effort to head off political fallout at the polls in next year’s Congressional midterm elections if enrollment does not go well later this year and into 2014.

Retiring Sen. Max Baucus, Montana Democrat, caused a stir earlier this month when he warned at a hearing with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that implementing the federal health care law would be a “train wreck” over the next few years.

The Senate’s top Democrat, Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, later said he agreed with Mr. Baucus’ comments that a “huge train wreck is coming” if the president’s health care overhaul isn’t implemented properly. But unlike Republicans who would like to repeal the law, Mr. Reid said additional money is needed to make it operate correctly.

Anticipating a Democratic summer campaign to bolster the health care law, House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, told Mr. Obama on Thursday they would not participate in picking members of a controversial panel called the Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB, which the law created to recommend ways to restrain Medicare spending if program costs growth exceeds set targets.

“We believe Congress should repeal IPAB, just as we believe we ought to repeal the healthcare law,” Mr. Boehner and Mr. McConnell said in the letter.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the move would only serve to anger an American public he said is sick of political posturing.

“The fact that Republicans have continued to push for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, I believe, demonstrates how out of touch they are with the American people, who are tired of efforts by Republicans to re-fight the political battles of the past.”

House Republicans have voted to repeal or cut funding for the law more than 30 times, and they plan to hold a vote again next week on another repeal. That effort will serve as a public demonstration against the bill, but it no chance of final passage with Democrats controlling the Senate and the White House.