tv News Nation MSNBC December 3, 2013 11:00am-12:01pm PST
hi, everyone, i'm tamron hall. the full-court press to turn the page on rollout of the health insurance website. within this hour the president is expected to speak at the white house touting the improvements made to the site while also highlighting the benefits of the law. it's the start of a new campaign being launched by the white house and democrats to get more americans enrolled. the administration plans to hold an event every day until december 23rd, the enrollment deadline for coverage by january 1st. as politico puts it today the fresh push is an attempt to get back to the plan they wanted to pursue. whether or not the at mrgs has turned a corner, that remains to
be seen but as of noon, this afternoon, the healthcare.gov twitter account reported more than 380,000 visits to the site today, on top of the 1 million visits to the site reported yesterday. the "washington post" reports the site processed 18,000 enrollments in the 24-hour period, more than double the previous numbers reported. >> we were very pleased to hear the advancements made to rectify the problems with the website as it pertains to -- let's not forget, it is not just about a website but providing affordable care for millions of americans. >> meanwhile, house speaker john boehner would not say if republicans would come up with their own plan but had this to say this morning. >> president's het care law continues to wreak havoc on american families small businesses and our economy. it's not just a broken website.
this bill is fundamentally flawed. >> and back to the "washington post" report, it did reveal another headache, errors have affected roughly one third of the people who signed up for health plans since october 1st. those errors include failure to notify insurers about new customers, dup my cat enrollments on misinformation. jay carney addressed that report a few minutes ago. >> our general contractor has stood up a team of experts working already closely with issuers to make sure that every a 34 form past and present is accurate. we believe that and our confident that they will be able to ensure that accuracy in time for the january 1st beginning of coverage. >> peter alexander joins me. peter, it is a new day, new tone and we will hear from the
president shortly. in a sense, maybe not the icing on the cake but certainly a show of confidence in the last 24 hours. >> reporter: it is a show of some public confidence right now. it's certainly a new tone, not clear if it's a new day for the guys that just yet particularly here at the white house. there are some concerns as the white house pushes back against those reports that those enrollment issues still exhibit, the information that's transmitted to the insurance companies. the insurance companies say they are getting badly flawed inaccurate, incomplete information that's why the white house administration and insurers are reaching out to everybody enrolled to make sure their information is right. that's going to be a lot harder to do in the days ahead as they approach that december 23rd deadline, the last day you can enroll to have coverage by january 1st. but this is a coordinated campaign and gives the white house and president's allies an opportunity to try to focus lesson the website and focus on
what they view is the real issue, the benefits of the affordable care act. the white house not making clear exactly how often the president will be involved but he will tee things up when he speaks legs than a half hour from now. >> about 400 bugs have been fixed since october. you've been reporting on this extensively. we've heard of people sleeping in their offices and all hands on deck attitude in repairing this website. do you still see that urgency or are we seeing that lighten up a bit? >> now the urgency still exists and all of the insurance industry individuals with whom i've spoken, the real test wasn't yesterday, the day there was so much focus on where the white house and administration says they had more than 1 million visitors over the course of a day. there weren't any significant issues something about which they are very proud. the real issue according to insiders will be in those days leading up to december 23rd. they recognize that they need to be better prepared and need to
continue to make improvements in the advance of that day. kathleen sebelius said there had been dramatic improvements and they have to make yet further improvements to handle the real influx. >> we're looking at an event every day lasting through december 23rd. i'm curious on the plan to focus in, for example, on minorities, college students, those groups we've talked so much about who need to sign up in big news if this is to work effectively. >> this is obviously about pr and about politics. they are trying to shift the dialogue to what they think is the strength, the administration does, which is some of the benefits of the affordable care act. it's unclear whether there will be formal events. jay carney hasn't said how often the president would be involved or congressional allies would be involved. the group, formerly obama for america, now organizing for action, has come out with its
own efforts. this is more important than anything else. the show of the new coordinated effort going forward on this very cause. >> peter, thank you very much. joining me now is democratic congressman james clyburn of south carolina. thank you for your time. >> thank you for having me. >> what details have you been privy to, for these daily events rolled out through december 23rd. will it be leadership like yourself? what kind of community outreach have you heard we'll see for the next few days here? >> i think it's going to be all hands on deck as you mentioned regarding getting the website to function properly. i think to get the message out as it should be gotten out that there's going to be a coordinated effort between the members of congress and the administration trying to make sure that the people who want access, a million yesterday,
350,000 plus already today, making sure that it gets to 2 million a day if that's what is required. you know, we said 800,000 a day and already mentioned a million a day. who knows where we go here but all of us will work together trying to get the word out to make sure that people have access to affordable accessible health care. >> as you know, the democrats coordinated effort is to get people on the website and hopefully it is able to handle that type of large volume traffic. we know the coordinated effort from the republican leadership has turned away from the glitches of the website to focusing on less popular, what they see is less popular aspects of the law which include the issue of people keeping their plan if they want it and whether or not people will be able to continue to use the doctors they like. we're seeing a switch from the
republican talking point, if that's fair to describe it as that on the website to some of these other issues. are democrats and the administration prepared to defend the law regarding those issues? >> absolutely we are. and that's exactly why you see us rolling out these positives issue by issue. we are seeing -- i've absolutely been shocked at the positive news that's coming out of south carolina these days and that's a state that is not participating as you know it in medicare expansion, yet their headlines all over the media there about the positive experience that people are having. i read in the kourier on sunday, a big headline, talking about the bright spots in south carolina for the affordable care act. that is going to be happening
all over and i think that when people see these headlines and when we bring these experiences to people, one lady said, it took her five minutes and then 24 hours later, she had her confirmation of a new coverage that that's going to be 22,000 a month, over $200 she had been paying. these kind of experiences are there. we got to let people know they are there. when we do, other people will want to be part of it. >> i want to play the exchange with speaker boehner and mccarthy what they see as a government driven system as opposed to the patient driven system. let me play it and i want your reaction. >> republicans continue to fight to have a patient driven health care system not a government driven health care system. >> when you look at obama care, you see a government centered health care delivery system. that's not what the american people want. the american people want to be
able to pick their own type of health insurance and pick their own doctor and pick their own hospital. >> let me get your response to this. obviously some people interpret the government centered for socialism, which has been some of the criticism. what is your response to the patient is not driving their health care here? >> well, if patients are not driving this, i would like to know why it is we are concerned about people being able to navigate the website and go through plan by plan by plan to select the plans they want. and that's what this is all about. that's not the government telling them this is your plan. we're laying out for the american people in some instances 25 and 30. i've gone through this myself to pick out the plan i want from among the various levels that are available.
that is the patient -- or potential patient taking the kind of plan he or she wants to have. what we also know is that when people are exposed to plans that they already have, they may find as we have heard from folks that they have plans that they want to get rid of. lady says, i'm saying to my own plan, good riddance and happy this thanksgiving for the affordable care act. that's the experience she's having. she's making that decision. the government isn't making that decision for her. and when it comes to cancellation letters, that's nothing new. we've had cancellation letters coming from insurance companies for as long as i've been in the congress and probably before. what we now have or cancellation letters to allow people a better plan to shop around and get something for the futures that they didn't know was available to them to this affordable care
act is making available. they'll go from one thing to the other trying to find something to talk about when they don't have anything of real substance? >> congressman james clyburn. we're awaiting the president's remarks for the health care law. >> joining me now, carrie brown and michael smerconish. congressman clyburn was on and i think this is what we would expect and will see from democrats, each of them pointing out a story of success in their own state and district. and quite honestly we will expect to hear the same from republicans, however they would point out people who went on and say they did not get the health care they were hoping for. they are paying more and not able to keep their doctor. it is a battle of the storylines here. >> it certainly is. it's anecdote versus anecdote
for the administration at least now, the website appearing to be mostly functional. they don't have that drowning out positive stories they are trying to tell. i don't think they are going to be declaring the website fixed until they resolve the back end issues with the insurers. that's still a big problem. they are working on it. until that happens, they are going to continue to have that issue overshadow whatever positive information they are trying to get out, particularly after the january 1st coverage begins. we can see these types of stories emerge where people have fallen through the cracks and didn't actually enroll. they have to really push on that and get that resolved. but you're right, it's anecdote versus anecdote. it's a coordinated push by the senate leadership and house leadership for members to collect these stories and publicize them. that's the main organizing tool as they try to go on offense over the next few weeks. >> this speaks to what you wrote
today on politico regarding the white house returning to this sales mode and in your article it says the president needs to rebuild confidence in the law among the public and as democratic allies on capitol hill threaten to roll back aspects of obama care if the insurance marketplace did not improve and focus on what would be lost if it were repeeled. we know that this is said over and over, the best salesperson, best face of the obama care is obama himself. his senior advisers criticizing whether he has the right team around him at this point. over the next few days, honestly speaking, as they continue through december 23rd, it sounds like it has to be the president on the forefront of this. >> part of this effort is they have to -- this is targeted at the public at large consumers who want to sign up, in many ways this is targeted to members of congress, democrats who really lost faith in the white
house and president's ability to manage aca. they followed the president's lead for years on this and many of them feel quite burned, particularly on the issue of canceled policies in the individual market. and the white house is having to show here they have the ability to get out in front and try to get people to follow their lead again. and members talked to folks on the hill yesterday, there's a little bit of a wait and see attitude from rank in file members. they are going to want to see how vigorous the push is before they jump in with two feet again. >> speaking of the push from the republican side here, michael, speaker boehner was asked today about again, many of them have been asked quite honestly, what is the alternative to obama care or aca as it is government run and not patient driven? we're still hearing crickets if you will, michael.
>> i think the republicans have to answer for the lack of a plan. they also have to answer for this charge that they make of the president saying one thing but doing another on the issue of if you like your health insurance you can keep it. to a certain extent they are advocating for under insurance and it seems it's totally at odds with the mantra of personal responsibility. tamron, you've been discussing how this becomes a battle of anecdotes. here's my anecdote, for eight weeks i've been trying unsuccessfully to log on to healthcare.gov and within the last hour, here are my 24 plans. for my family, my wife and i and three sons and daughters off enough to be off the plan, i'm looking at $1150 on the low end to $2108 on the high end. it strikes me as being at odds with any concept of socialism because these are 24 different plans available to our family all with private insurers and we
now look at the competition among them and decide where to go. this changes the debate. >> i don't want to put you on the spot, is this comparable to what you've been paying or what? >> you know what, i've spoken about it and written about it. i have no trouble discussing it. i have right now what you would regard as a platinum plan. and what i'm now being offered through the exchange and pennsylvania didn't even set up an exchange, this is through the federal exchange, i'm absolutely being offered competitive plans with what i have. >> that's interesting, michael, the new york times has an article out on the cost of health care and seen as decreasing and says there have been disappoints with the website but what they see as one bright front is the law is beating expectation regarding cost. over the next few years the government is expected to spend billions of dollars less than originally projected on the law with both the medicaid expansion and the subsidies for private insurance plans ending up less
expensive than anticipated. that's from the new york times. but we know that your plan may be comparable or competitive with what you've received but we cannot ignore those stories of people who say that they are paying more and they are quite upset about it, michael. >> well, they are paying more, perhaps, but we're also creating a whole new dynamic. no longer we certain of us use the e.r. and part of the tradeoff for that is the whole shale change. i get it conceptionally and stuff will happen with the rollout. fixing the website, there will be other glitches we cannot foresee right now to come but people will have to be patient to assess the big picture. >> part of the big picture that i think that we've talked about a lot here is the notion of the e.r. being a regular doctor for people and when you cannot afford that doctor's visit, someone has to pay for it.
i heard anecdotes to your point from people who say i will never have a child but i'm having to pay for this. >> when they enter the emergency room and don't have insurance, one way or the other, you will pay for something that you are not using and you may never use versus what's being offered as part of the country's future with this law. >> you're right. that is the crux of the tradeoff here, winners and losers paying for that care that spread around. the white house tried to make this argument but what it comes down to it, these are personal choices that people are being made and having to make. it comes down to self-interest and what you think you have to pay versus what you would want to pay and that's at the heart at the national debate. >> and at the heart of what the administration and those who support the law in administration have as part of
this sale that they have presenting with the president today and moving beyond this, on their shoulders to explain to people and get them to understand that. >> they've been at such a disadvantage up until now. the only narrative has been the lack of accessibility. when you finally get on the website and we're talking about a very small fraction of americans who need to go on the website, i continually speak to people who say i better get on. you have health insurance through your employer, i don't need to do anything, you're not going to experience a change. but for those who have to go on and shop, finally when you get to see, look at the choices i have, completely changes the debate. >> thank you so much. i greatly appreciate it. i love you brought props with you today. we will bring -- the president's remarks on health care law live in a few minutes and programming note to tell you about. msnbc exclusive chris matthews
will interview president obama as part of the hardball college tour live from american university. the full interview airs thursday. we're following more developing news just within the past hours, the house passed that bipartisan bill on guns. it extends a ban on firearms that are able to get past metal detectors, that so-called plastic guns, why one top democrat says the bill does not go far enough. plus, we're tracking a deadly winter storm that could even push las vegas below the freezing point. the weather channel's forecasting some of the coldest temps in years. you can join the conversation so many of you already have. go to my twitter page. it is at tamron hall and my team is at newsnation. so i c an reach ally bank 24/7, but there are no branches? 24/7. i'm sorry, i'm just really reluctant to try new things. really? what's wrong with trying new things? look! mommy's new vacuum! (cat screech) you feel that in your muscles?
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the house of representatives passed a bipartisan bill that extends a 25-year-old ban on undetectible firearms for another ten years. measure was approved by voice vote. the ban is set to expire next monday. and still needs action by the senate which does not return until monday. at issue here, we've been covering this, plastic weapons that don't set off x-ray machines or metal detectors unless a metal part is inserted in gun control advocates in the house wanted closed. nbc news capitol hill correspondent luke russert joins us here. we've covered this. people find it extraordinary here. this was a gunm manufacturer, wo
produced this which you can make the weapons with 3d printers and this became a hot button issue and congress needed to act quickly. >> this is something that's come up into the public sphere because the atf tested one of these guns and found it was able to fire off some rounds. pete williams did dwoernful reporting about that. you saw a ten-year extension that first came up in the 80s, passed by clinton and bush and eventually president obama most likely, which continues a government ban on these sort of plastic weapons that cannot be detected by metal detectors. what was the issue here, new york democratic charles schumer, he wanted more. he said that we should define a gun by having more metal parts. in order to try to avoid -- this is too lenient, if you have a 3d printer, you can make plastic parts that won't be detected.
however, because democrats wanted to get this ban through, a lot of them withdrew their opposition of the united states house, so much so this was passed by a voice vote. it's very rare that anything in the u.s. how's is passed by a voice vote. you saw it. rob andrews, a democrat from new jersey, close to the house leadership. don't let the perfect get in the way of good. as we've seen this past year, tamron, anything that has to do with any semblance of gun control turns off a large faction of the house gop conference and more conservative groups and the nra has been quiet on this. they said this law, this law should be allowed to expire. that's what was the issue and they feel to get this out you might as well take what you can get. they won't pass any amendment to it in the united states house after that. >> the nra is silent on this but another organization, gun owners of america says the regulations
on plastic guns made from 3d printers are unnecessary because they are so expensive and specialized. let me play what steve israel play in response to the loopholes in the bill by in the opinion of some lawmakers that was not a perfect one. >> this bill is not perfect. i would have preferred to modernize the undetectible farms act and eliminate loopholes in the law by requiring that certain components be permanent on not easily removed. i would have liked to close that loophole but frankly i believe that even a loophole in the law is better than no loophole at all. >> that's interesting and also i know you this, philadelphia has banned 3d printing and first city to do so in reaction to this technology that many say can be used for a dangerous
reason. >> a lot of these types of issues will flare up as we see the word advance. there were no iphones or twitter. we're using at the fast tech no logical pace. you would think congress would have to confront something similar to this in the near future. it is hard to say it will considering how fast 3d printing is going and folks are making stuff on internet out of it. >> who would have imagined ten years ago that this would be available. >> it is quite remarkable. >> reporter: take care. >> new developments on the train derailment in new york, we're learning the train engineer recently started a new shift. we'll have the latest on that and keeping an eye on this live event. the president rolling out if you will a new turn for the health care law. we're looking at kathleen sebelius sitting front row and
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[ male announcer ] try campbell's homestyle soup. we are awaiting president obama to speak at the white house, he's expected any minute now, seeking to move past the problems of the health care website, mr. obama will try to refocus attention on the benefits of the affordable care act. all of this comes with the white house insisting that its december 1st deadline for getting the website working for the vast majority of users. joining me now senior political editor mark murray. i'm curious, what details we know and what the administration has revealed about what we will see between now and december 23rd. i guess at the heart of the question is will the president be the front of this sales pitch? so often he's seen as the most
effective person for the obama administration but may be able to push the traffic to the website. >> tamron, he's going to be the primary salesman, may not be the chief person every day between now and december 23rd but the white house is putting him out today. we're going to see him on thursday with chris matthews in an interview he'll have with hard ball and touting individual components of the health care law. for those covering us, a lot of this isn't anything new, but they'll be listing and trying to move beyond and turning the page for the website. he'll talk about from now on insurers cannot deny people with preexisting. he'll be talking about there's a cap on out-of-pocket expenses and whole host of other protections in the law that weren't in -- weren't part of the health insurance equation before the law passed. it's going to be getting down to the basics and something they weren't able to do because the website wasn't working for two months. >> they know now with the president coming out today and other events planned nationally,
you're going to see a number of people who go onto the website. there has to be behind the scenes confidence. they may not be -- but there has to be confidence that this website can hold up from beginning or through the end getting this information to the insurers with this big push. quite honestly, if you look at the numbers we saw just yesterday, imagine after this effort? >> there is a quiet confidence, they do not want to say this is mission accomplished and everything is sold because of the reporting and website isn't a perfect product on the back end. insurance companies are worried about the information they are getting from the website, making sure it's reliable. it's much better for consumers and insurers that's an open question. they don't want to spike the ball in the end zone just yet. there is a sense of they wouldn't be holding this event if they didn't feel better about the website. all right we've seen organizing for action, president obama's campaign apparatus driving
people to the website. we've seen our progressive groups do the same. i was always told that would be the first stage if they are feeling better about the website and all of a sudden these progressive groups with drive people to the website. the next step of course is whether the insurance companies are ready to go up with their tv ads and probably won't do so until they feel good about the information they are getting. >> there was an article on daily beast today talking about the outreach to the millenials and some have deemed the early approaches i believe the word was corny, that some of the ads that had run on the bro commercial that got so many flak was an ineffective way to reach out to these milennials. >> they have to be able to get insurance to help pay for older people who are sicker to make the tables end up working here.
and not only do you have some of these bro type of commercials but one of the big targets here are mothers. they feel mothers are the better betterbetter communicators, if you're telling your son or daughter, you need to get health insurance, they are going to listen to them probably more than they listen to the president of the united states and somebody in a bro commercial -- >> mothers know best. the president's remarks, we're expecting him to discuss the cap on out-of-pocket expenses and the prohibition on denying insurance to those with preexisting conditions. these are not new points we're hearing from the president but it comes at a different time as we've noted. this website smoothing out some of the kinks here that perhaps people -- won't go to deaf ears and won't be lost in the conversation about the website. >> tamron, before the website debacle, one of the big truths about health care law was
individual components tested much better in polling than the overall legislation or law ended up doing. as you mentioned, this prohibition about denying coverage about preexisting condition, caps on out-of-pocket expenses. vast americans do support -- this is a way for the administration to regain the credibility that it lost with the whole website debacle and they think then being able to move beyond talking about the website and the legislation is very good. this isn't good for everyone involved. this reform hasn't -- some people will be better off, some worse off, the majority of people have the same situation. we're going to be hearing anecdotes to those better off or worse off. the discussion about being able to per use the website in pennsylvania to see the kind of deal he's able to get. that wasn't able for folks in pennsylvania and other people who live in states with the
federal exchange and so that's a very important -- that's why getting this website up was important. >> it wasn't available for michael. >> he could not get the information and now today he had a different experience. we're awaiting this event to start with the president. we're going to take a quick break and be right back. stick with innovation. stick with power. stick with technology. get the new flexcare platinum from philips sonicare and save now. philips sonicare.
and switch to a fresh sheet of bounty duratowel. look! a fresh sheet of bounty duratowel leaves this surface cleaner than a germy dishcloth, as this black light reveals. it's durable, cloth-like and it's 3 times cleaner. so ditch your dishcloth and switch to bounty duratowel. the durable, cloth-like picker-upper. the president is set to start any minute now, this is a new rollout, if you will for the white house and turning the corner from focusing on the website and its problems to really pushing what it sees as the great benefits of the aca, we're awaiting the president and bring the remarks as soon as he starts there. also -- a slow but powerful winter storm is hammering the north today with snow and freezing temperatures and it will soon spread to the rest of the country. nine states are under winter
storm warnings. forecasters say some states can expect a foot or more of snow over the next few days. temperatures are expected to dip to dangerous levels with windchills reaching as low as 20 degrees below zero in some areas. as the storm spreads during the week, nearly every single state is expected to see lower than average temperatures. the cold air will make parts of the texas, arkansas and tennessee very susceptible to significant icing, creating an ice storm that could knock out power to thousands. let's check over with paul goodloe. there is not a bright spot in everything i read there, paul. >> welcome to december 2013. this is a wild month so far in terms of weather. we want to start you off with the water vapor imagery. it's like an x-ray or mri, it shows you what's going on in the pinks and purples. the snow across the northern plains but look at the overall flow with the clouds.
this is the air from the arctic air from canada spreading across the country over the next three to four days. right now the first push is coming into the west and great news for ski resorts in the west seeing plenty of snow. and a foot of snow already almost a foot in duluth. >> paul, thank you very much. we greatly appreciate it. we're seeing people line up on the stage where the president is expected to speak. a number of these people benefitting from signing up for the affordable health care. let's listen in. >> thank you. good afternoon, my name is monica leaks, in 2007 when i was a 19-year-old college student at the university of central florida, i began having symptoms of kroen's disease. at the time i was covered under my parent's insurance which was necessary since i required several surgeries. four years later, while in
graduate school at florida national university in miami, florida. my symptoms returned and i had to start costly infusion. each ranged from 12,000 to $15,000 at a clinic and more to receive them in a hospital. because of the affordable care act, i remained on my parents insurance in grad school and able to receive the treatment i needed. i'm 26 years old now and working in a great organization that affords me the benefit of having my own insurance. i recognize that i'm lucky to have these benefits but not every american is as lucky as i am. my friends and i discussed the cost of private insurance and we all agree we wouldn't be able to do it on current salaries. it gives young adults just starting careers more time to find a good jobs that relies affordable health shurngs. i would have had to pay 700 to $800 a month because of my health condition and i'm a woman. the health exchange for the first time in my life gives me
the flexibility to open my own small business and pursue photography down the road as to how i will afford insurance. now it's my honor to introduce the president of the united states, barack obama. >> great job. [ applause ] >> thank you, monica. thanks to monica and everybody standing behind me and thanks for everybody out there who cares deeply about this issue. monica's story is important because for all of the day to day fights here in washington around the affordable care act, it's stories like hers that should remind us why we took on this reform in the first place. for too long, a few things left working families more vulnerable to the anxieties and insecurities of today's economy than a broken health care system. we took up the fight because we
believe in america, nobody should have to worry about going broke just because somebody in their family or they got sick. we believe that nobody should have to choose between putting food on their kid's table or taking them to see a doctor. we believe we're a better country than a country where we allow every day 14,000 americans to lose their health care coverage or where every year tens and thousands of americans died because they didn't have health care or out-of-pocket costs drove millions into poverty into the wealthiest nation on earth. we thought we were better than that. that's why we took this on. [ applause ] that's what gotten lost a little bit over the last couple of months and our focus had to
shift working 24/7 to fix the website healthcare.gov for the new marketplaces where people can buy affordable insurance plans. today it is working well for the vast majority of users. more problems may pop up and when they do, we'll fix those too. but what we also know is that after just after the first month, despite all of the problems in the rollout, about half a million people across the country are poised to gain health care coverage through marketplaces and medicaid beginning on january 1st. some for the very first time [ applause ] >> that number is increasing every day and will keep growing and growing because we know there are 41 million people out there without health insurance. we know there are a whole bunch of folks out there underinsured
or who don't have a good deal. we know the demand is there and the marketplace is good and provides choice and competition for people to allow people to have the security that health insurance can provide. >> bottom move is this law is working and will work into the future. people want the financial stability of health insurance and we're going to keep on working to fix whatever problems come up in any startup or launch of a project this big that has an impact on one sixth of our economy. we know the ultimate goal, ultimate aim, is to make sure that people have basic security and the foundation for the good health they need. we may never satisfy the laws
[ applause ] this year alone, 8.5 million families have gotten an average of $100 back from their insurance company, you don't hear that often, because it is spent too much like on overhead and not enough on their care. by the way, health care costs are rising at the slowest rate in 50 years. we're actually bending the cost of health care overall which benefits everybody. so that's what this law means to millions of americans. and my main message today is we're not going back. we're not going to bee tray monica or julia or sam or justine or joanne. [ applause ] that seems to be the only alternative that obama care's critics have, is let's go back
to the status quo because they haven't presented an alternative. if you ask many of the opponents of this law what they do differently, their answer seems to be let's go back to the way things used to be. just the other day trepublican leader was asked, what other benefits people without health care might see from the law? he refused to answer even though there are tens and thousands in his state on track to benefit from it. he repeated repeal over and over again. and we heard that from a lot of folks on that side of the aisle. look, i've always said i will work with anybody to implement and approve this law effectively. you got good ideas, bring them to me. let's go. but, we're not repealing it as long as i'm president. [ applause ]
we can make it work for all americans. if you don't like this law -- [ applause ] if despite all of the millions of people benefitting from it you still think this law is a bad idea, then you've got to tell us specifically what you would do differently to cut costs and cover more people and make insurance more secure. you can't just say that the system was working with 41 million people without health insurance. you can't just say that the system is working when you've got a whole bunch of folks who thought they had decent insurance and then when they got sick it turned out it wasn't there for them. or they were left with tens and thousands of dollars of out-of-pocket costs that were impossible for them to pay.
right now what that law is doing -- yes agree with me. right now what this law is doing is helping folks and we're just getting started with the exchanges. just getting started with marketplaces. we're not going to walk away from it. if i have to fight another three years to make sure it works that's what i'll do. [ applause ] but what's important for everybody to remember is not only that the law has already helped millions of people, but that there are millions more who stand to be helped. and we've got to make sure they know that. and i've said very clearly that our poor execution in the first couple of months on the website clouded the fact that there are a whole bunch of people who stand to benefit. now that the website is working for the vast majority of people,
we need to make sure that folks refocus on what's at stake here, which is the capacity for you or your families to be able to have the security of decent health insurance at a reasonable cost through choice and competition on this marketplace and tax credits that you may be eligible for that can save you hundreds of dollars in premium costs ever month potentially. we need people now that we're getting the technology fixed, we need you to go back and take a look at what's going on because it can make a difference in your lives and lives of your families. and maybe it won't make a difference right now if you're feeling healthy, but i promise you, if somebody in your family heaven forbid gets sick, you'll see the difference. it will make all of the
difference for you and your family. i'm going to need help in spreading the word. i'll need help in spreading the word. spread the word about the law, its benefits and its protections and about how folks can sign up, tell your friends and family. do not let the initial problems with the website discourage you. because it's working better now and it's just going to keep working better over time. every day i check to make sure it's working better. and you know, we've learned not to make wild promises about how perfectly smooth it's going to be at all times. but if you really want health insurance through the marketplaces, you're going to find the information you need for your families at healthcare.gov. if you've already got health insurance or already taken advantage of the affordable care act, you've got to tell your friends and family and tell your
co-workers and tell your neighbors. that's how fellow americans get covered and give every american a fighting chance in today's economy. thank you so much, everybody. god bless you. >> the president just wrapping up his first event of three-week pitch to refocus public attention on the benefits of the signature health care law and set out to remind americans that the law is more than a website. why a three-week initiative? because that's how long until the december 23rd enrollment deadline for new year's day coverage. one target audience was young americans. o he needs them 40% to be under 35 and healthy to make the structure work. msnbc's chris matthews sits down with students from american university and president obama on thursday as part of the exclusive hardball college tour.
look for that right here. in the meantime, republicans are trying to keep the focus on the website's problems and targeting blue senators in red states reminding mid-term voters that senate dems voted for obama care so blame them for your troubles. as jonathan allen writes, if they aren't aware of the law's upside or can't remember it amid the problems with the rollout, democrats will be holding on to a anchor rather than a buoy which leads us back to the presidential pr pitch and peter alexander outside the white house. you just heard the president's speech. do you think the bully pulpit has lost its power at this point? >> reporter: a lot of people who paid attention to the last couple of months for this white house feel they've heard events not too dissimilar to this multiple times. this is the reboot, 3.0. the white house feels strongly this is the time it's going to work. the president made it pretty clear, krystal, you can make fun e