President Obama tried to rally his most loyal supporters to continue talking up the new health care law over the holidays, urging them to fight against “misinformation” and not let “naysayers” and “setbacks” get them down.
“There's been a lot of misinformation out there and problems with the website that have fed a lot of this misinformation,” Obama told supporters on a conference call facilitated by Organizing for Action (OFA), the nonprofit group that sprung from his presidential campaign committee.
“But because of you the insurance market has the strongest consumer protections the world has ever known,” he continued, noting that young people are allowed to stay on their parents’ plans, hundreds of thousands of people are getting free mammograms and young people who don't currently have insurance are able to obtain it for the “cost of a cell phone or cable bill”
OFA organizers said nearly 200,000 people had joined the call. Obama and the organizers asked everyone listening in to help them push forward with a new initiative called “Health Care for the Holidays” in which they encouraged the supporters to talk to uninsured relatives or those doubting the merits of the law over the dinner table and at holiday parties over the next month and a half.
“This holiday season we've got to, when we're at Christmas parties at our churches and synagogues, we've got to remind everybody about the positive benefits the law has already achieved,” he said.
“We've got to remind people that that they're not going to run up against lifetime caps on coverage. They're not going to be denied coverage for preexisting conditions,” he continued.
Acknowledging the failures of the website and its problem-riddled rollout, Obama said he has taken responsibility for fixing it and stressed that there is still time for “everybody who wants to be enrolled to get enrolled.”
“This isn't a one-day sale,” he said. “The prices aren't going to change – we've just got to go and get it done.”
He repeatedly thanked his supporters for helping inspire him even during the last few weeks when critics were hammering him over the website failures.
“Despite all the noise out there – all the criticism and all the setbacks,” he said, “I've never lost faith that we can get this done – you have lifted me up every stage of the way. I appreciate you.”
Before signing off, Obama asked his supporters to help put pressure on Senate Republicans, who blocked another key White House judicial nominee Monday evening.
Senate Republicans filibustered Robert Wilkins’ nomination to fill one of three vacant seats on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. His nomination fell six votes shy of the 60 needed to overcome a GOP filibuster.
Obama expressed frustration, noting that it was the fourth time Senate Republicans held up one of his nominations for the D.C. circuit court of appeals and said “this type of obstruction is completely unprecedented.”
“It's time for Senate Republicans to stop playing partisan politics with our courts,” he said. “Our system needs these judicial vacancies filled.”