Less than a week to go before the prelaunch of the Obamacare website, President Obama toured Dreamworks animation with studio chief Jeffrey Katzenberg, a top campaign donor getting a firsthand look at how Hollywood transforms the mundane into the magical.
On the margins comedy great Steve Martin, who, suffering a cold, opted out of the presidential handshake. Then mister Obama watched Martin and actor Jim Parsons record dialogue.
Hitting, his marks, the president focused on the economy, touting rapid growth in the u-s market share of smart-phone systems and other advances.
Also acknowledging the many mistakes that created what he called the “rough” debut of Obamacare.
“Here in southern California and here across this state, there are thousands of people every single day who are getting health care for the first time, for the first time, because of this.
Yet the conference board reported consumer confidence dropped nearly 2-points in October, to its lowest level since April.
With fear about hiring and wages aggravated by the government shutdown and the cancellation of millions of health insurance policies.
“The fact that the 600 million dollars we spent on healthcare.gov and it doesn’t work that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Maybe they will get that fixed eventually not by the end of November, by the way,” explains Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) / “America’s Newsroom”
On a conference call, health and human services secretary Kathleen Sebelius vowed the sequel will be better than the original.
“We are definitely on track to have a significantly different user experience by the end of this month, that was our commitment, than people experienced on October 1st. The experience is vastly improved each and every day,” says Walter Russell Mead, professor at Bard College.
If any president could benefit from a Hollywood rewrite, it’s the incumbent.
The Obamacare debacle has gravely damaged mister Obama’s second-term approval ratings, even assessments of his competence and honesty.
One presidential historian sees no modern precedent for a chief executive succeeding in the task facing this one.
“Bill Clinton, with “I did not have sex with that woman,” faced a similar kind of credibility crisis and did manage to exit his term with pretty good popularity ratings. That was a personal issue, not a policy issue. But the American people are, are always willing to listen to a president who has something to tell them. I think he still has a chance to get some of that trust back. But it, this was a blow. There’s no doubt about it,” explains Rusell.
California led the nation in signups for Obamacare last month.
But it is also among the states hardest hit by the wave of cancellations, with nearly one million residents there losing their coverage.