WASHINGTON - The current Cosmopolitan magazine explains the
The other night, late-night TV host
"Lots of women who will benefit may not read the
To be specific, White House officials are aiming at a demographic of people who pass on information they find useful to others. They tell their friends, moms and daughters, the official said, making them "even more trusted messengers" than the magazines themselves, the official said.
Selling the message is the No. 1 task this week for President
Just getting people to try the new healthcare marketplaces will be no easy lift. Polling data suggest that even uninsured Americans, those who stand to benefit the most, are wary of the Affordable Care Act, as the law is officially known. One Pew Research survey conducted last week found the uninsured as likely to disapprove of the law as they are to approve of it.
"The policy is complicated and hard to explain. That has been the problem for the Obama administration all along," said Patrick Griffin, former legislative director for President Clinton and now the academic director of the Public Affairs and Advocacy Institute at American University. "Now, though, people are starting to think about it in practical terms. The rubber is about to meet the road."
As they try to get Americans to take the plan out for a spin, White House strategists are targeting women and the sources they trust.
Top administration officials have been talking to women's magazines, including Woman's Day, Cosmo Latina, Marie Claire and Ebony, several of which are running stories in their October print issues. The
Critics of the law are having their say in the same venues. One reader comment on Glamour's Web version of the story notes that some small businesses are changing their business practices so they don't have to comply with the law. Since the beginning of the healthcare debate, some business leaders have threatened to reduce worker hours or cut back the size of their workforce to avoid the law's reach.
Obama aides hope the larger audience of uninsured individuals will at least be intrigued enough to visit the online sign-up sites when they open Tuesday.
"For us, this is about meeting people where they are," the White House official said. "With all of these, there was thought put into circulation numbers, reach ... and also who the most trusted messengers are."