The Obamacare charm offensive begins

President Barack Obama signs a copy of the Affordable Health Care for America Act for a member of Congress after the bill's passage in 2010. This week, the White House will begin a PR campaign to sell the legislation to skeptical Americans.

Later this morning, the president will host several women at the White House to talk about how Obamacare has helped them and their families, just in time for the Mother's Day. It's is just the latest in a week's worth of Affordable Care Act news as the administration gears up the charm offensive to sell health reform to the millions who still don't quite get it.

"We are announcing that $150 million dollars is being made available help community health centers across the country," says Sebelius.

If it feels like all ACA all the time, that's fine with Anne Filipic, who runs Enroll America, a non-profit that promotes healthcare reform.

"When you've looked at the coverage of the Affordable Care Act, really it's often been very political. But what we are starting to see – and I think this is a very important and powerful thing – it's starting to become a consumer-focused conversation," says Filipic.

For now that conversation is designed mainly to get people to feel good about Obamacare. Cue the moms at the White House.

"Part of our work is not just reaching the uninsured, but reaching those trusted voices. So you know we want to reach young men for example across the country who may be uninsured. Part of our job is to reach out to their moms," says Filipic.

Into early summer, much of the PR campaign will be focused on getting people comfortable with health reform. But the nitty gritty details and the hard sell are still a ways off.

Lindsay Resnick is with the advertising firm KBM whose clients include health insurers. He says there's a risk in saying too much too soon about the mechanics of the exchanges, people will get confused.

"There's really nowhere for somebody to go and shop and no action that an individual can go and take to buy insurance," he says.

There'll be plenty of action October 1, when people can start buying insurance on the new exchanges. Come the fall, Resnick promises we'll all be drowning in all things health care.

About the author

Dan Gorenstein is the senior reporter for Marketplace’s Health Desk. You can follow him on Twitter @dmgorenstein.

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