Obama teams up with Clintons over health-care reform
US President Barack Obama teamed up with his one-time rivals Bill and Hillary Clinton to highlight the benefits of his health-care reform, a week before one of the controversial law's key elements goes into effect.
Obama, who was in New York for the UN General Assembly, joined the former president for a talk-show-like session at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) conference and urged Americans to become informed about measures designed to ensure the uninsured get coverage.
The White House has battled Republican efforts to discredit the law, known as Obamacare. The House of Representatives passed a bill last week that would fund the US government from October 1 only if the law is defunded.
Seeking to allay fears and reduce confusion, Obama urged Americans to tune out naysayers and inform themselves directly by reading the website health care.gov before signing up for affordable care.
"The main message we have ... is look, just go to the website yourself," Obama said. "When people look and see that they can get high-quality, affordable health care for less than their cellphone bill, they're going to sign up."
Obama's presence at the CGI was steeped in politics. Obama beat Hillary Clinton for their party's 2008 presidential nomination, and tension with her husband lingered even after Obama made her secretary of state in his first term.
The event took place one week before new health care exchanges open. The exchanges will allow millions of Americans who do not have insurance to sign up for plans that fit their budgets, the White House says.