Obama’s OFA begins effort to showcase personal health care testimonials

With millions of Americans starting to receive health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act on Wednesday, President Obama’s political organization is starting a new campaign to highlight the personal stories of people benefiting under the new law.

Organizing for Action, the non-profit and non-partisan advocacy group that grew out of Obama’s reelection campaign, is launching a new Web site, complete with videos and interactive maps, to showcase personal testimonials from those enrolled in the new health care exchanges.

OFA’s digital push, titled “This Is Why: Health Care Reform Matters,” comes as the White House, congressional Democrats and their allies try to shift the public’s attention from the botched rollout of the HealthCare.gov website to the real-life benefits of the law for those who previously were uninsured or underinsured.

The site, which will expand in coming days with more personal testimonials and videos, is designed to make sure people see not just the Affordable Care Act enrollment statistics, but also specific ways in which the law is benefiting everyday Americans, an OFA spokeswoman said.

The new OFA website features a virtual “Story Roll” that allows viewers to click on stories from people across the country who’ve benefited from the health care law. The site displays testimonials from all 50 states, some of them culled from local news reports.

For example, Rosetta from Missouri boasts that her insurance premium is now only $35 a month. “That’s like the cost of my Internet,” she says. Meanwhile, Mary-Therese from Florida says she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006 and shortly thereafter lost her health care coverage. “I’ve been waiting a long time for January 1st, 2014,” she says.

Philip Rucker is a national political correspondent for The Washington Post, where he has reported since 2005.
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