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Rep. Ellison teams with White House to promote health care law

Posted by: Corey Mitchell under 5th District, Health care, Minnesota congressional, Democrats, Republicans, President Obama Updated: December 5, 2013 - 3:16 PM

U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison is among a group of Senate and House Democrats teaming with the White House on a campaign to tout benefits of the Affordable Care Act.

The White House and Democratic allies will highlight a potential benefit of President Obama's health care law each day, aiming to remind voters of elements that Democrats say would disappear if Republican repeal efforts are successful.

The Obama administration is hoping the strategy will help shift public opinion after the law's rocky rollout.

Though a majority of Democratic and independent voters don’t support Republican efforts to repeal or defund the law, national polls show the electorate isn’t happy with the Affordable Care Act’s problems.

Millions of Americans, including an estimated 140,000 Minnesotans, have received cancellation notices from their health insurance companies, violating a key promise from the president that if “you like your plan you can keep it.”

Democrats acknowledge the Affordable Care Act isn’t perfect. During an appearance on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, Ellison predicted that people will turn their attention to the law's benefits as the healthcare.gov website's troubles diminish.

“I’m working to make sure Minnesotans and working families around the country have the facts about health care reform,” Ellison said in a statement. “Now individuals and families will have free preventive care, no more lifetime cost limits, and an end to the days when insurance companies could take away your health care when you got sick.”

The messaging will continue until December 23, the deadline for people to enroll for January coverage.

Thus far, Republicans have mocked the effort, saying they’re ready to train the spotlight on the law’s shortcomings. The National Republican Congressional Committee, the campaign arm of U.S. House Republicans, said the “strike team” that Ellison belongs to is “Congress’ liberal all-star team.”

“We look forward to talking about the law even more than Democrats do,” said Matt Gorman, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee.

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