Obamas to host moms in Oval Office ‘Obamacare’ push

U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama walk to Air Force One at Love Field in Dallas, Texas, April 25, 2013. The Obamas attended the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Center and a memorial for victims of the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas on Thursday. (REUTERS/Jason Reed)

Always listen to your mother! President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will be highlighting that message Wednesday as they host a group of moms in the Oval Office to promote Obamacare.

“Women are often the primary decision-makers on finances and health care for their families,” a White House official explained. “Moms have a huge influence on their kids and husbands and are a key demographic for the ongoing effort to make sure women and their families know the benefits they can access through the health law.”

The Obamas, who rarely co-host events in the Oval Office, aim to enlist moms in the campaign to convince their adult children, family members and peers to sign up for health insurance under the president's signature law.

The campaign has become only more urgent since Oct. 1 because of the botched rollout of the federal HealthCare.gov website for buying insurance. Obama officials notably worry they won’t get enough of the young, healthy enrollees they need to offset the costs of older Americans who require more care.

Come Wednesday, the Obamas will welcome moms from around the country who have been working to convince relatives, neighbors and friends to get covered under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The Obama administration has been courting women for months, emphasizing that adult children can stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26 and that insurance companies can no longer deny kids coverage because of pre-existing conditions.

Winning over women would have another benefit: Democrats are relying on them in the 2014 midterm elections that will decide control of Congress. Recent polls and analysis suggest the White House faces an uphill fight. A Kaiser Family Foundation poll in November found that 49 percent of women have an unfavorable view of Obamacare, compared to 33 percent with a favorable view.

So top Obama aides, including adviser Valerie Jarrett, White House Domestic Policy Council director Cecilia Muñoz, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius have reached out through media that traditionally reach women, including magazines like Woman’s Day, Parents, Cosmopolitan, Cosmo Latina, Marie Claire, Glamour, Health, Latina and Ebony.