Whites, not so much.
President Barack Obama tends to skim lightly over the details of his health care law in speeches.
But his administration has a far more specific pitch to black and Hispanic audiences.
The message: Blacks and Hispanics, among whom uninsured rates are significantly higher than among whites, stand to benefit disproportionately under the health law, gaining access to free preventive care and other services that will help reduce existing health care disparities. The sustained outreach from the White House aims to make voters eligible for new benefits aware of them and how to get them.
Obama’s staff has invited groups of black journalists and publishers to the White House for health care briefings with senior officials and conducted traveling policy road shows in black and Hispanic neighborhoods across the country. On the day the Supreme Court upheld Obama’s health law, senior adviser Valerie Jarrett held an on-background conference call for black reporters.
Obama rarely emphasized specific benefits for blacks and Hispanics as he pushed his law through Congress, focusing instead on its benefits for the general populace. And the law itself includes only a smattering of programs designed to address racial disparities in health care — even though 22 percent of African Americans and 32 percent of Hispanics are uninsured, compared to 14 percent of whites, according to Kaiser Family Foundation data.
As his campaign leans heavily on repeating 2008’s historic margins and turnout from black voters, months of White House outreach on the Affordable Care Act could help rally African Americans in November. While the president polls far better among blacks and Hispanics than GOP challenger Mitt Romney, every vote matters in such a tight race.
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said the appeals are key to boosting black turnout in swing states such as Florida and Ohio, and he’d like to see even more of them.
“It is a rallying call and it would help excite the African-American vote because this is something that African Americans truly care about,” Cummings said. “If there is one piece of legislation that I have voted for that I hear mentioned most is the Affordable Care Act. It is just amazing to me, you know, I think about my constituents, if they didn’t watch the news, would be shocked that there’s so much opposition to it.”