WASHINGTON (AP) — Dogged by the botched enrollment launch of his health care law, President Barack Obama is taking an economic message to Ohio, using a Cleveland steel plant as the setting to promote his energy efficiency, business attraction and auto industry policies.
Obama planned to highlight some of the positive notes in the still sluggish economic recovery, even as computer problems and unfulfilled promises associated with the health care law were the focus Thursday at the White House and in Congress.
In Cleveland, Obama will visit a plant owned by ArcelorMittal, a Luxembourg-based steel company that has benefited from the auto industry resurgence. It manufactures advanced high-strength steel that contributes to automobile fuel efficiency.
But the trip and its message were already overshadowed by Obama’s announcement Thursday that insurance companies would now have the option to keep offering consumers plans that would otherwise be canceled. The announcement was meant to meet an Obama promise, ultimately unmet for millions, which assured Americans that they would be able to keep their coverage if they liked it.
Obama will likely address the status of the health care law in Ohio, a day after his administration announced that only 26,794 people enrolled for insurance on the trouble-plagued federal website during October. In a bright spot for Obama, Ohio Gov. John Kasich is one of a few Republican governors to take advantage of the law’s Medicaid expansion to reach more low-income Americans.
Obama later will attend a political fundraiser in Philadelphia.
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