(Photo: Reuters/Larry Downing)
President Barack Obama continued to encourage volunteers of his political base to keep pushing Obamacare enrollment, telling the volunteers they are doing "God's work" through their efforts.
The president made his comments at a national Organizing for Action event in Washington, D.C., Tuesday night. Organizing for Action is a nonprofit organization of volunteers and officials who push the president's agenda. The organization originally helped with Obama's re-election in 2012, and now they have focused their efforts on enrolling as many Americans as possible with the Affordable Care Act before its March 31 deadline.
At Tuesday's event, Obama encouraged the OFA volunteers to keep pushing enrollment for the next month. "We're going to make a big push these last few weeks," the president said. "I can talk, my team can talk here in Washington, but it's not going to make as much of a difference as if you are out there making the case. The work you're doing is God's work. It is hard work."
The president went on to encourage OFA volunteers to recruit those who may be skeptical of Obamacare by telling them not to listen to what they may have heard on "the wrong newscast." Obama added that the bumpy rollout of the HealthCare.gov website, coupled with "an implacable opposition that has spent hundreds of millions of dollars, if not billions of dollars, to spread misinformation" is the reason why "a lot of people who really could use this coverage are unsure. We've got to make sure that they know that this will pay off for them."
As The Wall Street Journal points out, the president's comments on Obamacare volunteers doing "God's work" contains a particularly rich irony, as the president's administration has been unwilling to let some religious institutions, such as the Little Sisters of the Poor, opt out of the Affordable Care Act and mandatory birth control insurance coverage due to their religious beliefs.
Little Sisters of the Poor, a Maryland-based order of nuns, is currently appealing the Affordable Care Act's birth control mandate with the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. Although the mandate does allow for religious exemptions, the Little Sisters of the Poor were not automatically granted an exemption and therefore took their case to court. The nuns were previously granted a temporary injunction by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor so they may continue challenging the birth control mandate without suffering ramifications.
Other religious groups appealing the Affordable Care Act's birth control mandate include the retail chain Hobby Lobby, Right to Life Michigan, and the University of Notre Dame, among many others.