David Jackson, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON - President Obama can't run for re-election again, but he is still mounting a major political campaign -- this time trying to build public support for his heath care plan as it gradually comes on line.
Obama invited supporters to the White House on Friday to promote the law's benefits for women and lay groundwork for the introduction of health care insurance exchanges in October.
"The law is here to stay," Obama told the crowd.
As Republicans cite polls that show rising opposition to the law -- and predict it will be a major factor in next year's congressional elections -- Obama said it's understandable that people would be nervous and anxious about its implementation.
While big new projects always involve "mistakes" and "hiccups," Obama said: "I am 110% committed to getting it done right."
Many provisions of the law signed in 2010 are already benefiting Americans, Obama said. Insurance companies cannot cut off people who are sick or have pre-existing conditions, and children can stay on their parents' policies until the age of 26.
"A lot of people don't know it, but you get those protections," Obama said.
Future provisions will benefit Americans who currently lack health insurance, including the creation of new marketplace exchanges that will create competition and lead to lower rates.
"There's a lot that this law is already doing for Americans with insurance," Obama said. "There's a lot more that's going to happen for folks who don't have insurance."
He also said: "We still have a lot of work to do in the coming months to make sure more Americans can buy affordable health coverage."
The president connected this particular White House event -- one of a series designed to promote the law -- to Mother's Day, which is Sunday.
The law benefits women by offering preventive care like mammograms and cancer screenings, Obama said.
Obama also asked supporters to encourage uninsured young people to sign up for the new exchanges that start in October.
Republicans are also busy campaigning on what they call "Obamacare," looking ahead to the 2014 congressional elections.
Many GOP lawmakers and candidates have said they want to repeal the law.
"Women and families don't need Obamacare's higher costs, 20,000 pages of red tape and regulations or to be forced off plans they currently have and like, in order to get cancer screenings or other preventive care," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
McConnell also said: "Rather than another campaign-style event, the president has an obligation to warn all Americans about the train wreck that's headed our way."