President Obama has escaped to Hawaii for his annual holiday vacay, but he is staying active on the isle of Oahu and keeping an eye on Obamacare progress.
On Sunday the family attended a college basketball game on the campus of the University of Hawaii. The University of Akron Zips played the Oregon State Beavers, coached by first lady Michelle Obama’s brother, Craig Robinson. The game was held on the campus of the University of Hawaii.
On Monday, Obama started the day with a sunrise workout at the gym on the Marine Corp Base at Kaneohe Bay, which included basketball. In the afternoon he slowed things down a bit playing 18 holes of golf at Mid-Pacific Country Club in the neighborhood of Lanikai, an exclusive residential area of Kailua where the President’s vacation rental is located. Marvin Nicholson, Bobby Titcomb and Eric Whitaker joined him. Before turning in for the remainder of the day, President Obama spent nearly two hours in the late afternoon at the beach with his girls.
With the January 1 start of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance provision just around the corner, the President is abreast of the once malfunctioning process that offers millions of Americans health insurance options at www.healthcare.gov.
The President received a detailed update late Sunday from his health care team in Washington about the preparations for the ACA deadlines. He was briefed on the efforts to ensure that the website could handle the large amount of traffic that was predicted and on efforts to ensure a smooth transition on January 1. The President will receive additional updates in the days ahead about the website's performance and other aspects of ACA implementation that are intended to maximize the benefits for the law for all Americans.
The sign-up deadline for Obamacare was extended by a day to Dec. 24.
Over the weekend Obama demonstrated his support of the new law by signing up for the Bronze Plan himself. The act of the President signing up for insurance coverage through the DC exchange is symbolic since the President’s health care will continue to be provided by the military, as has been the norm for previous presidents. Prior to leaving for vacation President Obama made several media appearances to promote The Act and to reassure Americans that the kinks were being worked out of the system.
The first family will return to Washington on January 5, just in time for Sasha and Melia to head back to school. Last year the trip was cut short when Obama returned to Washington mid-trip to offer guidance to lawmakers on preventing the "fiscal cliff" economic failure.