President Barack Obama touted an "updated, easier" heath care website as an example about how his administration is modernizing the way the federal government delivers services during a news briefing Monday following a cabinet meeting.
He also promoted the website – healthcare.gov – as a benefit of his signature health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act.
"Americans will be able to log on and comparison shop on an array of private health insurance plans – side-by-side – just like you go online and compare the best deal on cars and the best deal on computers," he said. "Because you will finally be a part of a new pool with millions of other Americans, insurers want to compete for your business. We worked really hard to make these marketplaces user-friendly."
Many Americans are uninformed about the law and hold a generally negative view of it, according to polls. The government has also enlisted private help to inform the public about the law. It is also using Obama's former campaign arm, now known as Organizing for Action and a grassroots advocacy group, to help promote it. The group recently launched their second pro-ACA television advertisement.
"With this second television ad in the summer Obamacare series, OFA continues to tell the story of the benefits Americans are experiencing with the law in place and push back on the misleading rhetoric from opponents," OFA said in a press release. "These television ads are paired with volunteers across the country spreading the truth about the benefits of Obamacare by reaching out to members of their communities throughout the summer."
Obama also highlighted other ways his administration has tried to employ technology to improve the government. Beginning in his first term, he said he's tried to translate the technology innovations used by his 2008 campaign and private sector companies to make a more efficient, cost-effective government.
"If you are applying for federal benefits, we think you should be able to check the status of your application in real time, just like you can follow the location of a package all the way to your doorstep," Obama said.
The efforts have already saved $2.5 billion from consolidating information technology services within the federal government, he said.
The president also asked for more private sector technology experts to lend their help.
"We can't just stand on the sideline, we can't take comfort in just being cynical," Obama said. "We all have a stake in government success, because the government is us."