President Obama is set to begin an immediate public relations blitz aimed at turning around Americans' opinion of the health-care bill, assuming the House passes it, White House officials said Sunday afternoon as they waited for the final votes.
Planning inside the West Wing for the post-vote period has proceeded quietly, even as the president and his allies on Capitol Hill have been fighting for the measure's passage.
Reshaping the legislation's image will take place in three phases, aides said: the immediate aftermath; the seven months until the November midterm elections; and the several years that follow, during which many provisions in the measure will gradually take effect.
Democratic lawmakers particularly welcome the immediate help:
One Democratic lawmaker, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he did not want to be considered critical of the president, said that such support has been extremely limited. He said opponents of the legislation have run nearly $1 million worth of ads criticizing him, while supporters have spent just about a tenth of that.
Organizing for America "has been a paper tiger in my district," he said.