President Barack Obama is promoting the benefits of his health care law before new insurance exchanges open for business next week.

President Barack Obama speaks with attendees during a luncheon for delegates and heads of state at the United Nations (U.N.) General Assembly (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The White House says Obama will explain Thursday how Americans can comparison shop for insurance that meets their needs. He plans to tell an audience at a community college in Largo, Md., that they'll have lots of options, including plans that are affordable on a variety of budgets.

A six-month enrollment period for the exchanges starts Tuesday. The Obama administration needs millions of Americans — especially young, healthy people — to sign up in order to keep costs low for everyone.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who wants the law repealed, dismissed Obama's planned speech as "happy talk." He said skeptical Americans were tuning Obama out.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)