Selling ObamaCare: And so it begins…
posted at 12:01 pm on June 19, 2013 by Erika Johnsen
As much as we were assured that the whole thing was going to be so inarguably awesome that it was going to sell itself, ObamaCare’s supporters seem to be finding it all too necessary to give the law the full-on positive campaign treatment. Earlier this week, Organizing for Action — the metamorphosed former Obama campaign — launched their first television ad touting the health care overhaul’s ostensible benefits, and now the nonprofit organization leading the charge on getting Americans to actually sign up for the law’s insurance programs is launching their grassroots outreach, via Politico:
Enroll America, which is led by several former Obama campaign staffers, plans to target the uninsured in multiple ways: knocking on doors, advertising on television and radio and partnering with churches, civic groups, hospitals and celebrities. …
“If they don’t know about it, they won’t enroll. That’s where Get Covered America comes in,” Anne Filipic, president of Enroll America, told reporters on a conference call on Tuesday. …
In the short term, the group is hosting 50 events this week in 18 states, including Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas.
The events — which range from hosting a table at a farmers’ market in Austin, Texas, or at churches across the country on Sunday — are “where volunteers will be starting this conversation” and “arming consumers with important information they need” to decide on insurance this fall, Filipic said.
Their Get Covered America campaign is going to be clutch in convincing younger, healthier people that they should spend several thousand more dollars on health care plans than they might otherwise want or need to, because if enrollment falls short and is comprised of a too-large portion of older, sicker people, the whole things is going to get inordinately expensive very quickly — which is precisely what they promised wouldn’t happen. They have a little more than three months before the insurance exchanges’ October 1st startup date to scramble to market the law — but a new report from the GAO wonders if the federally-run exchanges being set up in more than 30 states are even going to be ready by then, via Reuters:
The launch of the exchanges, which are expected to provide health coverage for 7 million people in 2014 and 22 million by 2016 as well as to some small businesses, could determine whether Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement succeeds.
The report by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) said key parts of the framework of the exchanges, including those that addressed consumers’ eligibility for federal subsidies, management and monitoring of insurance plans and consumer assistance, had not been completed.
The report found that states had not completed many of the tasks assigned for implementation, while U.S. officials have conducted only initial testing of the computerized system that will link the exchanges, states and the federal government.