Countdown to Open EnrollmentBy
With health insurance exchange open enrollment less than a month away, the Obama Administration and other advocates are charging full speed ahead to get the word out about the exchanges set to open on October 1. In this past week alone, former President Bill Clinton gave a one-hour speech touting the benefits of the health reform law, the White House announced a $12 million ad buy to promote the law in states with the highest uninsured populations, the Baltimore Ravens announced they will be promoting the exchanges and Enroll America increased its grassroots efforts. If you live in states like Texas and Pennsylvania, Enroll America may be knocking on your door!
Despite all these efforts to promote the law, those who are against the law are doing public outreach too. The group Americans for Prosperity, who has already spent $2 million this year on anti-PPACA ads, recently announced plans to launch another seven-figure ad campaign targeting the healthcare law in states like North Carolina, Virginia and Arkansas. The 30-second ads will be similar to AFP’s other ad campaigns, which feature Americans expressing confusion and worry over what the law will bring once fully implemented.
In his speech in his home state of Arkansas, Former President Clinton urged PPACA opponents to stop fighting so hard against implementation of the law. Instead, he asked that the states and Congress work together to improve the law. Noting he was recently named the “Secretary of Explaining Stuff” by the current White House, Clinton tried to explain why this major healthcare overhaul is actually good for the country. Clinton did acknowledge that the law is not perfect and there are a lot of glitches that do need to be worked out, but stated unless we work together to fix the law, the glitches will remain where they are. Specifically, he suggested making the law’s little-known small-business tax credit more available, as well as eliminating a so-called family glitch that could penalize workers who can afford to cover themselves but not their families. Further, Clinton highlighted the fact that the fate of the law lies within the exchanges: The law will likely fail if people, especially the young invincibles, do not sign up.
In addition to President Clinton’s efforts, Enroll America hit the ground this week, sending canvassers out across the country to knock on doors and raise awareness of the law. The Baltimore Ravens also decided to get behind the PPACA implementation, citing the fact that “research shows that 71 percent of the uninsured population in Maryland have watched, attended or listened to a Ravens game in the past 12 months,” making the team an ideal avenue for awareness raising. The bulk of the team’s promotion efforts will occur during the six month open-enrollment period beginning on October 1.
Last but not least, the White House announced a $12 million ad campaign this week. The ad buy will start on September 30th in states such as Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Georgia, Missouri, Ohio, Indiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Louisiana and Michigan. HHS has said that this campaign is all part of the department’s “normal outreach” efforts and that this much money is also typically spent on promoting parts of Medicare each year.