Monday, June 24, 2013
Obamacare Starts in 100 Days
Public opinion’s always in advice of the Law.
John Galsworthy (1867-1933)
Promises, large promises, is the soul of advertising.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)
Brace yourself. Gird your loins. Open your minds. And you taxpayers, open your pocketbooks. Obamacare, projected to cost $2 trillion or more over the next decade, is on now about to begin.
Sign-ups for Obamacare’s health exchanges starts in 100 days on October 1, 2013. And, today, Enroll America, Obamas inspired and funded coalition of community organizations launches its advertising push to sell Obamacare to the American public, particularly to the uninsured, underinsured, and the young and health.
Enroll America’s 100 day education and enrollment blitz will feature a new government website, call centers, house calls, and an intensive PR campaign. The campaign will host 75 events in 27 states. It will include TV and Internet commercials, talk show events, brochures at health fairs, sermons at churches, and even knocks on your door – all instructing you how and when to sign up.
The sign-up message will go something like this:
"Come one. Come all. We’re all in this together. Sign-up now. Obamacare is the Law of the Land. It provides better, essential, comprehensive care at lower rates. Your government is protecting you and will pay for your health care coverage."
The campaign will seek to persuade the young and healthy, who now pay an average of $854 a year to sign up for the exchanges, whose plans run an average of $5800 a year in premiums. This may be difficult since it requires the young and helathy to act against their own economic interest, and since they know that they can sign up later when they need the coverage. Besides, the $95 penalty for not signing up is trivial.
It will be a hard sell, and it will need to be . Only 35% of Americans approve of Obamacare, only 19% feel it will leave them better off, only 33% of those aged 18 to 35 believe health insurance is “worth the cost,” and only 40% of Americans know the law even exists.
The advertising campaign will need luck. As a June 18 WSJ editorial said,
“Good luck getting the millennials to sigh up when plans aren’t merely more expensive but when the exchanges malfunction, or doctors don’t accept exchange coverage because some checked the wrong box, or any number of myriad administrative problems. HHS is promising an iPhone and apps store, and what it is about to deliver is a rotary dial and switchboard that doesn’t work.”
The sign-up faces two formidablem fundamental obstacles:
One, technical. The government’s computer infrastructure isn’t ready to transmit data to other government agencies – HHS, Treasury, Homeland Security, and the IRS to see if an individual qualifies for government tax subsidies.
Two, educational. The government must reach and persuade millions to sign up, to better their lives and health, and to make the sign-up process understandable in the face of blown deadlines, regulatory snarls, and general chaos.
Tweet: Sign-ups for Obamacare health exchanges begins in 100 days, and Obama’s Enroll America campaign is underway.
Posted by Richard L. Reece, MD at 12:42 PM
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