KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Obama Presses Campaign For Health Law Enrollment

The president continues his many media appearances to help draw attention to the enrollment deadline at the end of March. Meanwhile, a new Pew poll finds that younger Americans are somewhat more interested in the law but support among Hispanics has dropped.

Los Angeles Times: Obama Enlists Help To Push Affordable Care Act
President Obama teased Ellen DeGeneres about the selfie she took at the Oscars and confessed to leaving his socks and shoes lying around while the first lady is out of town, but before the end of his Thursday appearance on her talk show, he got DeGeneres to put in a plug for the Affordable Care Act. That's Obama's deal with popular media these days as the president enlists help to boost healthcare sign-up numbers before the March 31 enrollment deadline for coverage this year. In recent days, Obama has filled out his March Madness brackets on ESPN, joked with comedian Zach Galifianakis and defended his "mom jeans" with radio host Ryan Seacrest — all with the agreement he'd get a moment to make his pitch (Parsons, 3/20).

Los Angeles Times: Younger Americans Warm Somewhat To Obamacare, Poll Shows
As the deadline approaches for enrolling in Obamacare health coverage this year, younger Americans have warmed somewhat to the president’s healthcare law, but Latinos remain closely split over it. Those findings from a large-scale Pew Research Center survey provide a glimpse at two groups that are major targets of the Obama administration’s push to get people to sign up before the March 31 deadline (Lauter, 3/20).

CBS News: Approval Of Obamacare Nosedives Among Hispanics
Four years after passage of the Affordable Care Act and less than a year into the implementation of the exchanges, the health care law's popularity is taking a nosedive among Hispanics. Hispanics are split with 47 percent approving and 47 percent disapproving, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center. In September, 61 percent of Hispanics approved of the law. Meanwhile, overall, more Americans disapprove of Obamacare: 53 percent of the 3,335 adults who responded disapprove of the law, while just 41 percent approve -- a measure virtually unchanged since last September, before people could purchase coverage on the insurance exchanges (Kaplan, 3/20).

McClatchy: 53 Percent Disapprove Of Affordable Care Act, 43 Percent Approve, New Poll Finds
On the Affordable Care Act’s fourth anniversary, a new Pew Research Center poll released Thursday found strong disapproval of the controversial law. Fifty-three percent disapprove, while 41 percent approve. At the same time, the poll found, "when opponents of the health care law are asked about the law’s future, more want elected officials to try to make it work than to make it fail. In September opponents were more evenly divided over how they wanted elected officials to deal with the law" (Lightman, 3/20).

Several news outlets also looked a consumer issues with the law.

Kaiser Health News: The Sign-Up Deadline Is March 31: A Consumers' Guide
Kaiser Health News staff writer Mary Agnes Carey reports: "With just over a week until the March 31 deadline to sign up for health insurance, backers of the health law -- from President Barack Obama on down -- are engaged in a full-force campaign to enroll eligible Americans, especially younger ones who tend to be healthier and less costly to insure. ... Here's a primer on how the law might affect you" (Carey, 3/21).

Kaiser Health News: A Reader Asks: After I Was In The Hospital, Can I Buy Insurance To Cover My Bills?
Kaiser Health News consumer columnist Michelle Andrews answers this reader’s question (3/21).

The Associated Press: Q&A: Am I Stuck In My $$$ Workplace Health Plan?
The new health care law helps some people, hurts others and confuses almost everyone. Hoping to simplify things a bit, The Associated Press asked its Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus followers for their real-life questions about the program and the problems they're running into as the March 31 deadline approaches to sign up for coverage in new insurance markets (Woodward, 3/21).

Fox News: ObamaCare: Does It Really Cost Less Than Cell Phone Coverage?
In the midst of March Madness, the White House is making a full-court press of its own: a last-minute push to enroll more than 1.5 million young people in ObamaCare health plans by the end of this month. But in courting young people, President Obama is making a simple-yet-questionable pitch -- that new health coverage basically costs the same as 4G cell coverage.  "You can at this point get health insurance for $100 a month or less, in some cases less than your cell phone bill or your cable bill," Obama told Ellen DeGeneres this week (Doocy, 3/20).

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