KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

With Final Enrollment Push, Obama Focuses On Latinos

President Barack Obama will participate in a Thursday town hall meeting with Latinos, which will include an in-depth discussion about the law's impact on this population. Still, some consumers -- many of whom might fall into the coveted young adult category -- are getting health coverage outside of the state and federal health exchanges. And reports continue regarding consumer confusion about the health law and its deadlines.

Los Angeles Times: Obama Launches Final Push For Healthcare Sign-Ups
President Obama is scheduled to hold a town hall meeting with Latinos this week in an attempt to boost enrollment in the healthcare law's new insurance marketplaces before an end-of-the-month deadline. The meeting set for Thursday is part of a March push by the White House to drive sign-ups (Parsons, 3/3).

Politico: Viva Obamacare? President Obama Makes Spanish Media Push
According to White House officials, the president will appear for the first half of the hourlong televised event, answering questions that attendees submit in advance. During the second half experts will take in-depth questions about the law and its impact on the Latino community, which has a far higher uninsurance rate than the nation overall (Cheney, 3/3).

NPR: Flagging Down Taxi Drivers To Sign Up For Obamacare
Dan Ware has been driving a taxicab in Chicago for more than a decade, but he still doesn't have what many jobs offer: health insurance. "I'm without health coverage," he says. And that's not unusual, says Chicago Public Health Commissioner Bechara Choucair. "What we know in Chicago is that around 70 percent of taxi drivers are uninsured," Choucair says (Corley, 3/4).

The California Health Report: Covering Cambodia Town
At the Mietphoum Khmer Spirit Center in the heart of Long Beach’s Cambodia Town, Vouchmeng Sieng is talking, as always, about health insurance. A small gathering of Cambodian American immigrants have trickled into the center on a bright Saturday afternoon to find out about the new, still mysterious, Affordable Care Act. In rapid-fire Khmei, the patient care manager for The Children’s Clinic of Long Beach, spells out enrollment protocols under Covered California, doles out benefit information, and patiently answers questions from the multi-age, monolingual group. “A lot of Cambodians don’t go to the doctor because they have no insurance and that’s why a lot of them will die young…they wait until the water gets to here,” she said, lifting her hand to her throat, “and then they start to swim" (Portner,  3/4).

CNN:  The Hidden Number Key To Obamacare's Success
Enrollment on the Obamacare exchanges isn't the only number to watch. Lots of Americans are signing up for health insurance outside the exchanges -- plans that are not offered on the federal and state marketplaces. They are adding to the overall enrollment figures and bolstering the share of young adults, who are particularly coveted because they're considered healthier and less costly (Luhby, 3/3).

Modern Healthcare: Exchange Enrollees Confused Over When Their Coverage Starts 
Some physicians and other healthcare providers are experiencing new challenges associated with enrollees of the new health plans sold on the Obamacare insurance exchanges (Rice, 3/3).

The Fiscal Times: Uninsured And Still Unaware Of Obamacare Deadline
The majority of uninsured Americans are still largely unaware of Obamacare and the crucial March 31 deadline to sign up for coverage through the new exchanges. Those without health insurance April 1 and beyond will be subjected to a tax penalty imposed under the new healthcare law. The latest survey from Kaiser Family Foundation found some 76 percent of Americans without coverage are unaware of the deadline.  Moreover, just 12 percent of uninsured respondents said they knew “a lot” about Obamacare, while 24 percent knew “some” information about the law, 36 percent knew “a little” and 26 percent knew “nothing at all" (Ehley, 3/4).

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.