KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Obama’s Labor Allies Sitting On Sidelines Of Health Care Rollout

Unions, which were disappointed in an administration decision to keep a tax on their group health plans, are not jumping in to help the White House in the battle to get the public signed on to the law. Meanwhile advocates and insurers are spending time with general messaging about the health care law until the marketplace website is working.

Politico: Unions Sitting Out ACA Enrollment
President Barack Obama's loyal allies in the labor movement aren't jumping to help the administration in the public battle over the problematic Obamacare website. Put off by new reinsurance fees on group health care plans that affect union members, Big Labor is largely sitting out the effort to enroll people for health care coverage or make the White House's public case that the mangled rollout of doesn't mean the entire Affordable Care Act is flawed (Epstein, 10/29).

Politico: Affordable Care Act Advocates Press Outreach, Downplay Website
The faulty Obamacare sign-up site has created a dilemma for advocates of the health law organizing outreach and education efforts. Now that open enrollment has begun, they need to get out the word about new coverage options and try to overcome years of public confusion about the law. But using scarce dollars to point people to a website that's not working can be counterproductive. ... So several states and insurers are delaying their marketing campaigns or choosing to focus on more general messaging at this point (Villacorta, 10/29).

In other political news about the health law --

Politico: Ads Hit Red-State Democrats On Obamacare
Americans for Prosperity is targeting two red-state Democrats over Obamacare with a pricey new ad buy that launches this week. The conservative group singles out Sens. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.) in two new health care-related television ads, viewed first by Politico. The North Carolina and Louisiana 2014 contests will play key roles in determining which party controls the Senate (Glueck, 10/29).

CBS News: Poll: Bad Press Is Increasing Interest In Obamacare
The sea of bad press for the federal government's Obamacare website may be doing more good than harm for the Affordable Care Act, according to a new poll. A survey released Monday by shows awareness and interest in the plan is growing among key demographics. The poll found 51 percent of all those surveyed -- Democrats and Republicans alike -- say the House Republican attacks and troubled launch of the Obamacare website have made them more interested in the new medical insurance plan. Only 4 percent say they're less interested (Von  Hoffman, 10/28).

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