KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Targeting The Health Law’s Enrollment Message

Though some view it as a difficult sell, new advertising from the 17 states that are setting up health insurance marketplaces tends to be upbeat and positive. First Lady Michelle Obama is also pitching in on efforts to reach very specific populations.

The New York Times: Songs And Sunscreen Spread The Health Insurance Message
The part of President Obama's Affordable Care Act that requires Americans to obtain health insurance has been a contentious issue politically, but new advertising from the 17 states setting up marketplaces where residents will buy insurance tends to be buoyant. New commercials for the Oregon exchange, called Cover Oregon, for example, resemble something from a tourism bureau. In one commercial, the singer Matt Sheehy performs an anthemic song, "Long Live Oregonians," that is reminiscent of "This Land Is Your Land" by Woody Guthrie (Newman, 7/31).

The Associated Press: First Lady Asks For Latinos' Help On Health Care
Michelle Obama urged Latino activists to help sign people up for her husband's health care overhaul, especially the millions of younger, healthier people the system will need to offset the cost of caring for older, sicker consumers. The first lady said that, starting July 31, consumers can create an account at , or , its Spanish-language equivalent, so they can get ready to sign up for health insurance in the fall, starting on Oct. 1 (Plaisance, 7/31).

Though some health law advocates view the back-to-school season as the perfect time to get the word out, Politico reports that no clear effort to reach parents has emerged.

Politico: Schools Keep Distance From Obamacare Enrollment
When children return to school a few weeks from now, don't expect to find Obamacare forms stuffed inside their backpacks. Supporters of the health law see back-to-school season as a natural time for Obamacare outreach, a chance to find young families who could benefit from new health coverage options. But weeks before the school bells start ringing in parts of the country, there's no concerted effort to reach parents at the schoolhouse door. It's yet another sign of how the undying controversy could overshadow attempts to get people enrolled (Cheney, 8/1).

And in other related news -

Kansas Health Institute: Feds Promote Obamacaare As Launch Date For Insurance Exchanges Approaches
Federal officials today released a report on the benefits of Obamacare, breaking them down state by state as part of a public relations push in anticipation of the October launch of the reform law's health insurance marketplace. According to the report, there are 326,885 currently uninsured Kansans who could receive coverage through the new insurance exchange, which is scheduled to begin processing applications Oct. 1 for coverage that begins Jan. 1 (7/31).

The Associated Press: Apple-Inspired Connecticut Stores Planned Health Law
Besides television and radio advertisements, billboards and signs on buses, Connecticut's new insurance marketplace is planning to open storefronts inspired by Apple to help get the word out about President Barack Obama's health care law and coming enrollment (Haigh, 7/31).

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