KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Selling The Idea Of Health Insurance To ‘Young Invincibles’

The Obama administration is launching a national video contest designed to convince young people to sign up for coverage, spending $30,000 on prizes to draw the YouTube generation.

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: HHS Offering Prizes For Videos Promoting Obamacare
The 'young invincibles' are what health policy wonks call healthy young adults (18-30) who don't see being uninsured as a problem. But it is a problem, at least for the success of the Affordable Care Act. That's why the Department of Health and Human Services is spending $30,000 on prizes for a national video contest, in a frank appeal to the YouTube generation (Feibel, 8/20).

The Hill: HHS Targets Young Consumers With ObamaCare Video Competition
The Health and Human Services Department is teaming up with the group Young Invincibles in a new effort to encourage young people to enroll in new coverage options under ObamaCare. The HHS and Young Invincibles announced a contest Monday for videos urging young people to enroll in new insurance policies. Whoever makes the best ObamaCare video can win up to $8,500 (Baker, 8/19).

The Washington Post's Wonk Blog: Why Obamacare Is Good For Young People
The key is that not everyone uses their health insurance at the same time, or with the same frequency. Sick people use it more than healthy people. The elderly use it more than the young. Women use it more than men. The trick to making any health-insurance system work is to attract enough healthy and young people into the insurance pool. Their low costs offset the care provided to elderly and unhealthy people, who drive costs up. This is the task that obsesses the Obama administration. It's also the task that has begun to obsess its opponents (Klein, 8/19).

Los Angeles Times: Paul Bunyan, Ox Sidekick Hired As Insurance Salesmen In Minnesota
Minnesota, the land of 10,000 lakes, now has 10,000 reasons to get health insurance, too. At least that's the latest pitch from state officials launching a campaign to enroll about 1 million residents in healthcare coverage when its state-run insurance marketplace goes live Oct. 1. The state has enlisted Minnesotan folklore icons -- lumberjack Paul Bunyan and his trusty sidekick, Babe the Blue Ox -- as the face of its marketing campaign to promote MNSure, as the state's health exchange is known (Lopez, 8/19).

Kansas Health Institute: KCK Looking For Ways To Get The Word Out On Obamacare Marketplace
Health officials here estimate that Wyandotte County has about 27,000 people without health insurance and they are hoping that Obamacare and the new insurance marketplace soon expected to be operating in Kansas can help change that (Shields, 8/19).

Meanwhile, there's messaging and marketing from health law opponents, too -

The Associated Press: Group Kicks Off Nat’l Tour On Health Law Defunding
One of the chief backers of a plan to defund the federal health care law by tying it to budget negotiations said Monday that he didn't believe Republicans would be blamed for a government shutdown as supporters of the approach launched a national tour to spur support for the idea. Dismissing concerns from some Republicans, former U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina called the defunding idea the "last, best chance" to stop the federal health care overhaul before key parts of the law take effect later this year (DeMillo, 8/19).

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