Obama Administration, Others Seek To Smooth Health Reform Roll Out
The Obama administration, industry groups and consumer advocates have begun developing education campaigns to facilitate a smooth implementation of the new health reform law, in part to avoid issues that surfaced in 2006 whenÂ the Medicare Part D prescription drug program began, USA Today reports.
According to USA Today, $1 billion from the 10-year, $938 billion health reform law has beenÂ set asideÂ for implementation purposes.
However, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that implementation would cost between $10 billion and $20 billion, which would come from future appropriations.
The major implementation tasks are expected to fall to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, who will oversee the creation of the state-based health insurance exchanges, Medicaid expansion andÂ eligibility for government insurance subsidies, which are scheduled to go into effect in 2014.
Education Campaign Kicks Off
The Obama administration this week launched the first phase of its education campaign. On Tuesday and Wednesday, Sebelius conducted regional TV interviews in seven states, including Arizona and Pennsylvania.
On Wednesday night, Sebelius and Small Business Administrator Karen Mills hosted the first in a series of weekly webcasts at www.healthreform.gov to answer consumers' questions (Wolf, USA Today, 4/1).
Private Campaign Seeks To Smooth Enrollments
Meanwhile, health consumer group Families USA and lobbying group America's Health Insurance Plans are preparing to launch a joint public education campaign to help overcome the potential challenges of extending health coverage to as many as 32 million uninsured U.S. residents under the new law, Reuters reports (Smith, Reuters, 3/29).
The multi year "Enroll America" initiative will involve other public interest and business groups, as well as physicians and hospital groups, according to Families USA Executive Director Ron Pollack.
The private campaign will raise money to hire local staffers to help states establish user-friendly enrollment systems and encourage people to enrollÂ in the new programs, benefits and subsidies while they are inÂ a physician office (USA Today, 4/1).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.