White House, Democrats Seek To Prepare Officials for ACA Outreach Effort
White House officials and congressional Democrats are collaborating to prepare lawmakers for an Affordable Care Act outreach campaign this summer to educate constituents about the law's insurance exchanges, which are scheduled to open for enrollment on Oct. 1, Politico reports.
Details of Initiative
Ahead of the Memorial Day recess, Democratic leaders and staff from the House and Senate convened several meetings with White House communications, health reform and small business officials to discuss outreach strategies, according to Politico.
The outreach initiatives are said to include designating district-level contacts who will be able to field questions about the law, hold training sessions for state officials and provide constituents with information on how to sign up for coverage through the ACA's exchanges (Haberkorn, Politico, 5/28).
- Comprehensive information about the ACA's key provisions;
- An implementation timeline;
- Details about health insurance plans that will be available to consumers in the federally run exchanges;
- Guidelines on responding to constituents' questions and criticism about the ACA (Smith, BuzzFeed, 5/28);
- Possible answers to counter Republican "myths" about the ACA;
- Contact information for federal and regional health policy staff (Politico, 5/28); and
- Advice on working with external groups -- like Planned Parenthood and the National Association of Community Health Centers -- on outreach, education and enrollment activities.
In a letter accompanying the packet, Pelosi said "[n]othing could be more important" than ensuring that the ACA is properly implemented, adding that the objective is "to educate our constituents about the new law, help to implement it, and strengthen the hands of those who have worked for this historic reform" (BuzzFeed, 5/28).
Obama Administration Also Preparing for 'Massive' Education, Outreach Campaign
Meanwhile, President Obama and his administration also are mobilizing for a "massive" ACA education and outreach campaign that would reach all 50 states and the District of Columbia, NPR's "Shots" reports.
David Simas, deputy senior adviser to the president, said the White House plans to use a variety of strategies and platforms, including social media, a grassroots initiative and television advertisements to help sign up at least seven million people for health coverage within the first year of the full implementation of the law in 2014.Obama already has launched the effort, inserting into a commencement speech he delivered at Morehouse College this month a plea to graduating students to help "spread the word to your fellow young people" about obtaining insurance coverage (Shapiro, "Shots," NPR, 5/28). 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.