The only thing hotter this week than the weather is a printing press at a federal office building. The White House is stepping up its efforts to promote the law and states are coming up with creative advertising strategies to enroll people in the new exchanges this fall. Meanwhile, a mini regulation dam burst July, 2013 with several pages of critical regulations being released since the White House quietly announced the one year delay of the employer mandate over the 4th of July recess.
If you are looking for summer reading then this Forbes article suggests you try reading healthcare reform regulations. The final guidance has not been released on the employer mandate delay itself but a different 606 page rule was. This rule takes out income reporting requirements on the state exchange for the first year and could open the door for fraud and abuse. This will make it easier for those to qualify for subsidies even if they do not qualify because there is nothing preventing anyone from lying the first year.
Some question whether this is an effort to push people into the government marketplace others wonder if we can afford this if we cannot attract the young healthy to balance out the risk of the older and sicker. States are trying to reach out to younger people to get them to enroll and that is the target of the new public relations efforts beginning now. This is important for the federal government and states running their own model because if exchanges fail to enroll this younger and healthy demographic then there is a probability parts of the law will be in trouble because of lack of financial sustainability long-term.
The Final Campaign
The White House is beefing up their public relations efforts in a final campaign to attract as many young and healthy individuals to the new government marketplace opening in October of this year. Many Americans will qualify for a subsidy but the majority of American’s do not know how the law will impact them yet they will be required to purchase insurance beginning January 1, 2014 or pay a tax.
The White House awarded a $33 million contract to the Public Relations firm to promote the law. The money will be used to promote the new exchanges and enroll people in coverage. In states all over the country new navigators are being created and are using creative ways to promote the law. The President went on offense during a speech on July 18, 2013 defending his signature law and arguing how it has and will lower costs.
The President Touts Law
On Thursday, July 18th the President went on offense promoting his signature law to a public who remains skeptical and uninformed. More disapprove now than when the law was passed and the House voted to delay the employer mandate and individual mandate for one year. The White House issued their statement of Administration Policy saying that the President would veto any repeal bill or delays in mandates in the ACA if such a bill were ever to make it to his desk.
Read this transcript if you have any doubt that this thing is not moving forward. The Treasury department also indicated that the Employer mandate is the only delay and everything will be full speed ahead.