KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

L.A. Times: More Than 9 Million Uninsured Gain Coverage

The newspaper's tally draws on state and federal enrollment reports, surveys by consultants and interviews with insurance and government officials. Meanwhile, insurers and others intensify efforts to sign up young customers.

Los Angeles Times: Obamacare Has Led To Health Coverage For Millions More People
President Obama's healthcare law, despite a rocky rollout and determined opposition from critics, already has spurred the largest expansion in health coverage in America in half a century, national surveys and enrollment data show. As the law's initial enrollment period closes, at least 9.5 million previously uninsured people have gained coverage. Some have done so through marketplaces created by the law, some through other private insurance and others through Medicaid, which has expanded under the law in about half the states. The tally draws from a review of state and federal enrollment reports, surveys and interviews with insurance executives and government officials nationwide (Levey, 3/30).

The Wall Street Journal: Health Insurers Make Late Push To Sign Up Young Customers
Insurers are pressing ahead with a final marketing push to bring as many young, healthy customers as possible onto their rolls and buttress a recent surge in health-law enrollments. The flood of late sign-ups that helped boost the marketplace total to six million enrollees, a key milestone for the Obama administration, has also brought some insurers an uptick among younger people. But it isn't clear if the trend is broad enough to balance out an earlier skew toward older enrollees, who are more likely to have costly ailments (Wilde Mathews and Weaver, 3/28).

Los Angeles Times: Fighting For Obamacare Through Stage IV Cancer
Michael Robertson put the bag of chemicals in an inside pocket of his sport coat, the pump in the other. He snaked the tubes between the buttons of his shirt to the port in his chest. He adjusted his tie to cover them. Then he sat down in a cavernous room in the White House complex and pulled his chair close to the table, hiding the bulges. Robertson, an aide to President Obama, was meeting with top officials from federal agencies working to implement the Affordable Care Act. He was also in treatment for stage IV colorectal cancer. A soft "bzzt" every 90 seconds alerted him to another dose and another wave of nausea. He timed the cadence of his questions and comments to the ebb and flow of the chemo. No one seemed to notice, and that's how he wanted it (Parsons, 3/29).

The Hill: GOP Senator: Administration 'Cooking The Books' On ObamaCare Enrollment
Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said Sunday that the Obama administration was "cooking the books" on enrollment figures for ObamaCare. Appearing on "Fox News Sunday," Barrasso said he wasn’t persuaded by statistics that said that more than six million people had signed up for insurance under the healthcare law. ... Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), who has offered legislation to make fixes to ObamaCare, said that it was a great victory for so many people to have signed up for insurance, and said he wasn’t concerned about the number of young people or uninsured signing up (Becker, 3/30).

NPR: Latinos Wary Of All-Out Push To Sign Up For ACA
All throughout the country, supporters of the Affordable Care Act have worked to reach the uninsured, holding health fairs and putting ads on TV and radio. The push continues to get as many enrolled as possible, especially Latinos — the most uninsured group in the country. ... Undocumented immigrants aren't eligible for insurance under the Affordable Care Act, but Obama's deportation of nearly 2 million of them during his presidency may have soured many Latinos' opinion of him (Corley, 3/29).

Politico: Procrastinators: Obamacare Wants You
Leading up to the deadline, President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, cabinet secretaries and other surrogates have done more than 300 radio interviews, attended 45 enrollment events and appeared in videos that have collectively gotten 33 million hits over the last six weeks, according to figures released to POLITICO by a White House official (Haberkorn, 3/30).

ABC News: Obamacare Enrollment Deadline Will Test High-Profile Sales Pitch
LeBron James wants you to sign up for health coverage under Obamacare. So do Magic Johnson and Jonah Hill’s mom. Monday is (sort of) the deadline for Americans without employer-provided health coverage to sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act — the White House extended it so that anyone who’s begun to sign up by Monday can still complete the process by April 7 — and the final enrollment numbers will be an important test for a law intended to expand access for the uninsured. It’ll also be a test for the White House’s high-octane sales pitch, one that’s involved celebrities, YouTube videos, and paid media (Good, 3/30). 

The Fiscal Times: The Growing Puzzle Over Obamacare Enrollment
Probably the only thing harder than predicting the final enrollment figures for the Affordable Care Act is guessing the winners in the NCAA Tournament Brackets.  President Obama announced last week that more than six million people would have enrolled for insurance during the six-month enrollment period that officially ends on Monday -- despite the troubled rollout of Obamacare. Surpassing that six-million mark brings enrollment in line with a revised estimate by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office – albeit well below the seven-million target that was initially set by the administration (Pianin, 3/31).

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