Moderated by Rick Badie
Today, a campaign in Georgia and elsewhere to educate the nation’s uninsured about the Affordable Care Act comes under scrutiny. A conservative writes that efforts by Enroll America, the nonpartisan organization that aids the awareness campaign, will benefit “health industry players” that support Obamacare. Co-authors for the other article suggest otherwise.
Enroll America’s free advertising
By Virginia Galloway
Looking for a quick, easy way to get rich? Forget playing the lottery or saving and investing wisely. In 2013, the road to riches is much easier: Just get friendly with the Obama administration. Dollars will come.
That’s the lesson we can take from the President Barack Obama’s controversial health care law, the Affordable Care Act. Many of the president’s health care industry supporters and allies stand to make fortunes, It’s the latest evidence that Obamacare is a leading example of government cronyism.
Since it was passed into law in 2010, Obamacare has never been popular. A July poll by CBS News found that 53 percent of Americans disapprove of the health care initiative; 39 percent want the law repealed.
So what can the Obama administration do? Launch a campaign to drown out skeptics. First up: a barrage of billboards, television and social media ads aimed at hustling us into believing Obamacare is the cure to all our ills.
Another front in that campaign is led by Enroll America, a non-profit organization established by Obama supporters in 2010 to sign up the uninsured. The mission statement from its website includes “making a coordinated, concerted, and wide-reaching effort to ensure that Americans know how and where to sign up for coverage.”
As Politico has reported, Enroll America is working with the president’s campaign team, Organizing for America, to “unleash the same grass-roots mobilization and sophisticated micro-targeting tactics seen in the 2012 campaign.” Any chance they chose Georgia as one of 10 target states based on an upcoming governor and U.S. Senate election? Or the fact that Gov. Nathan Deal refused to set up an insurance exchange to implement Obamacare?
What a bonanza for insurance giants, pharmaceutical companies and other health industry players who will benefit from what is essentially free advertising for their products from this “non-profit,” coupled with a mandate that you have to buy those products.
It all paints a devastatingly ugly picture of the truth behind Obamacare: an unholy alliance of government agencies and corporate heavy-hitters working together to foist on the American people a government takeover of the U.S. health care system. And while they’re at it, they’ll be enjoying a big payday, which of course will provide more money to make campaign donations.
The broad distaste for the president’s signature law stems from a variety of factors, including the law’s numerous mandates and regulations that create a complicated maze to navigate, and the fact that it will cost much more than advertised — an estimated $1.8 trillion in the first decade alone. Then there’s the realization that many Americans expect to see the quality and access of their health care deteriorate.
The good news is that Georgians so far see past the pretty face of misleading statements that the Obama administration and its allies have deployed to push their government takeover of the U.S. health care system. Opponents of Obamacare will continue to tell the truth about how it will make health care in the United States worse, at greater expense, while lining the pockets of corporate special interests.
Virginia Galloway is state director of Americans for Prosperity Georgia.
Enroll America builds awareness
By Dante McKay and Jack Bernard
The Affordable Care Act, also called the ACA or Obamacare, has been law since 2010. Whether you like it or not, there’s no question that helping tens of millions of Americans get access to quality health insurance is a good thing.
In Georgia alone, nearly 2 million citizens who don’t have health coverage stand to benefit from the new changes. Unfortunately, too many people still don’t know what the law means for them. For example, most Americans don’t realize that on Oct. 1 new health insurance marketplaces will open that will let uninsured and underinsured Americans shop for competitive private insurance coverage.
That’s where the non-partisan, non-profit group Enroll America comes in. Through the Get Covered America campaign, it’s working with local organizations like Georgians for a Healthy Future to build awareness. What makes Get Covered America’s effort unique is that it’s focused on working within communities to provide information. Its staff and volunteers have one-on-one conversations with consumers to provide information about the health coverage options and marketplaces.
Enroll America isn’t selling any specific plan or offering advice on what choices citizens should make. In fact, it isn’t even signing people up. That’s the job of enrollment staffers certified by the federal government and state of Georgia.
There are those in the country who have devoted themselves to keeping the millions of American living without health coverage from getting signed up in the new, quality health plans that will be available.
Americans for Prosperity, for example, is a special-interest group that opposes efforts to raise public awareness of the coverage options. This group will spend millions to attack the health care reform and it has already spread misinformation about the ACA to consumers trying to understand what the new changes mean for them.
Americans for Prosperity also is attacking Enroll America directly in an attempt to undermine efforts by community organizations across the country to help people get the health coverage they need. Enroll America has built a great team around the country — including right here in Georgia — and is working with a wide network of partners committed to spreading the word so consumers can make informed decisions.
We hope you’ll join the effort, too, so more Georgians can have the peace of mind knowing they’re covered. For more information, visit the GetCoveredAmerica.org website.
Danté McKay is Georgia state director for Enroll America, a health care enrollment coalition. Jack Bernard, a former chairman of the Jasper County Republican Party, was the first state director of health planning for Georgia.