“Be aware there is a deadline, and if you miss it, there could be situations where your coverage is affected,” Lueck said.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that regardless of whether the federal government is shut down as a result of Congress’ budget impasse, the new exchanges will open. However, in a briefing with reporters, she acknowledged there will be additional glitches in coming weeks and months. Already, the Spanish version of the website and the exchange for small employers have been delayed several weeks.
“We know opponents are desperate for anything that could go wrong,” Sebelius said, noting that she hoped the public would give the administration time to work out the kinks the same way it does when Apple has to upgrade its software. She also pleaded with reporters not to make final judgments on the exchanges after one week.
“We are on the eve of history, and I’m very excited,” she said.
Sebelius said the administration will ramp up its promotional efforts starting Tuesday, including using celebrity pitchmen, social media and traditional television advertising.
Singer Katy Perry is one celebrity in the campaign, but federal health officials declined to disclose others.
Sebelius said it is not surprising the public is confused about the health law and unaware of many of its benefits, because political opponents have spent $400 million on negative ads compared to $75 million in ads supporting the law.
Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan health policy research and communications organization not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.
Mon, Sep 30 2013