As of Friday, there were just 67 days left until open enrollment in the health insurance marketplaces established under the Affordable Care Act begins. Even with the National Security Agency surveillance ordeal in full swing, there are few things weighing more heavily on the Obama Administration than this clock.
The number of unemployed Americans is uncomfortably high, and the number of zeros in the federal debt is undeniably weighty, but the number of people that sign up for coverage will ensure the success or failure of the reform and the safety of President Barack Obama’s legacy.
To ensure that millions of uninsured Americans — especially young, cheap-to-insure Americans — sign up for coverage, the administration has charged around two dozen political analysts and data-crunching technocrats to educate the population regarding Obamacare, which is the biggest health care overhaul since Medicare. Already, the stakes for the Obama Administration are high, since the reform has become one of the most divisive acts of Obama’s entire presidency.
And now, President Teddy Roosevelt has joined the team.
The Washington Nationals’ team mascot, Teddy, appeared in a promotion with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius the other day. Secretary Sebelius and Teddy teamed up to promote the opening of the exchanges on October 1 in a 30-second spot that inspired Sen. John McCain’s (R.-Ariz.) tweet on the previous page.
The Obama Administration needs to convince young, cheap-to-insure people to sign up for insurance on the superstore-like exchanges this October in order to balance out older or sicker patients who are more likely to sign up for insurance as soon as possible. Their insurance premiums cover the big bills for the relatively small number of sick people.
According to estimates made by the Obama Administration, approximately 7 million people will sign up for coverage using the exchanges in 2014; about 2.7 million of those enrollees need to be young, cheap-to-insure Americans in order for the system to work.
Here’s the spot: