The New York Times reports that the Obama administration still faces significant challenges implementing and promoting the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Some of the implementation challenges include:
- Pushing states resistant or opposed to the ACA’s Medicaid expansion to change their stance;
- Monitoring the implementation of the health insurance exchanges and rate schedules for participating insurers;
- Assessing the effects of the law on small businesses; and
- Encouraging healthy individuals to purchase insurance coverage.
Another challenge involves businesses who may delay hiring or shift some of their full-time employees to part-time jobs to avoid the requirement that businesses with 50 or more full-time workers offer affordable coverage or pay a penalty.
Further education to the public about the ACA is also needed. The Kaiser Family Foundation’s April 2013 tracking poll found that effective promotion of the ACA could be achieved by involving consumers who are knowledgeable about the law. The poll found that 40% of respondents cited “conversations with friends and family” as a source of information about the ACA. Traditional and online news media were preferred sources of information for 36% of respondents, while 30% cited cable news as their source for ACA details.
The poll found also found that misinformation persists. More than 40% of respondents were unaware that the ACA is “the law of the land and is being implemented,” 12% thought Congress had repealed the ACA and 7% thought the Supreme Court had overturned the law.
Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced that they plan to launch a major campaign to help more residents sign up for private or public health coverage.