Topics: Obamacare

HHS budgets $150m to teach people how to enroll in Obamacare

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke,Obamacare

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced Thursday that HHS will spend $150 million to teach people how to enroll in the Obamacare exchanges, after a Democratic senator scolded her for running a poor “public information campaign.”

Related: Obama orders top aides to praise Obamacare during commencement speeches

“Investing in health centers for outreach and enrollment assistance provides one more way the Obama administration is helping consumers understand their options and enroll in affordable coverage,” Sebelius said Thursday. HHS promised that the health centers would provide “unbiased information to consumers” about various provisions in the law.

The health centers funding complements the navigators program, HHS noted. The Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard reported that tens of thousands of people would be paid between $20 and $48 an hour to serve as “navigators” to help others enroll for the law’s benefits.

“Today’s funding announcement is part of the administration’s larger effort to make applying for health insurance as easy as possible,” HHS said. “For example, last week, we released a single, streamlined application that was shortened from 21 to 3 pages. We are committed to providing the type of assistance that Americans need to ensure that they have access to affordable health care.”

Retiring Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., one of the key authors of Obamacare, scolded Sebelius for her implementation of the law.

“I just see a huge train wreck coming down,” he told her during a recent Senate hearing. “The administration’s public information campaign on the benefits of the Affordable Care Act deserves a failing grade.”

 

 

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