Tales from the Trail

What’s next on healthcare reform? — Enroll America

Democrats are still celebrating their historic achievement on healthcare reform, but the looming question is what’s next?

For Republicans and other opponents, it’s a campaign to repeal the law and replace it with something more to their liking.

For healthcare reform advocates and industry groups, including some who opposed the legislation, it’s implementation of the new law and getting people to sign up for coverage. cr_lrg_515_Pollack

Ron Pollack of Families USA, a healthcare advocacy group, is spearheading a massive effort called “Enroll America” that will try to make enrollment for new healthcare insurance subsidies and the expanded Medicaid program go as smoothly as possible.

The effort will involve healthcare advocacy groups as well as hospitals, insurers, pharmaceutical companies, doctors and community health centers, Pollack said.

Obama: no ‘Armageddon’ as healthcare becomes law

USA-HEALTHCARE/OBAMAPresident Barack Obama, campaigning in Iowa on Thursday to sell his landmark healthcare overhaul, couldn’t resist mocking Republicans for warning that the reform would provoke “Armageddon” and other tactics he rejects as alarmist scaremongering.

“I’m not exaggerating. Leaders of the Republican Party called the passage of this bill Armageddon. Armageddon! End of freedom as we know it,” he told a rally in Iowa City.

“So after I signed the bill, I looked around to see if there were any asteroids falling, some cracks opening up in the earth? Turned out it was a nice day. Birds were chirping. Folks were strolling down the Mall,” he said.

Did health insurance industry report backfire?

Support for a “strong public option” appears to be growing in the House of Representatives.

One of the reasons is that a health insurance industry report predicting higher premiums if Congress fails to enact a healthcare overhaul without a strong mandate for individuals to purchase coverage appears to have backfired.

Democratic aides say support for a strong public health plan to compete with insurers is gaining strength in the House which is weighing three versions of the public option. USA/