obamacare

A key part of the Affordable Care Act takes effect on Oct. 1. That's when Americans shopping for health insurance can begin enrolling in the program.

Tammy Spencer did a double take when she read the address on her paper and looked at the house in front of her.

Spencer, a volunteer with the nonprofit Enroll America, was spending a hot and humid Saturday morning knocking on doors in Boca Raton, a mostly posh South Florida city, looking for people without health coverage. She wanted to let them know about new online insurance marketplaces that open for enrollment Oct. 1.

Who needs jocks when you've got Jennifer Hudson and Amy Poehler?

That seems to be the message coming out of the White House following a star-studded meeting yesterday led by White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett. Its mission: Figure out how to help promote the Affordable Care Act.

The online health insurance marketplaces can't open soon enough for Chris and Kristi Petersen. Enrolled in the Iowa high-risk insurance pool because insurers on the private market won't cover them, the couple pays more than $1,300 each month for a plan with a $2,500 annual deductible and a 20 percent copay for medical services. It's more than they can afford.

"At the end of this year, these exchanges are either going to have to offer some relief, or I'm just going to quit working and let the welfare take care of us," says Chris. "I'm fed up with it. I'm fed up with insurance."

This summer was supposed to be a time to reintroduce the public to the Affordable Care Act and teach people how to sign up for benefits this fall.

But that's not what's happening.

It hasn't been a good week for the Affordable Care Act. After announcements by the administration of several delays of key portions of the law, Republicans returned to Capitol Hill and began piling on.

This weekend marks 100 days until people can begin signing up for new health insurance coverage under the federal health care law. It also marks another milestone: the launch of an enormous public relations effort to find people eligible for new coverage and urge them to sign up when the time comes.

But like everything else about the health law, even this seemingly innocuous effort has been touched by controversy.

One recent morning, Evelyne Lois Such was sitting at her kitchen table in Denver when the phone rang. Such, who's 86, didn't recognize the phone number or the deep voice on the other end of the line.

"He asked, 'Are you a senior?' and I said yes, and he said, 'Well, we are sending out all new Medicare cards, and I want to make sure I have all your statistics just correct,' " Such recalls.

Florida House

As lawmakers decide how --- or whether --- to move forward with parts of the federal Affordable Care Act, House and Senate select committees plunged Monday into issues such as a potential expansion of the Medicaid program and the law's effects on Florida businesses.

In back-to-back meetings, lawmakers heard testimony from people with far-different perspectives about the controversial health overhaul, which Florida Republican leaders resisted for more than two years.

Florida Is 'Interesting' As Obamacare Dawns

Jan 3, 2013

Florida led the multi-state court case that tried unsuccessfully to derail President Obama's health care reforms last year.

But now, Gov. Rick Scott seems to be halfway through a complete reversal toward complying with Obamacare.

He's setting up an infrastructure to support the insurance exchanges that the Affordable Care Act would create. He's got a meeting with HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius next week and his state Senate has already set up a committee to study Florida's Obamacare options.

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