The Washington Post

Three things we learned from Tuesday’s Obamacare update

Every day, usually around 2 p.m. or so, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services hosts a half-hour-long call on the status of the insurance marketplace. Now, every day, we here at Wonkblog will update you on what the federal government told us about how Obamacare is going. Without further ado, here is what we learned today!

(Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters)
(Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters)

There was no CMS update Tuesday! Sad, we know, but Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius did host a call with local elected officials on the state of the health-care law that us reporters got to listen in on. Here's what we learned.

"Don't hesitate to recommend people go to and sign up." This was a pretty strong statement from Sebelius encouraging people doing state-level outreach to direct the shoppers to the federal exchange. At the same time, there are some reports that, privately, the White House is encouraging outreach groups to push for a gradual return to the Web site. But, going on a national conference call and encouraging local officials across the country to direct shoppers to the Web site seems to be a pretty strong vote of confidence from the Obama administration that should be working reasonably well by the end of the month.

Local officials aren't getting demographic information. A county executive from Milwaukee asked the secretary to provide demographic information about who is signing up for coverage, arguably a more important metric than the number of people enrolling.

"One of the things I've been curious about is any demographic information about who is and isn't signing up, so we can get a sense of how to best adjust and tailor our public efforts," Chris Abele asked.

No dice. "Chris, at this point we hope to add that to our statistics very soon but we don't have the breakdown by age and zip code and area," Sebelius responded. As to how to focus outreach efforts, Sebelius directed Abele to "focus on the general population in terms of likely uninsured but also young and healthy individuals."



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
Sleep advice you won't find in baby books
In defense of dads
Scenes from Brazil's Carajás Railway
Play Videos
For good coffee, sniff, slurp and spit
How to keep your child safe in the water
How your online data can get hijacked
Play Videos
How to avoid harmful chemicals in school supplies
Full disclosure: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 ghoul
How much can one woman eat?
Play Videos
What you need to know about Legionnaires' disease
How to get organized for back to school
Pandas, from birth to milk to mom
Next Story
Andrea Peterson · November 26, 2013

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.