Here’s How Communities Used Innovative Ideas to Get Covered This Open Enrollment Period

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Here’s How Communities Used Innovative Ideas to Get Covered This Open Enrollment Period

February 12, 2016 at 12:19 PM ET by Jerry Abramson

At the end of the most recent Affordable Care Act open enrollment period, the White House has announced the winner of its Healthy Communities Challenge.

A few months ago, my office began our usual calls to local leaders to see how we could support them in the third open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act. With more information on enrollment, our team knew that leaders would need to get creative to reach those who still were uninsured and inform them that quality, affordable healthcare was available on the Marketplace.

That’s why the White House decided to challenge 20 communities from across the country, large and small, to enroll the most new consumers as possible. The White House Healthy Communities Challenge engaged key communities with large numbers or high percentages of uninsured in states across the country where strong federal, state and community collaboration could (and did) have a meaningful impact on reaching the uninsured.

Today, the White House is announcing that the winner of the White House “Healthy Communities Challenge” is Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Under the leadership of Mayor Tom Barrett and County Executive Chris Abele, over 38,000 people in the Milwaukee area newly selected a plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace during this open enrollment period. Together with returning Marketplace consumers, over 89,000 people in the Milwaukee area selected a 2016 Marketplace plan. To increase enrollment, Mayor Tom Barrett opened libraries for enrollment events, delivered thousands of flyers to promote enrollment events, and participated in robocalls and phone banking. County Executive Chris Abele ran digital signage on County buses, directing people to and additional services available through 211 to help individuals with the application process.

Congratulations to Milwaukee, winner of the Healthy Communities Challenge.

As the victorious community, Milwaukee receives bragging rights, a healthier community, and a visit from President Obama to celebrate their success in helping ensure Americans have health coverage. President Obama will visit Milwaukee in the coming weeks.

Chicago, Ill.; Atlanta, Ga.; Detroit, Mich. and Oakland, Calif. rounded out the top five for the Challenge. Altogether, participating communities saw over 1.6 million new enrollees, representing people who were uninsured for years as well as Americans finding coverage as they go through changes in life, such as being between?jobs, striking out as entrepreneurs, or aging off their parents’ plans. Many more renewed their previous Marketplace coverage.

Mayor Barrett and Executive Abele are only two of the many state and local elected officials who made tremendous efforts to reach out to their constituents ahead of the January 31st deadline for this third open enrollment period. Below are some of the best practices these leaders found in ensuring that their communities would have peace of mind:

  • Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins worked with the Dallas County Community College District to remind students to enroll on campus during National Youth Enrollment Day.
  • In Philadelphia, Mayor Jim Kenney participated in a telethon for Latino radio stations and sent an email to the public school system’s parent portal about enrollment.
  • Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s team distributed tens of thousands of fans throughout community centers, churches and libraries. The fans listed enrollment sites and provided Covering Tampa Bay’s 1-800-number to set up appointments to enroll.
  • Mayor Kasim Reed in Atlanta attended open enrollment events to remind people of enrollment locations and to share information on benefits of the Affordable Care Act.?
  • In Seattle and King County, “Health-Care Happy Hours” were held at social events that focused on small businesses and arts/culture.
  • Mayor Sly James in Kansas City created Public Service Announcements that were aired over 330 times on radio stations.
  • In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel directed the City’s 311 non-emergency services line to inform all callers of their insurance options under the Affordable Care Act and provided guidance to operators to connect callers to enrollment opportunities.
  • Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf set up a storefront for enrollment at City Hall for consumers to find information and enrollment assistance.
  • Mayor Ben McAdams in Salt Lake County focused on connecting navigators with a population of formerly incarcerated individuals and also with members of the refugee community.
  • Nashville Mayor Megan Barry released information about open enrollment during key festivities such as the Music City Bowl and the New Years’ Eve festival, where about 250,000 people were in attendance.
  • Mayor Mitch Landrieu in New Orleans created a challenge with barbershops and beauty salons to spread the word about open enrollment.
  • In California, Mayor Robert Garcia of Long Beach recruited community organizations to undertake large canvassing efforts in areas with high-uninsured, subsidy-eligible populations.?

As we approach the sixth anniversary of the law’s enactment, nearly 18 million Americans have gained health care coverage and our nation’s uninsured rate has fallen below 10 percent for the first time ever. This figure reflects, in large part, the hard work and leadership on the part of state and local elected officials across the country in getting their communities informed and enrolled. The lessons learned from every participating community will be invaluable in guiding enrollment efforts nationwide for years to come. These great American communities participating in the Healthy Communities Challenge utilized effective practices to increase enrollment and ensure that their friends and neighbors receive the healthcare and peace of mind that they, and their community overall, deserve.

?The rankings for the White House Healthy Communities Challenge.?

Jerry Abramson

Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs

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Kasich: Jeb Was On Board of a Company That ‘Was an Enthusiastic Supporter of Obamacare’

Republican presidential candidate Ohio Governor John Kasich argued that fellow candidate former Florida Governor Jeb Bush “served on the board of a company that was an enthusiastic supporter of Obamacare” and that the decrease in Medicaid growth “was one of the most conservative changes in the country” on Friday’s “America’s Newsroom” on the Fox News Channel. Kasich said, after seeing a clip of Jeb criticizing him for expanding Medicaid [relevant remarks begin around 2:15] “Well, look, he served on the board of a company that was an enthusiastic supporter of Obamacare, where I think he got like around $3 million. So don’t say that you were fighting it like crazy. You should have resigned the board if that was your point. But look, in our state, we took Medicaid growth from about 10.5% to 2.5% in our second budget. It was one of the most conservative changes in the country.” Kasich added, in response to criticisms of his stance on the military from Jeb, “Well, first all, Bill, i was what you call a cheap hawk. There were many of us that thought that we should make sure the resources get to the men and women on the front lines
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Limbaugh on Hillary-Bernie Pro-Family Immigration Claim: Dems Have No Problem Being ‘the Husband’ in the Black Family Structure

On his Friday radio show, conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh scoffed at the suggestion Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) are concerned about immigration policy that would deport those here illegally on the grounds it would split up families. According to Limbaugh, if that were a true belief held by Democrats in general then the role of government-provided welfare benefits would not be a substitute for “the husband” in the black family structure. Partial transcript as follows: Just off the top of my head, stream of consciousness thoughts, I’m watching these people go on and on and on about immigration.  One of the points they both kept making was, as they push the idea of amnesty, that the Republicans and anybody else who opposes them, all they want to do is split up families.  We can’t allow that.  We can’t allow families to be split up.  Why, the family is crucial.  It’s a crucial structure, and one of the reasons that we should not be deporting anybody here is that we’re breaking up and busting up families, and it’s just unconscionable. Don’t you just love it how these two people, the Democrat Party at large,
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Cowherd: Socialism Doesn’t Work — Look at College Football

On the Friday broadcast of “The Herd” on Fox Sports 1, host Colin Cowherd gave an opening rant about socialism after watching Thursday’s Democratic debate. First, Cowherd called Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton “the most qualified presidential candidate we’ve had in two or three decades,” but then he noted the recent success of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). The radio host blasted socialism and the idea of free college and free everything else, saying “it’s not going to work.” He then compared socialism to college football, saying the sport has long been trying to make lesser programs like Wake Forest, Purdue and Iowa State equivalent to powerhouses like Southern Cal, Alabama, Ohio State or Oklahoma by lessening the amount of scholarships schools can offer, to no success. “Let’s look at today,” Cowherd said. “The NCAA, the socialists, paradigm here, ‘We are going to make it more even than ever.’ They have enacted all sorts of rules for 30 years to make it even. Let’s see if it’s worked. Alabama is, in the last five years, 62-7, three titles. It is the most dominating an SEC football team has ever been. That’s weird. So we enact all these changes to hurt the powerful, and Alabama’s never been more powerful. In the Big 10,
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Trump Jumps to 44% Nationally, Rubio Drops to 10%

Rubio and Trump AP
Morning Consult released its latest national poll Friday, and the news is all good for Donald Trump, whose support jumped from 38% last week to 44% support today. That puts The Donald a full +27 points ahead of second place Ted Cruz, who enjoys 17% support, which is exactly where he sat last week. Ben Carson and Marco Rubio are tied for 3rd place at 10%. Carson jumped just +1 point since last week. Rubio, however, lost -5 points — a third of his support. Jeb Bush jumped from 6% to 8%. John Kasich doubled his support from 2% to 4%. The Real Clear Politics poll of national polls does not show anything this dramatic. Trump is in first place over Cruz but only by +9 points. It is worth noting, though, that the newest national poll in this average is more than a week old.   Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC               
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German Bouncer: Girls No Longer Go Out Drinking Alone

BERLIN, GERMANY - APRIL 22:  A bartender serves beers at the Alt Berlin (Old Berlin) bar on April 22, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. The bar, which opened in 1893 and is known for its familial atmosphere, is claimed to be the oldest bar in the German capital, a city with few remaining pre-War drinking establishments in comparison to other major European cities. A petition has been launched to convince the bar's landlord to allow the business to stay open after its expected closure at the end of the month due to skyrocketing real estate prices in the city's popular and central Mitte neighborhood.  (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)
Women are now afraid to go out in Germany on their own, preferring to go with men or in large groups for protection claims an expert on the country’s night-life – a professional nightclub bouncer. The remarks came during an interview with experienced doorman Viktor Hacker, who relayed his observations on the changing party scene in Hamburg since the New Year’s Eve sex attacks rocked the country to the Suddeutsche Zeitung. With 30 years experience in Hamburg’s nightclub district, Mr. Hacker remarked that now, compared to the same time of year previously there are now “fewer people” and those who do go out behave differently. “One no longer sees women who come alone, or in pairs. Now they always go in larger groups, or have at least one guy”, he said. Women were now in the practice of forming “defensive circles” when inside nightclubs and often get “very uncomfortable”. The bouncer also remarked the attacks had turned the opinions of many, even if just subconsciously, against migrants. He said that during nights out “now people are suspicious when they see a dark-skinned man in the street. Even if he might be a normal, integrated member of society”. Bouncers have been on
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Ex Child Soldiers Among Millions of Migrants Making Their Way Into Europe

Sipa via AP Images
Thousands of former child soldiers may be among the millions of migrants flowing into Europe, posing a major challenge both for the asylum systems and mental health services. In 2009, the number of child soldiers in Germany was estimated by a Catholic charity to be about 4 per cent of all unaccompanied minors in the country – at that time amounting to between 120 and 200 children. However, over the last seven years the number of unaccompanied children has risen more than ten-fold to 60,000 and the number of former child soldiers is expected to have risen in line, Süeddeutsche Zeitung has reported. In nearly every theatre of war the migrants are fleeing, children are being recruited as soldiers. In Syria and Iraq, the Islamic State’s habit of indoctrinating children as soldiers is well documented, but examples have also been noted in Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Eritrea, and elsewhere. And the numbers of child soldiers in some of these areas are huge: The British organisation Child Soldiers International has estimated that in some provinces of Afghanistan as many as one in ten policemen are underage. Recently the Taliban killed a ten year old boy who had been fighting with government forces. Almost
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Police, Army Threaten Strikes Claiming Counter Terror Work Is Too Hard

Trade unions representing the army and the police in Belgium are warning of the effects on their members of ongoing anti-terror operations, with police unions even threatening to go on strike. Belgium’s federal government has responded to the ongoing jihadi terror threat faced by its country with extra-deployments of police and soldiers as part of the interior minister’s anti-terror efforts. However, the strains are beginning to show and trade unions representing both groups are sounding notes of caution about the working conditions of their members, reports Flanders News. Several police unions have given notice of potential strike action during the last week of February. The industrial action will take place if talks regarding the issues posed to police officers by extra deployments break down. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, Jan Jambon, believes the strike will be averted. Citing an absence of consultation and failure to respect health and safety regulations, police unions say they have been alarmed by the Canal Plan, according to which federal police reserve officers are deployed to work for local police zones without any preparation. Unions are demanding that federal authorities inform officers properly, and make financial allowances to compensate for extra costs A spokesman said: “Our officers were
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