NFL, Obamacare Teaming Up? White House Wants Help Promoting Plans

Tuesday, 25 Jun 2013 09:44 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced Monday that she is in talks with the National Football League for a partnership for an Obamacare campaign, for the sake of attracting young, healthy people to sign on with the healthcare law.

Sebelius told The Hill that the NFL has been "very actively and enthusiastically engaged" about the potential partnership. HHS is in talks with the National Basketball Association as well for a similar campaign.

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"We're having active discussions right now with a variety of sports affiliates," Sebelius said, adding HHS hopes to use paid advertising and partnerships to encourage enrollment in Obamacare coverage plans, according to The Hill.

Sebelius pointed to the Boston Red Sox's involvement with the Massachusetts health care law in 2006 as an example of how teams could bolster young people's Obamacare participation, according to The Hill. The Red Sox filmed a commercial promoting the Massachusetts law.

"We know the Red Sox were incredibly effective in Massachusetts … so it's a logical place to go," Sebelius told The Hill.

The NFL didn't confirm the alleged partnership, according to the Washington Times.

"Our only comment is that we have nothing to report at this time,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said. "There was a similar report last week about the NBA."

Health care insurance exchanges in many states will be available on Oct. 1, according to the Washington Times. Qualified customers will be able to buy health care plans with the help of government subsidies. Experts say participation from young, healthy people is crucial to keeping costs down.

The Hill reported that polls have consistently have shown that the public has a negative view of Affordable Care Act and that there are many misconceptions surrounding the law. Sebelius said those perceptions will be difficult to overcome.

"I'd say the most daunting aspect is that people still don't know enough about what's going to change in the law and don't have enough information — still have some misinformation," Sebelius told The Hill.

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