END OF 2018 OPEN ENROLLMENT (MASSACHUSETTS)

Time: D H M S

Cleaning out the In Box: ACA reduces hospital costs in WA; Enrollment outreach strategy to change; ACA drops off the map as campaign issue

I'm sure FOX News will find a way to spin this as a negative...

Washington hospitals provided nearly $154 million less in charity care in the first half of this year than in the first half of 2013, in many cases boosting the hospitals’ bottom lines.

Hospitals attributed the plunge in charity care — about 30 percent — to the Affordable Care Act’s focus on reducing the number of uninsured patients.

This year, for the first time, low-income and uninsured patients whose care was previously covered under hospitals’ charity-care programs were able under the ACA to qualify for Medicaid coverage or subsidized private insurance.

The HHS Dept. and Enroll America will be pushing individual stories as well as the increased financial penalty to increase enrollment this year:

The sales pitch for the health law is getting an overhaul for the fall.

Supporters and advocates of the Affordable Care Act say they learned lessons from last year's sign-up effort, when they persuaded a few million uninsured people to buy coverage. They plan to incorporate those lessons into the marketing campaign for the next enrollment period, which begins in mid-November.

In for this fall: testimonials from real people, more emphasis on deadlines, and an increased focus on in-person help.

Out: No longer will ACA advocates steer clear of talking about the law's requirement that people either get health coverage or pay a penalty when they file their taxes. It turns out the so-called individual mandate actually does motivate some people to sign up, research suggests.

Meanwhile, color me shocked (not)...

It was last September when Republicans sparred with Democrats over the future of the health-care law, a disagreement that prompted a 17-day federal government shutdown and overall chaos. It was pretty much anyone on Capitol Hill talked about. Republicans wanted you to know how terrible it was for America, and Democrats wanted you to remember to sign up on Oct. 1.

In that month, a mere 12 months ago, the word Obamacare was uttered on the House and Senate floor 2,753 times, according to Sunlight Foundation’s database of floor speeches from the Congressional Record.

Oh, how much changes in a year. With just one full week of work left this month, members of Congress have brought up Obamacare in floor speeches just 27 times.