Marketing 'Obamacare' shaping up as big challenge

About 16 percent of Americans are uninsured, but despite years of political debate and media attention, more than three-quarters of them still know little about the law known as “Obamacare,” according to recent surveys.
By CARLA K. JOHNSON Published: July 25, 2013
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Their confusion might only have been magnified by the administration's surprise announcement recently postponing part of the system that affects businesses. But that change should not affect many individuals. A bigger complication is that in about half the states, Republican governors are declining to cooperate, which will limit the marketing.

The states that have been more receptive to the health care overhaul and are further ahead in their planning will receive proportionally more federal money for outreach, advertising and marketing than Republican-led states that have been hostile to the law.

AP research from all 50 states shows the amount of government spending will range from a low of 46 cents per capita in Wisconsin, which has ceded responsibility for its health insurance exchange to the federal government, to $9.23 per capita in West Virginia for a state-federal partnership.

Texas has the highest percentage of uninsured people in the nation, three times more than Illinois. But only a fourth as much public money will be spent on getting people enrolled in Texas.

In the GOP states, community groups with federal grants will lead the effort. Private companies from Walgreens to Cosmopolitan magazine have launched their own educational campaigns.

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