The Arkansas legislature passed the private option version of Medicaid expansion this year only after adopting an amendment to prevent the state from advertising it. This built on earlier efforts by the legislature to stomp out education campaigns in media by killing ad contracts. As expected, other sources of information will fill the void.
Americans United for Change,
a private advocacy group that advances President Obama's
agenda, has announced an enrollment event at the Capitol from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, March 14. (Will Rep. Nate Bell of Mena argue that use of the Capitol steps amounts to an illegal expenditure by the state of Arkansas?) Assistants will be on hand to help people sign up for health insurance. Speakers will talk about the value of coverage they've received, including a UALR student, newly qualified for the private option, who had a medical emergency.
There's a Facebook page,
Americans United will not be alone. Private insurance companies will be stepping up marketing of new insurance options, either that available from Medicaid expansion or simply through the health insurance exchanges established under the new law. And other nonprofits may enter the fray, recognizing the greater good that can come from an investment in getting more people with reliable health coverage beyond last-resort ER care. I'm still agitating for a non-profit willing to send a team into Polk County to set up in Mena and try to achieve 100 percent enrollment there, advertising or no advertising.
ALSO: Here's a story about college students
doing volunteer work in Alabama to sign people up.