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AP file photo

Supporters of the Affordable Care Act are putting together a new effort to promote enrollment, hoping to make up for at least some of the Trump administration's cuts to that outreach.

The plan is still under wraps for now; an announcement could come as early as this week. But the approach sounds like it'll be roughly in line with the role Enroll America had played during the first four open-enrollment periods, before closing its doors this past spring.

  • A source familiar with the planning tells me the new effort "will involve celebrities, fundraising, experienced marketers, and a broad coalition.”
  • It also will have multiple national chairs. Among them will be Andy Slavitt, who helped administer the ACA for the last few years of President Obama's administration.
  • Many pieces of that coalition are already established. The Obama-era outreach effort, including the government's work as well as Enroll America's, relied heavily on local organizers. Although a lot of the attention went to high-profile promotions like Obama's "Between Two Ferns" appearance, people who worked on the effort say the in-person outreach made the biggest difference in many communities.

Why it matters: ACA enrollment at the end of the Obama administration was stable overall, but with some problem spots — namely, areas where few (if any) insurers had any interest in selling policies; and a sicker-than-expected customer base that drove steep premium hikes in many parts of the country.

And that's where things ended up with both the White House and its external allies pulling out all the stops to make things work as well as possible. The Trump administration isn't interested in making things work as well as possible. So if the law is going to even maintain its current level of on-the-ground strength, its allies will have to do the heavy lifting.

Yes, but: External allies were a sort of force multiplier for the Obama administration. It's pretty hard to go from a force multiplier to a force replacer. Two key points from a veteran of the Obama-era outreach effort:

  • It'll be awfully hard for any non-profit to raise as much money as the Trump administration has cut from its own budget.
  • HHS alone has the most valuable asset in this whole effort: The list of people who enrolled previously. (Enroll America never had that data, and a new group won't, either.) In short, outside organizations can only do so much.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - World

North Korea claims latest missile test new weapon launched from submarine

North Korean state media claims the country's military fired this missile on Tuesday. Photo: Korean Central News Agency

North Korean state media announced that a detected ballistic missile launch off its east coast on Tuesday was a newly developed weapon test-fired from a submarine.

Why it matters: Pyongyang's latest in a series of recent missile launches into the sea happened hours after U.S. officials emphasized their commitment to restart negotiations on North Korea's nuclear weapons program, which have stalled since talks broke down during the Trump administration, AP notes.

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Manchin's massive means test

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is offering progressives a trade: He'll vote for their cherished social programs if they accept strict income caps for the recipients, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Manchin’s plan to use so-called means-testing for everything from paid family medical leave to elder and disabled care would drastically shrink the size and scope of the programs. It also would bring a key moderate vote to the progressive cause.

The China whisperer

Nick Burns. Photo: Chen Mengtong/China News Service via Getty Images

President Biden's nominee for ambassador to China will face aggressive questioning Wednesday about the most important, and potentially perilous, bilateral relationship in the world.

Why it matters: While Nick Burns is an experienced diplomat with support on both sides of the aisle, lawmakers want to use his confirmation hearing to force the administration into some tough positions on China.