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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

Why made-for-TV moments matter during the pandemic

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Erin Schaff-Pool, Biden Inaugural Committee via Getty Images

In a world where most Americans are isolated and forced to laugh, cry and mourn without friends or family by their side, viral moments can offer critical opportunities to unite the country or divide it.

Driving the news: President Biden's inauguration was produced to create several made-for-social viral moments, a tactic similar to what the Democratic National Committee and the Biden campaign pulled off during the Democratic National Convention.

Updated 7 hours ago - World

Over 3,000 detained in protests across Russia demanding Navalny's release

Russian police officers beat protestesters at a rally against of jailing of oppositon leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow on Saturday. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Police in Russia on Saturday arrested more than 3,300 people as protesters nationwide demanded that opposition leader Alexey Navalny be released from jail.

Details: Demonstrations began in the eastern regions of Russia and spread west to more than 60 cities.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona Republicans censure Cindy McCain and GOP governor

Combination images of Cindy McCain and Gov. Doug Ducey. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic for U.S.VETS/Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Arizona Republican Party members voted on Saturday to censure prominent GOP figures Cindy McCain, Gov. Doug Ducey and former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who've all faced clashes with former President Trump.

Why it matters: Although the resolution is symbolic, this move plus the re-election of the Trump-endorsed Kelli Ward as state GOP chair shows the strong hold the former president has on the party in Arizona, despite President Biden winning the state in the 2020 election.