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Enroll America vague on resources, goals

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Leaders of an effort to promote the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act exchanges were short on details today when they gave an update on the “Get Covered America” Campaign.

The Get Covered America team attracted reporters from the Associated Press, NBC, Bloomberg, Marketwatch, NPR and other general-interest news organizations to the teleconference.

Jessica Barba Brown, national communications director at Enroll America, says the exchange promotion team now has a staff of 130 and about 3,000 registered volunteers.

The campaign is focusing its resources on 10 states in which organizers expect overall exchange promotion support to be light — Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas.

Anne Filipic, the president of Enroll America, said the campaign will have a budget of “tens of millions of dollars” to fund its operations this year and 2014. 

When a reporter later asked Filipic to clarify what “tens of millions of dollars” meant, Filipic said, brusquely, “The budget question has been answered.”

When another reporter asked Filipic to name some of the campaign’s major sources of funding, Filipic declined to name donors. She said the major donors are private foundations, individuals, corporations and hospital systems.

The campaign organizers said the Get Covered America campaign is a “metric-focused” organization but declined to discuss numerical goals for their outreach efforts.

The organizers said they are planning a “weekend of action” tied to the beginning of the school year for Sept. 7 and Sept. 8.

Nick Duran, the Florida state director for Enroll America, noted that one local organizer recently went on a Haitian radio show in the Miami area and received about 20 calls.

Many of the callers wanted to help spread the word about the exchanges, Duran said.

John Gilbert, the national field director at Enroll America, said his team is thinking of any contact it makes with a consumer as the start of a conversation about how to use the exchanges that will continue from now until after the exchanges are open.

“Very few people are not engaging with us,” Gilbert said.

For outreach workers, the big challenge is that consumers want to have longer conversations than they typically do when canvassers are working on other types of outreach campaigns, Gilbert said.

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