A self-proclaimed non-partisan organization has been given a $1.1 million grant to establish a database of ObamaCare “success stories,” as the Obama administration tries to rehab the law’s image amid the rocky rollout.
Families USA, which describes itself on its website as a non-profit dedicated to “the achievement of high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans,” received the $1,100,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Oct. 4.
The grant, which was first reported by CapitolCityProject.com, is meant to help Families USA expand the database of “real people” sharing their stories of enrolling in ObamaCare. Families USA solicits such stories on its website, asking Americans to submit their examples of how they are benefiting from the Affordable Care Act to educate others.
“The best way to do that is to tell your story, giving a real example of the status quo and the impact of change,” the website says.
News of the grant has been revealed in the same week that the White House announced two more delays related to the president's landmark health care reform law. On Wednesday, the Obama administration announced that it would delay the launch of an online portal to the health insurance marketplace for small businesses until November 2015.
Officials said that the decision to delay the launch had been taken because making repairs to the federal health exchange site, Healthcare.gov took priority.
Earlier this week, the administration announced that the launch of a Spanish-language sign-up tool would have to be postponed. In recent weeks, the White House has pushed back the enrollment deadline for individuals to December 23, given businesses with more than 50 workers until 2015 to provide required health insurance without paying a penalty, and moved the deadline date for individuals to to avoid penalties for failing to get coverage back for six weeks.
Last week, the administration also announced a schedule change in next year's open enrollment season. It will start on Nov. 15, 2014, a month later than originally scheduled, and finish on Jan. 15, 2015, about five weeks later than originally scheduled. The midterm congressional elections are Nov. 4, and congressional Republicans accused the administration of shifting the dates for political reasons, to hide any spike in 2015 premiums.
The administration earlier had announced it will allow insurance companies to extend for another year coverage under individual policies that don't meet new coverage requirements. That move was a response to anger over a wave of more than 4 million policy cancellations.
In the same week that the administration announced the new schedule for open enrollment in 2014, President Obama told a council of CEOs at a Wall Street Journal forum the health care law needed some positive publicity, amid the continuing problems with the law’s website and criticism from Republican lawmakers.
"We obviously are going to have to remarket and rebrand, and that will be challenging in this political environment,” Obama said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.