Betting that President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul withstands lawsuits and a Republican repeal drive, an unusual alliance of industry, health care and consumer groups Wednesday launched a campaign to lay the groundwork for signing up uninsured Americans.
Called Enroll America, the group started its work a day after the Census Bureau reported that nearly 50 million people had no health insurance in 2010, the highest number since the statistic was first collected more than two decades ago.
Organizers said the coalition got critical seed money from America’s Health Insurance Plans, an industry group that opposed passage of the health care law.
“They were one of the first contributors,” said Ron Pollack, president of Families USA, a liberal advocacy group that organized the enrollment campaign. “AHIP provided $100,000 for the development of a business plan. We needed a business plan in order to build the confidence of donors.”
Insurers have committed $1.5 million to the campaign and the drug and pharmacy industry has pledged $2.5 million thus far. About $2 million more is coming from hospitals and foundations, Pollack said. The more than 40 members include AARP, Aetna, the American Hospital Association, United Way and the National Association of Health Underwriters.