Simas knows data, and that’s exactly what the White House needs as it tries to reach the young, healthy consumers so important to making ObamaCare work.
From his West Wing office, Simas oversees an effort to reach the uninsured — particularly young men. As the administration works with its outside partners to encourage people to enroll in new coverage options, Simas’s data will be necessary to reaching the right audience.
The White House is hoping that roughly 7 million people will enroll in the program’s first year and wants about 2.5 million of those to be young people. Based on Simas’s data, the administration has said it knows exactly where to start: More than two-thirds of its target population lives in California, Florida or Texas, and Simas has the demographics mapped out down to specific census tracts.
That kind of information will be critical to promoting enrollment in states (like Texas) that aren’t going to lend a hand. The Obama administration is looking for partnerships with local and county governments and community organizations, and hoping to get mothers to pressure their children into getting health insurance. All of that requires detailed knowledge of who and where the uninsured are.
“It’s all about designing outreach,” Simas recently told The New York Times. “It’s getting people to the front door.”