Sebelius Promotes ACA in Philadelphia, Touts Benefits for Latinos
On Thursday, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius co-hosted a town hall meeting with Philadelphia officials -- including Mayor Michael Nutter -- to promote the Affordable Care Act and its benefits to specific demographics, including the city's large Latino population, CBS Philly reports (Kurtz, CBS Philly, 8/22).
Sebelius' stop in Pennsylvania was part of an ongoing multistate tour, which began earlier this month in Texas and included a stop in Georgia. The tour is part of the Obama administration's broader outreach and education effort to encourage millions of uninsured residents to enroll in the ACA's insurance exchanges (California Healthline, 8/9). In a recent interview with USA Today, Sebelius said her state visits also are meant to stop the proliferation of misinformation about the law (Kennedy, USA Today, 8/15).
During Thursday's town hall meeting, Sebelius insisted that the political debate about the ACA "is really over" and urged supporters to join efforts nationwide to help the uninsured enroll in the exchanges beginning on Oct. 1 (Howell, Washington Times, 8/22). The event was organized by Congreso de Latinos Unidoes, a local Latino community organization (Sapatkin, Philadelphia Inquirer, 8/23).
Sebelius told the primarily Hispanic audience that they will have numerous coverage options under the ACA, adding that a new federal website -- cuidadodesalud.gov -- has ample information about the exchanges and noted that the same information is available in English at healthcare.gov. Nutter's administration also has created a similar information portal through phila.gov, according to CBS Philly (CBS Philly, 8/22).
Sebelius also noted that "Latinos have the highest rate of uninsured in the country" and make up 17% of Philadelphia's "eligible uninsured." She urged the audience of health care workers and advocates to become "outreach helpers" and to encourage their neighbors and friends to look at how they would benefit from enrolling in the exchanges. She added that social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter will be essential in raising awareness about the marketplaces (Philadelphia Inquirer, 8/23).
Meanwhile, Nutter criticized Gov. Tom Corbett (R) for declining to expand Medicaid under the ACA, noting that "more than 100,000 uninsured Philadelphians will remain uninsured" because of his decision (CBS Philly, 8/22).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.