Sebelius visits Texas to boost lagging Affordable Care Act signups

Print
Email
|

by CARLA WADE

Bio | Email | Follow: @CarlaNWade

WFAA

Posted on March 20, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 20 at 6:09 PM

FORT WORTH -- At Tarrant County College, people stood in line for free pizza while glancing at Affordable Care Act information.

As the March 31 enrollment deadline approaches, the Obama administration hopes the peace of mind that comes with having health insurance will be just as appealing.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was back in Texas Thursday. Enrollment numbers in the state are crucial to the Affordable Care Act's success. She spoke exclusively with News 8 after kicking off a campus information and enrollment session.

"There isn't a lot of support at the state level, and I think that does make a difference," Sebelius said. "There are a lot of people in Texas who are still not quite sure if the law applies to them or if it's really going to be in effect in Texas, so we are working really hard to get the word out."

Roughly six million Texans are uninsured. Sign-ups have lagged behind other large states.

Numbers are important, but so are the types of people signing up. Younger, healthy people are necessary to offset costs.

"What we want is a balanced risk pool," Sebelius said. "Young and healthy, along with older adults."

Vivian Bermudez has five children. She stopped by the event with her two-year-old son.

"I thank God they have Medicare," Bermudez said.

But she and her husband have not been able to afford insurance. She signed up Thursday and talked with a navigator to help her choose a plan.

"For me, it's very important to be healthy," she said.

For the Obama administration, her decision gets them one family closer to a six million person goal in less than two weeks.

E-mail cwade@wfaa.com

Print
Email
|