ANA at President Obama’s White House Rose Garden Event on ACA
On Monday, October 21, 2013, ANA government affairs staff, Jerome Mayer, Associate Director and Rose Gonzalez, PhD, MPS, RN, Director; were seated two rows behind Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services and White House Chief of Staff, Denis McDonough at the White House Rose Garden event regarding the Affordable Care Act. Surrounded by beneficiaries of the Affordable Care Act, President Obama focused on the benefits of the health care law, and how many individuals have actually visited the website to enroll. In her introduction of the President, Janice Baker, a small business owner and the first person in the state of Delaware to enroll for health insurance through the new market place stated she was able to save $150 a month, with lower deductibles for a plan that she is “thrilled with”.
President Obama acknowledged that individuals had experienced technical difficulty with the website however; he reiterated that those who were able to get through where able to experience health insurance cost savings as they enrolled in the program. He also stated that this law was more than just the enrollment process and the website. The Affordable Care Act is about individuals being able to access affordable healthcare insurance; children under the age of 26 being covered by their parent’s insurance; women no longer being charged more for their health insurance and the elimination of caps as well as pre-existing conditions which previously precluded them from access to healthcare insurance.
The President stated that they will make every effort to reach out to those individuals who had attempted to sign-up and abandoned the process due to website glitches. He also stated that individuals could sign up over the phone and by accessing navigators or signing up by visiting their local community health centers. The healthcare market place opened up on October 1, and in about 3 weeks time, the website had about 20 million visitors. Approximately 500,000 individuals to date have enrolled. One gentleman who is a small business owner had written to President Obama and shared that he had gone to the website and though he ran into difficulty signing up for health insurance, he reported that by using the insurance marketplace to shop for his insurance, he was able to save over $900 a month. Previously he had paid $1600/month for health insurance and now he would only pay about $600/month. He said it was well worth the wait.
The Administration would like to hear from individuals regarding their experience with enrollment. To enroll in health care visit https://www.healthcare.gov/ and click here to share your feedback. Also individuals should feel free to enroll using the phone lines which are available 24/7 at 1-800-318-2596 or click here to find assistance in your area. Most in the audience applauded the President’s efforts to get the message out and expressed continued support for the Affordable Care Act. Also see the President’s full remarks.