Making a push to get people to join "Obamacare"

8:03 PM, Sep 4, 2013   |    comments
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(Photo: Katye Martens, USA TODAY)

 


 


(CBS News) EL MONTE, Calif. - The man President Obama calls his "secretary of explaining stuff" took on a special mission Wednesday -- to drum up public support for what the president calls "Obamacare." Former President Bill Clinton spoke at his library in Little Rock, Arkansas.

"We need all hands on deck here," he said. "The health of our people, the security and stability of our families, and the strength of our economy are all riding on getting health care reform right. And doing it well. That means we have to do it together."

Americans can begin buying policies on the new health insurance exchanges on October 1. Meanwhile, the administration is working hard to get folks to sign up.

Angelica Marquez and her colleagues work for local health clinics. They had no problem finding uninsured in El Monte, California.

As for what percentage of the people are uninsured, Marquez said: "Maybe 1 in 10 people are insured and 90 percent of people are not."

Among those people who fall in the latter category is Natalie Gonzalez. Asked if she had health insurance, she said: "No, not yet"

Using a mobile software program, Marquez told her she will qualify for subsidized insurance based on her income. The income cutoff for subsidies under the Affordable Care Act is $46,000 for individuals, or $94,000 for a family of four.

Gonzalez acknowledged that had they not come up to her about her options, she wouldn't have known so much. "I probably would be doing things last minute," she said.

The government's goal is to enroll 7 million Americans in the health care exchanges by next spring. But a new poll shows that 62 percent of the uninsured say they don't have enough information about how "Obamacare" will affect them. About 44 percent of all Americans think it was either repealed, overturned, or are unsure if it's still law.

People can enroll for coverage online, but the health care bill earmarked $11 billion for community clinics nationwide in part to do this outreach and enrollment.

After they knocked on Pilar Mendoza's door, she went to her local clinic to get coverage for her daughter Sophie.

"I will be able to get her immunizations back on track and enroll her in school this fall," said Mendoza of her daughter as a result. "She can't go to school if they're not up to date...it's a huge difference, it's her future."

Mendoza qualified for a Medicaid program under "Obamacare" and her coverage begins immediately.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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