President Obama Urges Uninsured to Enroll as Deadline Approaches

Barack Obama used the State of the Union address as an opportunity to advise uninsured Americans about enrolling for exchange coverage before the March deadline-avoiding the more sensitive topics of problems with the Healthcare.gov website and cancelled insurance plans.

Barack Obama used the State of the Union address as an opportunity to advise uninsured Americans about enrolling for exchange coverage before the March deadline—avoiding the more sensitive topics of problems with the Healthcare.gov website and cancelled insurance plans.

“For decades, few things exposed hard-working families to economic hardship more than a broken healthcare system. And in case you haven't heard, we're in the process of fixing that,” the President said. “Now—a pre-existing condition used to mean that someone like Amanda Shelley, a physician's assistant and single mom from Arizona, couldn't get health insurance. But on January 1st, she got covered. On January 3rd, she felt a sharp pain. On January 6th, she had emergency surgery. Just one week earlier, Amanda said, that surgery would've meant bankruptcy. That's what health insurance reform is all about, the peace of mind that if misfortune strikes, you don't have to lose everything."

President Obama went on to discuss how 3 million Americans under the age of 26 had gained coverage through their parents’ insurance, while another 9 million had signed up for private health insurance through the exchanges. He also suggested that while he does not expect to convince those in opposition of the Affordable Care Act about the “merits of the law,” they should feel free to offer alternatives.

"I know that the American people aren't interested in re-fighting old battles. So again, if you have specific plans to cut costs, cover more people, and increase choice—tell America what you'd do differently," he said. "Let's see if the numbers add up. But let's not have another forty-something votes to repeal a law that's already helping millions of Americans like Amanda.”

However, no prompting may be necessary for some senators who have already begun passing alternative bills like “The Better Care, Lower Cost Act of 2014” around Congress.

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Obama Makes Plea for Americans to End Battles, Sign Up [Modern Healthcare]

Obama’s 2014 State of the Union Address

[The Washington Post]