Health and Human Services Secretary visits Philadelphia

Health and Human Serivces Secretary Kathleen Sebelius spoke in Philadelphia on Thursday, August 22, 2013.
August 22, 2013 4:45:30 PM PDT
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Mayor Michael Nutter took part of a road show to build buzz for the Affordable Care Act - also known as Obamacare.

They stopped at Congresso in North Philadelphia, a Hispanic social service agency.

The focus - the coming of Health Care Exchanges, which are marketplaces for individual insurance policies.

The target audience - those not currently insured, who starting next year must be.

"Starting October 1st of this year, as the Mayor has already said, for about 15 percent of Americans who don't have coverage at all they will have new opportunities," said Sebelius.

Its estimated that 90 percent of the now uninsured will qualify for financial help from the government to lower costs.

Sebelius promises the on line exchanges will be ready on time.

"The federal markets will open on October 1st," said Sebelius.

And they will be user friendly.

"The application is down to three pages which is significantly shorter than a typical insurance application," said Sebelius.

User friendly or not, with a little more than a month to go, polling shows that many people are not familiar with the plan yet.

Action News asked area residents what they knew about it.

"Just that you are supposed to have it and you have to pay for it," said Lisa.

"I need health insurance. I went to welfare office and they said 'You don't qualify,'" said Donna Albano.

We met Lisa and Donna outside one of Philadelphia's busiest Health Centers. Both frustrated about their lack their current lack of insurance but unsure about the ACA.

However William Squires, also out of a job, is counting the days.

"I know it's going to set up October 1st and it goes into effect January 1st of 2014. I plan to be number one to sign up," said Squires.


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