President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama met with a group of mothers to discuss the effects of health care reform on their families, ahead of an approaching deadline.
"There's something about moms. Number one, they've got credibility generally. Number two, women oftentimes are the ones making the health care decisions in the family. And number three, moms can tell young people who think that they're invincible that they're not," the president said.
The administration wants parents to encourage enrollment in new insurance plans. Americans must register by Dec. 23 to receive coverage by Jan. 1.
The eight mothers who gathered inside the White House are leading outreach efforts for their adult children, family members, friends, and neighbors to participate in the new plans under the Affordable Care Act. The group included a single mother who teaches Spanish, a married mother whose daughter recently had gallbladder surgery, and a mother from Maryland who's working to help uninsured residents in her community.
With ACA, insurance companies can no longer discriminate against customers with pre-existing conditions or place lifetime caps on coverage. And young people can remain on their parents' coverage plans until the age of 26.
"This isn't about politics," said Mrs. Obama. "It's about making sure every family has peace of mind to know that if a child gets sick, or someone loses a job, or someone has an illness requiring hundreds of thousands of dollars in coverage, they're going to have the safety net they need to make sure they don't lose their homes, they aren't spending the rest of their lives paying off medical fees."
The now-infamous health care website launched on Oct. 1 to serve Americans shopping for health insurance in 36 states that did not create individual state-run exchanges. The open enrollment period ends next year on March 31.
The Obama administration this week hired recently-retired Microsoft executive Kurt DelBene to lead the overhaul of HealthCare.gov.