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Today, I visited Tampa, Florida to join in the final effort to enroll people in the Affordable Care Act Marketplace.  During this open enrollment period, I’ve visited nine communities to talk with people about the importance of getting affordable, quality health care coverage for themselves, their families, their friends, and their neighbors. Many of my visits were to predominantly Latino communities, where uninsured rates are high and the need for coverage is great.

As we near the end of the enrollment period on Sunday, I’m thinking about the many people who have worked so hard to spread the word about the Affordable Care Act and who have helped so many people get enrolled.  During my stops in Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Illinois, I have been privileged to see just how powerful the work of our local communities has been in getting people the health care they need.

I was honored to be standing side by side with the city and state officials who organized events to focus attention on open enrollment. I also want to recognize the incredible work of so many volunteers who guided people through the process day after day and mobilized their communities. Millions of Americans now have the quality and affordable coverage they need, so that if they have to deal with a difficult and serious illness they won’t also have to worry about going bankrupt. And it’s because of their efforts.

Health care is personal for me. I know what it’s like to deal with a serious family illness and the great relief that comes with knowing a loved one can get needed care because of good, quality health insurance. I’m grateful that because of the Affordable Care Act, all Americans now have access to this security. It is comforting to know that no one will be turned away because of a pre-existing illness, that women will not be charged higher rates because they can have children, and that thousands of people who could not afford coverage now have insurance under Medicaid.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of so many people, who believe as I do that affordable health care is fundamental to a society committed to liberty and equality, this open enrollment season will make a real difference in the lives of millions of Americans.

Director Archuleta meets children and organizers at a DC Health Link event


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