MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As the final weeks of open enrollment wind down, the White House sent one of its most popular figures back to Florida to help boost health enrollments.
First Lady Michelle Obama visited a Miami health center Wednesday to show the multiple ways consumers can sign up through the federal exchange.
“The affordable care act is a life changer for so many Americans who otherwise would not be able to afford insurance,” said the First Lady.
Surrounded by people signing up, the First Lady is trying to bring attention to the quickly approaching deadlines.
March 31st is the last day of open enrollment under the affordable care act. Starting April 1st, you must have a life event to get coverage such as getting married or divorced, having a child, or losing a job.
If you don’t sign up for health insurance by the end of the month, you will be forced to pay penalties; one-percent of your income, or $95 per adult and half of that for each child. The maximum per family is $285—all of it paid for on your tax bill.
No one had been harder to reach than 20-somethings like FIU law student Alan Zullinger. He was hit by a car while riding his bike in December.
“I was luck to come out on the right side of things,” said Zullinger.
He signed up in the days following—no longer willing to take chances.
“I pay $25 for health and $15 for dental,” said Zullinger. “You can’t beat that. That’s $40 a month. That’s less than…that’s less than every bill I have.”
The First Lady’s appearance Wednesday is the second appearance in Miami in a week.
“Everybody knows that kids who eat well and stay active tend to have better grades,” said Michelle Obama.
Last week she appeared alongside actress Amy Poehler to push her healthy habits, called the “Let’s Move” campaign, for children.
The very next day former Secretary of State and possible 2016 Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton spoke to a packed house at the University of Miami.
Also in town recently was Vice President Joe Biden, also promoting health insurance.
President Obama is expected to be in town Friday for an event as well.
Are Democrats worried about elections later this year? No, according to Miami Herald reporter Marc Caputo, who says it’s Spring Break for politicians.
“I think that’s a great way to phrase it,” said Caputo. “Miami, South Florida, is Spring Break for politicians. And they are coming down with any sort of flimsy excuse or reason to give a speech or fundraise or do both. But in the end, there is going to be mixing business with pleasure.”
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