Burwell visits Triangle to tout Affordable Care Act
Posted February 6, 2015
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell visited the Triangle on Friday ahead of the Feb. 15 deadline to enroll for insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
Burwell touted the progress of Obamacare in North Carolina, where leaders refused to set up a state marketplace and declined Medicaid expansion.
“The real deal is happening right here on the ground, talking to people every day,” Burwell said.
The second enrollment shows nearly 480,000 North Carolinians have signed up for health insurance, including more than 60,000 in the Raleigh area. In the first two months, 92 percent qualified for federal assistance, including graduate student Kat Robison.
“What I don't need is the stress and uncertainty of not having health insurance,” she said. “I urge all young people to get covered.”
Still, Republicans including U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., plan to pass a repeal and replace bill - despite a veto threat.
“We eliminate the heavy hand of the federal government,” Burr said. “We don't mandate the type of coverage every American has to have.”
Burwell said the president is open to new ideas.
“If there are other changes that can improve the act, we welcome those,” she said. “But right now the issue of repeal, the president's been clear,”
For now, the push is on to keep growing enrollment.
“So, I think the success that we've seen in terms of the numbers in North Carolina is attributable to the great work that's happening on the ground,” Burwell said.