U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius stopped by Cleveland Monday to promote President Obama's signature health care law - the Affordable Care Act. ideastream health reporter Sarah Jane Tribble was on hand and says the quick appearance was as much a chance to extol the Acts' benefits as it was a pep talk.
When Secretary Sebelius took the podium at Cleveland's downtown public library Monday afternoon, she spoke of how federal health reform can help people in Northeast Ohio.
"Forty-five qualified health plans are selling insurance here in the Cleveland area. That's a lot of choice. A family of four, here in Cleveland, earning $50,000 can get coverage for the entire family for as little as $94 a month... A 27-year old here in Cleveland earning $25,000 could get coverage for under $100 a month," Sebelius says.
Sebelius's overall message was clear: Healthcare.gov is working and people are signing up.
And she told the small audience of local health advocates to make sure people know what's available to them between now and March 31, which is when open enrollment in the exchanges ends.
"We still have a lot of work to do, and there are eight weeks left of open enrollment to do it," she says.
HHS announced in January that 3 million people have signed up in either the state or federal exchanges.