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updated: 6/7/2013 11:56 AM

Obama pitching new health care law in California

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  • President Barack Obama gestures Friday about the Affordable Care Act in San Jose, Calif.

      President Barack Obama gestures Friday about the Affordable Care Act in San Jose, Calif.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- President Barack Obama is making a personal plea to Californians, Latinos and young people to sign up for coverage under the new health care law.

Obama on Friday will use his visit to California to highlight how the state is implementing the Affordable Care Act. He also will discuss California's collaboration with nongovernment groups to promote, primarily to Hispanics, the health care exchanges that are being created to help millions of now-uninsured consumers afford coverage, White House officials said.

California has the country's biggest insurance market and, with 6 million uninsured residents, it is a crucial part of the effort to get consumers to sign up for coverage, officials said.

Thirteen insurance companies will be offering multiple health plans that vary in coverage and price through California's exchange, even in some of the most rural regions of the state.

Getting young people to enroll through the exchanges also is critical; they cost insurers less money because they tend to have the best health and don't require a lot of costly medical care.

The Obama administration is looking for about 7 million people to enroll through the exchanges, and 2.6 million of them need to be younger in order to keep costs down for the overall pool of enrollees, officials said. Nearly one-third of these young people live in three states: California, Texas and Florida.

Among the private entities working with the state of California to promote enrollment are the Spanish-language TV networks Telemundo and Univision. The White House says the law will give more than 10 million uninsured Latinos across the country the opportunity to afford health insurance coverage.

Not all states are pushing the law. In many states, Republican governments are opposing the law's implementation and are leaving oversight of the exchanges to the federal government.

Obama arrived in California on Thursday evening to attend fundraisers in Palo Alto and Portola Valley to help Senate Democratic candidates.

The fundraising was to continue Friday with Obama's attendance at two Democratic National Committee fundraisers at the Santa Monica home of Peter Chernin, a former News Corp. executive, officials said. The events include a lunch for about 100 people, followed by a smaller 35-person reception. Tickets for the events range from $10,000 to $32,400.

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