Waters Kicks Off Covered California’s Open Enrollment
Waters Kicks Off Covered California's Open Enrollment
Inglewood, CA – Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43) joined elected officials, civil rights leaders, and local health officials to kick off Covered California's open enrollment period. Hosted by the City of Inglewood, in collaboration with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Inglewood South Bay Branch, the kick-off featured a press conference and free health fair. In attendance were Inglewood Mayor James Butts, National NAACP Director Ron Hasson, Covered California Deputy Communications Officer Dana Howard, local elected officials, and representatives of the Inglewood/Airport Area Chamber of Commerce. The Health Fair took place at Rogers' Park in Inglewood. Waters spoke on the importance and continued success of the Affordable Care Act in California.
Her full remarks are below, as prepared for delivery.
I congratulate the City of Inglewood and the Inglewood South Bay Branch of the NAACP for organizing this free Health Fair and Open Enrollment "Kick-Off" for Covered California.
The NAACP is the oldest civil rights organization in the country. It has been fighting racial discrimination and creating opportunities for African Americans – and indeed all Americans – for more than a century. Today, the NAACP is helping to expand access to health care right here in Inglewood.
Last March, we celebrated the fourth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act being signed into law, and its success in expanding health insurance coverage for millions of Americans is becoming clear. More than 8 million Americans signed up for health coverage under the new health care exchanges over the past year. Millions more are getting covered through Medicaid expansion. More than 3 million young adults, who would otherwise have been uninsured, can now stay on their parents' health plan until the age of 26. Small businesses finally have access to good, affordable coverage.
The Affordable Care Act has also reduced prescription drug costs for seniors on Medicare by closing the so-called "donut hole." It has enabled 76 million Americans to receive free check-ups, cancer screenings, and other preventive health services with no co-pays or deductibles. Most importantly, because of the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies cannot exclude anyone because of a pre-existing condition.
Here in California, the Affordable Care Act is expanding health insurance coverage through Covered California. Last year, 1.4 million Californians signed up for a plan through Covered California, and I am proud to say that Covered California's website worked on day one!
Today, we kick-off Covered California's Open Enrollment period for 2015. I encourage everyone who is not already covered to sign up for health insurance, and I encourage everyone to take advantage of the free health screenings, flu shots, and health classes being offered at today's Health Fair. Good health care starts with regular check-ups, preventive services, and healthy living!