Obama touts Affordable Care Act during California trip

June 7, 2013 at 3:13 PM
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SAN JOSE, Calif., June 7 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama said in California Friday the state is an example of how healthcare reform will help U.S. residents.

Obama, who traveled to California for a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping, told reporters in San Jose most people -- those on Medicare and Medicaid and those with employer-provided insurance -- will not have to do anything as the Affordable Care Act kicks in.

"We're focused on moving forward and making sure that this law works for middle-class families, and that brings me to the second thing that people need to know about the Affordable Care Act," he said. "If you're one of nearly 6 million Californians or 10 million -- tens of millions of Americans who don't currently have health insurance, you'll soon be able to buy quality, affordable care just like everybody else."

Polls show the public is misinformed and confused about the Affordable Care Act and how to enroll, The Hill reported.

Obama said the law, which requires most uninsured Americans to buy insurance and provides subsidies for those with low incomes, will give them more choice.

California is one of the states that has opted to set up its own insurance exchange, Covered California.

Other more conservative states, including Texas and Florida, have left that to the federal government.

"States like California are setting up new online marketplaces, where beginning [Oct. 1], you can comparison shop an array of private health insurance plans side-by-side, just like you were going online to compare cars or airline tickets, and that means insurance companies will actually have to compete with each other for your business," Obama said. "And that means new choices."

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