Michelle Obama ties obesity fight to healthcare reform

July 23, 2013 at 4:48 PM
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NEW ORLEANS, July 23 (UPI) -- First lady Michelle Obama told a Mexican-American activist group Tuesday that curbing childhood obesity begins at home but also requires access to healthcare.

Obama told the National Council of La Raza convention in New Orleans that implementing healthcare reform in the United States was a big step forward in creating healthy families.

"Simply passing the Affordable Care Act was not the goal," Obama told the gathering. "The goal is to get folks to sign up for insurance so they have the care they need to stay healthy. As leaders in our communities, we are going to need your help to make this happen."

Obama said while grocery companies, restaurants and individual families are becoming more pro-active in targeting obesity, children still require the ability to see a doctor regularly. "While making the right choices in the store and off the menu is critical, it is not enough," she said. "We all know that if we truly want to raise healthy children, we need access to quality, affordable healthcare -- including the regular checkups and screenings our kids need to stay healthy."

La Raza continued its conference in New Orleans the day after the organization heard from a U.S. lawmaker who said Latino communities could expect to hear a lot about immigration reform this summer.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., said during a panel discussion that a spate of meetings in various congressional districts nationwide during next month's August recess, CBS News said.

Although the House is controlled by Republicans, Gutierrez predicted immigration reform had enough bipartisan support to pass in the lower house. "I am very confident about our chances for immigration reform, even if the road ahead looks difficult sometimes," Gutierrez said. "We have unity among Democrats like I have never seen before and there are dozens and dozens of Republicans who will vote with us to resolve this issue in a bipartisan manner."

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