WASHINGTON -- President Obama is scheduled to hold a town hall meeting with Latinos this week in an attempt to boost enrollment in the healthcare law's new insurance marketplaces before an end-of-the-month deadline.
The meeting set for Thursday is part of a March push by the White House to drive sign-ups. By the end of the month, nearly everyone in the United States will be required to be signed up for health insurance or risk paying a fine.
The sign-up numbers posted during the Affordable Care Act's first enrollment period will become part of the story about whether the administration recovered from the law’s rocky rollout. The White House has been trying to lower expectations, with Vice President Joe Biden recently hinting that enrollments may not reach the 7-million figure originally forecast.
Obama, Biden and First Lady Michelle Obama are all scheduling public events and interviews across the country, joining Cabinet secretaries and senior administration officials who have been recruited for events targeted at specific communities to raise awareness of the enrollment deadline.
On Thursday, Obama is to take part in a town hall hosted by the “Get Covered” campaign, a partnership involving the California Endowment, the Covered California insurance exchange and several Spanish-language news outlets.
The televised event is meant to walk viewers through the enrollment process, a White House aide said.
Meanwhile, Homeland Security Department officials are spreading the message that healthcare information will not be shared with immigration officials. Those who are in this country without proper documentation can’t buy insurance for themselves under the law, but their children may be eligible if they are citizens or legal permanent residents.