WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama said he hopes young people don't get discouraged by how hard it has been to implement the health care law.
Obama spoke Wednesday to an audience of young leaders at a White House youth summit on health care. He told the participants that it has never been easy to make big changes in the United States, citing the civil rights movement and efforts by women to win the right to vote.
About 29,000 people selected health plans through the exchange Sunday and Monday, a source said. About 26,000 people bought plans in October.
— Bloomberg News
The president also urged participants to help other young people enroll in insurance through the new health law's exchanges. He says insurance coverage will cost most young people less than $100 per month.
One of the young leaders at the White House Wednesday was State Sen. Jeremy Nordquist of Omaha, who has been pushing for Nebraska to expand Medicaid.
Nordquist told The World-Herald that more than half of Nebraskans who would qualify for that expansion are under the age of 35.
He said it appears that the glitch-plagued enrollment process has improved, so the focus now turns to outreach, particularly raising awareness of young people and encouraging them to sign up for coverage they can count on throughout their lives.
“At some point in our lives we all need it, so it's prudent to plan ahead and wise to enroll,” Nordquist said.
Later Wednesday, Obama prodded Congress to raise wages and secure the social safety net to correct inequalities that he said make it harder for a child in the United States to escape poverty.
“The basic bargain at the heart of our economy has frayed,” the president said in remarks at a nonprofit community center near the White House.
World-Herald staff writer Joseph Morton contributed to this report.
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