AUSTIN (KXAN) - Kathleen Sebelius will return to Austin on Friday to tour a community health center with Mayor Lee Leffingwell.
The visit, the second in recent months, is part of the effort by the U.S. Health and Human Services secretary to boost support for the new federal health care law. She and the mayor will visit the CommUnityCare East Austin Health Center, 211 Comal St. The center uses a team approach to providing comprehensive primary care services to patients.
“The enrollment process in Austin and around the country began three weeks ago and we’ve already seen tremendous demand to have affordable healthcare for the first time in our nation’s history,” said Leffingwell. “There have been some complications with the enrollment website, but with 19 million unique visitors to Healthcare.gov in just a few weeks we must remember that this is the beginning of a six month process to enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace.”
The city's news release said that Estimates show that Travis County has 209,000 uninsured residents, or 20 percent of the population. The rollout of the new health care law has been marred by computer problems that have made it difficult for some to enroll.
Leffingwell said that hasn't undermined his support for the measure. Sebelius was in Austin on Aug. 8 to encourage sign-ups for coverage under the new law.
“I have faith that President Obama and Secretary Sebelius will resolve all issues with the enrollment site and understand that the success of the enrollment period will also depend upon the efforts of local leadership to assist their community members,” said Leffingwell. “My office is working with Central Health in convening a group of community organizations to oversee a coordinated outreach and enrollment efforts. Our goal is to help Austinites get covered in the Health Insurance Marketplace."
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