President Barack Obama is offering himself as a reward to the city that signs up the highest percentage of enrollees in his signature healthcare reform during open enrollment season.
“I’ll come visit the city that enrolls the highest percentage of folks who aren’t covered right now. That’s a promise,” Obama said recently. “After all, this country is at its best when we look out for each other. And together, we can help more Americans get the security that they and their families deserve.”
At the end of this third open enrollment period, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), along with State-based Marketplaces, will publish tallies of new Marketplace signups in participating communities. These tallies will be compared to HHS estimates of the number of eligible uninsured people at the start of open enrollment to see which communities made the most progress during the challenge.
The victorious community gets bragging rights, a healthier community, and a visit from President Obama to celebrate their success in helping ensure every American has health coverage.
Select cities participating in the Challenge are: Dallas, Texas; Tampa, Fla.; Atlanta, Seattle, Great Falls, Mont.; Salt Lake City, Kansas City, Mo.; Chicago, Phoenix, Detroit, Charlotte, New Orleans, Denver, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Oakland, Calif.; Richmond, Va.; and Long Beach, Calif.
In an announcement last month, Health and Human Services Secretary (HHS) Sylvia Burwell said she expects 10 million individuals to be enrolled through the Health Insurance Marketplaces at the close of 2016.
“As the law’s coverage provisions have taken effect, 17.6 million Americans have gained coverage, and the nation’s uninsured rate now stands at its lowest level ever,” said the White House press release regarding Obama’s broadcast. “The ACA is working, making health care more affordable, accessible, and of higher quality for millions of people. But there are still Americans around the country who are eligible for Marketplace coverage yet remain uninsured.”