Most people can get a plan for as little as $100 a month they can be insured. They can go to a doctor on a regular basis. When they get sick they won’t go bankrupt. It’s as simple as that, but healthcare is so confusing to most people that it’s easy to confuse the situation, which is why now what we’re encouraging people to do is just educate themselves, go to healthcare.gov. Find out what these plans offer. It’s easy to access. The website is vastly improved. They are signing up as many as 50,000 people a day now. But if people aren’t comfortable with a website they can also go to a 1-800 number; 1-800-318-2596 and they can get personal assistance, somebody who will walk them through the process. But it’s important for people to sign up by December 23rd if they want to be enrolled by January 1st.
So now it’s about education. It’s about outreach. It’s about making sure that people, particularly in the African-American community, are not confused by this political back and forth that’s going on. Healthcare, Obamacare, is a good thing; and it’s something that I want every American to have access to. We shouldn’t live in a country this rich, right, where people are choosing between their rent or their medicine. You know, where kids aren’t getting the immunizations they need. They’re not getting the, you know, the nutrition information that they need to stay healthy and to thrive. Not in America. But before it wasn’t available. It was unaffordable. Now we don’t have an excuse. And that’s where my passion comes from, because I want for the rest of America what my family has. You know? I want people to have the peace of mind that I have, because it’s hard enough being a mother trying to raise kids and then worrying about whether if they get sick whether you can help them. There is nothing more powerless than being a mother who can’t help their child when they’re sick. That’s just to me untenable.
But we now have the resources. But we have to be educated about it. We have to do the, we have to reach out, we have to get signed up, and then we have to sign up others. We need young people signed up too for this, because it’s not just about moms and babies, it’s about young people who feel invincible, right?
AL SHARPTON: That’s right.
MICHELLE OBAMA: Who feel like I’m never going to get sick, I’m healthy now. Well, young people are the ones who are driving around late at night, you know, that can get into a car accident, or slip at a club, you know?
AL SHARPTON: Right.
MICHELLE OBAMA: Who play pick-up games and to get a black eye, you know? Cooking for the first time and cut a finger, and you know, bust an artery, you know? Healthcare is something that every American of all ages, particularly young people, because one of the things we learned from one of the women in the group that we talked to who had a nephew that she cares for, she worries just as much because he wouldn’t get healthcare because she knows that if he didn’t get healthcare, if something happened to him, she’d have to pay for it, right?
AL SHARPTON: Yep, yep. Yep.
MICHELLE OBAMA: You know, young people aren’t just living out there on their own, if they get sick and can’t afford it, who’s going to have to come in and clean up that financial mess but the parents and grandparents who care about them. You know? So young people owe it to their mothers, to give their mothers the peace of mind to know that they are insured and that they can take care of themselves if something goes wrong.
AL SHARPTON: Well, that’s a strong message from the First Lady of the United States. And we thank you for coming on and sharing that with us. And we thank you for all that you do. I tell the President all the time I lost all this weight to be your model on the program.
MICHELLE OBAMA: Oh, you’re doing it.
AL SHARPTON: He says I’m a little too old, they’re looking for somebody under 35. I didn’t read the fine print.
MICHELLE OBAMA: (Laugh)
AL SHARPTON: I didn’t know about the age requirement. (Chuckle)
MICHELLE OBAMA: I think you are an excellent example, and I thank you for giving me this time, this forum, I just want to thank you for all the work that you’re doing out there in the community and the churches to keep this issue front of mind and make sure that people understand what the law is all about. It’s your kind of work that’s going to make the difference in our communities and in this country. So I love you so much.
AL SHARPTON: Love you, thank you.
MICHELLE OBAMA: All right, take care.
AL SHARPTON: Mrs. Michelle Obama, our First Lady. Thank you.
MICHELLE OBAMA: Bye-bye.