Michelle Obama is an advocate of the Affordable Care Act not just as the First Lady of the United States of America, but as a mother. During this exclusive interview on “The Yolanda Adams Morning Show,” Michelle Obama detailed a personal story about her youngest daughter Sasha‘s meningitis scare as a four-month-old baby, and how this event crystalized the importance of having medical benefits.
While the Affordable Care Act has been criticized by many conservatives, millions are already benefitting from this legislation. And the FLOTUS explains how children, young adults, women and those with pre-existing conditions are feeling the positive effects.
Americans in need of health insurance can sign up at HealthCare.gov by Decemeber 23rd in order to be eligible for benefits on January 1st. For those looking for personal assistance or who aren’t web savvy can call 800.318.2596 to get registered.
YA: Welcome back to The Yolanda Adams Morning Show. It is a thankful Thursday. And thanks so much for joining us. I have something very, very special to talk about. You have probably heard the Affordable Care Act is definitely a law and guess what, it is. But I have someone very special talking about it. You can go to healthcare.gov and catch more information about this wonderful, Affordable Care Act, the law, or you could listen to me and my very special guest, the wonderful, fabulous First Lady of these United States, Mrs. Michelle Obama. Hello, beautiful.
MO: Hello, Ms. Adams.
YA: Hello, First Lady Obama, how are you?
MO: I’m great, how’ve you been?
YA: I have been fantastic.
MO: (Chuckle) Thanks so much for having me on.
YA: No problem. I want to just dive right into the Affordable Care Act and why it is so important that my listeners understand the importance of making sure that their senators, their congressmen and women are all on this with everybody, and let them know how important it is to register.
MO: Oh, absolutely. Well, I come at this issue from a very personal perspective, because when Sasha, our youngest, was four months old, she contracted meningitis, and we were able to deal with it quickly because we had health insurance. And we had a pediatrician that we had a relationship with, who knew us, who knew I wasn’t a fussy mom that was just upset because my baby was crying. He knew something was wrong. And at that point in time, that was when it became real to me and Barack about how life just throws you these curveballs. And there is nothing like the peace of mind that comes with having insurance.
MO: To be able to do what you need to do for your baby when he or she gets sick. And we thought at that time, as we sat in the emergency room all those years ago, we thought, what would we do, what would we have done if we didn’t have this great coverage? How would we pay for it? What would’ve happened if we didn’t get to the hospital on time and get her the antibiotics that she needed? What does it feel like for families who don’t have the resources to make these kinds of decisions because they don’t have insurance? And that’s one of the reasons why Barack came in here. This is what he ran on the very first time was making sure that every American who needs insurance has access to affordable insurance. And we have that now. The battle has been won. We have Obamacare. So now it’s time for us to sign up. And that’s the next step. It’s time for people to get educated about what this is, what they need, what the options are, and they can do that by going to healthcare.gov, that’s one way to do it, going online. It’s very easy. The website is working. It provides very clear, side by side comparisons, easy to understand language, very user friendly. But people who are not web savvy or comfortable can also get personal assistance for signing up by going to 1-800-318-2596. But what I want people to know is that they need to sign up by December 23rd if they want to be enrolled on January 1st. But it’s up to us now to get educated. People can go online; they’ll find that they can get coverage for as little as $100 a month, the cost of a cellphone bill, they can be insured. And it’s really our responsibility, you know, whether we’re moms – as I said, I come at this as a mom – you know, we have a responsibility to make sure that our family is insured. But it’s also not just the moms, there’s young people out there who think they’re invincible.
YA: That’s right. Right.
MO: You know? Those kids just out of college who are working those odd jobs part time. They don’t have a job that pays insurance. They don’t think they need it because they’re healthy. Let me tell you those folks are headaches to their parents, because if they’re not on their parent’s insurance they’re worried, because we know that there’s no such thing as invincibility.
MO: You know, that young people walking around here, driving and texting, and somebody falls and breaks an ankle, somebody cuts their artery cooking dinner. You know, somebody breaks a leg at a pick-up basketball game, that could be hundreds of thousands of dollars of medical costs that could lead young people into bankruptcy and change their financial fate forever. So I just encourage young people to think about themselves like they think about their cars, you know?
MO: There’s nobody in this country that can drive a car without insurance. You can’t do it.
MO: You can’t drive a car without gas. So we have to think as much about ourselves as we do about our cars. And find the insurance, it is there, it’s affordable, there are many options. And we want young people and folks across the country who don’t have insurance or affordable insurance, to go and sign up.
YA: And also I like that six in ten uninsured African-Americans are actually eligible for assistance through Medicare, the tax cuts, and even CHIP.
MO: Absolutely. There’s so many benefits, there’s so many protections. It’s important for people to know that millions of people are already benefitting from the Affordable Care Act. You know, if you have a child that’s under 26 and you have insurance, they’re able to stay on your insurance until they’re 26 because of the Affordable Care Act. If you have a preexisting condition like asthma, or diabetes, or you had some illness as a child, your insurance companies cannot deny you coverage. They can’t knock you off insurance or not insure you. That’s because of the Affordable Care Act. Because of the Affordable Care Act, preventative care for women, contraception is free. Woman no longer pay more than men for the same kind of coverage. That’s already happening because of the Affordable Care Act. But now there’s the last step of people who are uninsured getting the insurance they need so that they have the peace of mind that so many of us take for granted. And that’s one of the reasons why I’m so passionate about this issue. This isn’t about politics, it’s about peace of mind.
YA: And about people. So if you’re one of the people listening to us go to healthcare.gov, or if you don’t have a cellphone, smart phone, whatever, just dial 800 318-2596; 800 318-2596. Get registered, get enrolled. Everyone who does not have healthcare insurance, it is the law, and you have to have it before January 1st. Thank you, First Lady, for being on with us.
MO: Thanks so much, Yolanda. Take care. And to you, your family and your listeners, Merry Christmas and have a safe, happy, healthy New Year.
YA: Same to you, my love.
MO: All right, bye-bye.
YA: Bye-bye. Okay, you heard our First Lady tell you, you can go to healthcare.gov or you can dial the number 800 318-2596 to get information because the deadline is December 23rd. Don’t forget, 800 318-2596. Or you can simply go to healthcare.gov on your smartphone or your computer. Sit down, get a cup of coffee, get some tea, and make sure you’re enrolled.