partlycloudy
Monday August 3rd, 2015 1:18PM

Obama to Latinos: Last call for health care signup

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Issuing a last call for health care, President Barack Obama assured Latinos on Thursday that signing up for new insurance exchanges won't lead to deportation for any relatives in the U.S. illegally.

Facing fresh skepticism from one of his traditionally most loyal constituencies, Obama pushed back on the notion of some critics that he's become America's "deporter in chief," insisting that Latinos know that "I've got their back." In a virtual town hall meeting with Spanish-language media outlets, Obama disputed that his credibility had been undermined by the chaotic health care rollout and his failure to secure legal status for millions of Latinos in the U.S. illegally.

"The main point that I have for everybody watching right now is, you don't punish me by not signing up for health care," Obama said. "You're punishing yourself or your family if in fact there's affordable health care to be had."

Obama's push to boost enrollment comes as the end-of-March deadline to enroll is rapidly approaching - and with it, renewed concerns that if the Obama administration misses its target, the insurance pool could become unsustainable and undermine the broader law's success. The federal government has provided millions of dollars for advertising campaigns geared toward the Latino community, and top officials have been fanning out to spread the word, with first lady Michelle Obama appearing Wednesday in a predominantly minority neighborhood in Miami.

Enrolling Latinos, who are disproportionately uninsured in the U.S., has been a major priority, but the effort has been complicated by a cascade of obstacles including problems with the Spanish-language website. California's state-based exchange, which co-hosted Obama's event, has come under heavy criticism for lackluster efforts to sign up Latinos.

People in the U.S. illegally aren't eligible to sign up, Obama said, but those with a legal presence in the country - such as legal residents - can enroll. Obama sought to pre-empt concerns that information collected in the process of signing up could be used to identify and deport the relatives of citizens or legal residents.

"So for everybody out there who is in a mixed family, there is no sharing of the data from the health care plan into immigration services," Obama said. "They should feel confident."

Those assurances came from a president who has found himself squeezed this year between Latinos frustrated by the pace of progress on immigration and Republicans who say they distrust Obama's commitment to enforcing the law. Those competing forces have complicated Obama's push to secure an immigration overhaul in Congress - a task that will only become more difficult as the midterm elections grow nearer.

While some Republicans criticize Obama for unilaterally halting deportations for young people brought into the U.S. illegally by their parents, immigration activists have said Obama didn't go far enough and should halt all deportations. But Obama said his move to protect so-called Dreamers "already stretched my administrative capacity very far."

"I think the community understands that I've got their back and I'm fighting for them," Obama said. "Does that mean that there's not going to be frustrations when change doesn't happen as fast as it could? But of course, that's true for just about every population."
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 7 months ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 7 months ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 7 months ago )
U.S. News
State DOT awards $48M contract for NE Ga. road project
The state Department of Transportation has awarded a $47.8 million contract for nine miles of work on a northeast Georgia road.
9:37AM ( 7 months ago )
Business News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 7 months ago )
Hall County conviction, sentencing to be reviewed by SCOGA
The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Hall County man when they reconvene in January.
2:37PM ( 7 months ago )
Maysville man dies from Banks County wreck
The Georgia State Patrol reports that alcohol and/or drugs were factors a single-vehicle wreck that claimed the life of a Maysville man in Banks County Tuesday night.
11:07AM ( 7 months ago )
Local/State News
GOP leader regrets talk to white supremacists; party leaders rally around him
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
6:08PM ( 7 months ago )
Conviction of Putin foe sets off protest in Moscow
President Vladimir Putin's chief political foe was convicted along with his brother on Tuesday in a fraud case widely seen as a vendetta by the Kremlin, triggering one of Russia's boldest anti-government demonstrations in years.
6:03PM ( 7 months ago )
More Georgians signing up for health insurance
A federal report says more Georgians have selected health insurance plans through a federally facilitated marketplace.
4:16PM ( 7 months ago )
Politics
Climate change: Obama orders steeper emissions cuts from power plants
Aiming to jolt the rest of the world to action, President Barack Obama moved ahead Sunday with even tougher greenhouse gas cuts on American power plants.
By The Associated Press
6:40PM ( 18 hours ago )
Some Americans refuse to give up on Confederate flag
Many Americans assumed the Confederate flag was retired for good
By Associated Press
6:30PM ( 18 hours ago )
Biden for President? Associates mulling Clinton challenge
Vice President Joe Biden's associates have resumed discussions about a 2016 presidential run after largely shelving such deliberations while his son was sick and dying earlier this year.
By The Associated Press
9:50AM ( 1 day ago )
Atlanta airport again leads in number of guns found in bags
Atlanta's airport once again leads the nation in the number of guns found in carry-on bags.
By The Associated Press
6:49PM ( 1 day ago )
Judge blocks release of new recordings by anti-abortion group
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal judge on Friday blocked the release of any recordings made at meetings of an abortion providers' association by an anti-abortion group that previously revealed secretly...
8:30AM ( 2 days ago )