FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 5/13/2013
Councilmember Richard Conlin
Councilmember Nick Licata
City to develop outreach strategies for Affordable Care Act
Seattle – Seattle City Council adopted a resolution today enlisting City departments to develop outreach strategies to educate and inform the public about new healthcare coverage programs made available through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) Departments will coordinate with the efforts of community partners to enroll all newly eligible residents in the new healthcare coverage options.
“The City of Seattle has an extraordinary opportunity to increase the health of our residents by working diligently on enrolling folks in the health care insurance exchange,”said Councilmember Richard Conlin, sponsor of the resolution. “This is one of the most significant advances in health care since the implementation of Medicare in 1965 and it is imperative that we take a leadership role in this.”
Seattle’s outreach plan will include person-to-person support for individuals, particularly communities who need more intensive help with the application processes and accessing health care services. The Affordable Health Care Act requires that most members of the public enroll for healthcare coverage by January 2014. An estimated 30,000 Seattle residents will become eligible for subsidized health care coverage through Washington’s Health Benefit Exchange and Council has made it a priority to enroll them all.
Councilmember Nick Licata said, “The Council action to expedite healthcare coverage is particularly timely considering this week’s report that each year in the US, 11,300 newborns die within 24 hours of their birth, 50% more than all other industrialized countries combined.”
“Nearly 60,000 Seattle residents are currently without health insurance,”said Mayor Mike McGinn. “I am enlisting City departments to inform and enroll people into expanded Medicaid and subsidized insurance that will soon be available through the Affordable Care Act. This is an unprecedented opportunity that will help our residents receive the care they need and lower health care costs by decreasing reliance on high-cost medical services including emergency room visits.”
“We have a landmark opportunity to increase access to health care in our community,”said Dr. David Fleming, Director and Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County. “By connecting residents to coverage, we will ultimately improve the health of our community.”