Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell used Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a promotional tool for Obamacare at an event hosted by Al Sharpton on Monday.
“In the spirit of Dr. King, we are asking you to help us again in big ways and small,” Burwell told a crowd gathered at Sharpton’s National Action Network headquarters in New York City.
“Host an enrollment event at your church, or your community,” Burwell suggested. “Reach out to your partners, ask them to help. Use your Twitter and social media to spread the word about the February 15th deadline. Tell your neighbors, and tell your friends.”
Burwell, who took over as HHS chief last June, has been traveling the country to promote President Obama’s federal health law ahead of next month’s deadline. She pitched improvements over last year’s sign-up process and reminded the audience that there are three main ways to sign up for coverage — online, in person and on the phone.
Burwell also touted benefits she claims Obamacare provides African-Americans.
African-Americans “have the lowest life expectancy of any other race in our country,” Burwell said, citing statistics which show that they are twice as likely to be diagnosed with diabetes and 40 percent more likely to have high blood pressure.
“And the statistic that impacts all of that: African-Americans are less likely to be uninsured than white Americans,” Burwell told the audience.
“Now is the time to close that gap,” Burwell added. “As Dr. King said, change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. Dr. King’s dream is ours now. And that struggle is ours to continue. And want to thank you all for all that you do to keep that dream alive, and make it a reality.”