Sebelius: Despite Opponents, ‘We Will Set Up An Insurance Marketplace in Every State’

January 15, 2013 - 5:58 PM

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Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. (CNSNews/Penny Starr)

(CNSNews.com) – Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says health insurance exchanges will be set up across the country, despite protests from many state leaders.

“Right now, new health insurance market places are being set up in every state across the country,” Sebelius told the Rev. Al Sharpton’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. luncheon in Washington on Tuesday. “And I gotta’ tell you, in spite of what your governor may be saying, that he or she doesn’t want to participate – the way the law is written, we will set up an insurance marketplace in every state in the country.”

President Barack Obama spoke at Sharpton’s National Action Network’s luncheon last year in New York. This year, the speakers included Sebelius and Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

The focus of the luncheon was health and education and what Sharpton called “closing the gap” on all Americans having access to both.

Sebelius admitted that the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) has been “controversial,” but she said that's partly because of “misinformation” about the health care law.

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President Barack Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. (AP Photo)

“There’s still a lot of misinformation out around the country, and a lot of you may live in states where you hear your state leaders saying, ‘We’re never going to participate – we want no part of this. We are not going to have this federal overreach in our homes and in our states,’” Sebelius said. “We know that there’s also millions of dollars in misinformation being spread as widely as possible.”

She told the crowd that she needs their help to get the right message out about the law.

“I’m here to ask you to help us get the information to those folks to take full advantage of the law as it unfolds; full advantage of the benefits as they come into place,” Sebelius said, adding that the apparent benefits include the expansion of Medicaid.

She said that despite protests against Obamacare, the plan to implement it is going forward in anticipation of “open enrollment,” which begins Oct. 1 of this year.

“Right now, new health insurance market places are being set up in every state across the country,” Sebelius said. “And I gotta’ tell you, in spite of what your governor may be saying, that he or she doesn’t want to participate – the way the law is written, we will set up an insurance marketplace in every state in the country.”

“Everyone will have the advantage of this law,” Sebelius said.