First lady Michelle Obama touted the Affordable Care Act in a speech Tuesday to the National Council of La Raza, urging members to encourage their friends and family to enroll in the health law's new coverage options.
"The minute you get back home from this conference, we need you to get out there and educate everyone you know about what health reform means for them," Obama said. "And I’m talking about making sure they understand the real facts."
"We especially need you to reach out to our young people because they’re the ones who always think they’re invincible," Obama said.
The White House and its allies are taking two approaches toward the enrollment push: directly targeting young men; and also targeting mothers, hoping they will pressure their sons and other young relatives to enroll.
Obama made that pitch explicitly in her speech to La Raza, one of the nation’s largest Hispanic advocacy groups.
"We all have the power and the urgent responsibility to get after our young people and get them to sign up," she said. "Because while they may roll their eyes for a moment, we know that when mama and abuela speak, they listen. That's where you come in."
The White House is hoping that roughly 7 million people will enroll in coverage through the healthcare law's insurance exchanges next year, including 2.7 million young people.
About one-third of the young people the administration wants to reach live in California, Florida and Texas. The White House has already partnered with Hispanic media organizations in California, and administration officials met Monday with representatives from the Latin Grammys.
"Simply passing the Affordable Care Act was not the goal," the first lady said Tuesday. "The goal is to get folks to sign up for the insurance so they have the care they need to stay healthy. And as leaders in our communities, we are going to need your help to make this happen."