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HHS Sec. Burwell Visits Florida To Push Obamacare Deadline

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
Daylina Miller/Health News Florida
The Florida Channel
Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell walks with U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor at Credit Xpress Auto Sales in Tampa.

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell visited Tampa on Tuesday to remind Floridians they’re in the final days to enroll in the federal marketplace for health insurance.

Her first stop at a Credit Xpress Auto Sales was the first of four stops to promote two deadlines: Thursday, Dec. 15 to insurance that starts on Jan. 1, 2017, and Tuesday, Jan. 31 for insurance that starts on March 1.

Burwell addressed concerns of Floridians who are afraid that the insurance they sign up for now might not exist next year. She said coverage is guaranteed for 2017 - even if the Affordable Care Act is repealed.

“What we're telling folks is this is insurance for 2017,” Burwell said. “They should enroll, they should come in. the insurance companies have indicated if you come, in select a plan, and pay your premium they consider that a contract."

She also had some words of support for Georgia Representative Tom Price, a Republican who has been chosen to head up Health and Human Services next year.

"If you keep your eye on those you serve - and that's the American people - that makes what is a very large place and lot of different issues… I think it gets it to a place where you can focus and really work to deliver,” Burwell said.

Burwell also visited Orlando before heading to local businesses in New York and Newark, New Jersey.

Daylina Miller is a multimedia reporter for WUSF and Health News Florida, covering health in the Tampa Bay area and across the state.