AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says political opposition in Texas to the federal health care overhaul hasn’t helped the state’s underperforming sign-up numbers.
Sebelius visited Austin on Friday for one last push before next week’s open enrollment deadline. Millions of uninsured have until Monday to pick a plan or face penalties.
About 295,000 people in Texas had enrolled as of March 1. That’s less than half the 629,000-person target for Texas that federal officials originally set.
Gov. Rick Perry and Texas’ Republican leaders have consistently criticized the health overhaul.
At a United Way center in Austin, Sebelius said legal challenges and a “constant barrage of misinformation” haven’t helped people trying to figure out the law.
Texas has the highest rate of uninsured residents in the country.
Governor Rick Perry responded to Sebelius’ comments with the following statement:
“Yet again, the Obama Administration would rather point fingers at other people than accept any of the responsibility for Obamacare’s failure. The truth is, the more people learn about Obamacare, the less they like it, and the most egregious examples of misinformation have come directly from the president himself, with false promises that people could keep their existing plans and they could continue going to their own doctor. Texas is not the reason Obamacare is failing; it’s failing because it’s simply bad policy.”
(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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