The line at the community center in Cudahy was out the door and into the parking lot, people here for help in signing up for "Obama Care'', or as we call it here in the Golden State, "Covered California."
The deadline for at least beginning the process, which means going online and registering for an account in your name, is Monday March 31, but both California and the Feds say that you'll have at least a couple of additional weeks to complete the process as long as you started it by Monday. Makes sense. After the complicated frustrating roll out of Obama Care, (though less so here in California) the government should give people as much time as they realistically need to sort through the options and figure out which one, if anyone, is best for them.
I interviewed people who signed up for health care for the very first time, some of which is free due to low income levels, some as low as $41 dollars a month, some hundreds of dollars a month. On the other hand, I spoke to a 63-year-old woman who gets a pension along with her husband, but doesn't file taxes on the advice of her accountant (not sure about that one) so because of that, the complex evaluation and calculation process spit out a monthly health care plan that would cost her about 500 dollars a month.
She passed. I made sure she got back in touch with the event organizers before she left, (the Health Care Workers that are part of SEIU , Service Employees International Union) to clarify, and they told her if she and her husband did file a joint tax return and then came back with that, their plan would drop dramatically in cost. There will be outreach events like this one in Cudahy throughout the state over the next few days, culminating in what the SEIU is calling an ''enrollathon'' all day Monday from 5 am to midnight. A lot of help, a lot of answers, a lot of information is out there, so take advantage of that.