The president stressed that the administration is working overtime to fix the site. “No one is madder than me the website isn’t working as it should,” he said, “Which means it’s going to get fixed.”
Katherine Vargas, a White House spokeswoman said that the federal government and the administration are partnering with Spanish-language media to highlight the importance of the law in the Latino community.
Following President Obama’s press conference, a group of Latino leaders gave a statement stressing that the focus should remain on getting 10 million Hispanics to sign up for health insurance through toll-free numbers and local help.
“I think it’s a danger to focus too much on the website,” said Brent Wilkes, LULAC national director, “We knew from the beginning that this was going to be a ground game.” Wilkes added that only 25 percent of Latino families would be accessing enrollment information through the internet.
Some 10.2 million Latinos are estimated by the administration to be eligible to buy coverage through Obamacare. Some states are running their own sites, and may already be operating in Spanish.
Latinos tend to skew younger than the overall population, and, thus, are slightly healthier. Additionally, Latinos have the highest rate of uninsured people among any minority group. Because of these factors, Hispanics are considered essential to the success of Obamacare, which relies on healthy individuals to offset the costs of the ill.
The administration held events throughout Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept 15. - Oct. 15) until the government shutdown. This week's focus on the Latino population is the culmination of those events.