- The Washington Times - Monday, January 19, 2015

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell promoted Obamacare “in the spirit of Dr. King” on Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, during a breakfast hosted by Al Sharpton.

“African-Americans have the lowest life expectancy of any other race in this country,” Ms. Burwell said in a speech to the National Action Network, The Hill reported.

But “thanks to the Affordable Care Act,” she said, “7.8 million African-Americans with private insurance now have access to expanded preventative services with no cost sharing.”

Ms. Burwell’s speech comes as HHS ramps up its efforts to insure people ahead of next month’s deadline for obtaining coverage, The Hill reported.

“In the spirit of Dr. King, we are asking you to help us again, in big ways and small. Host an enrollment event at your church or community center,” she said. “Reach out to your partners and ask for their help. Use Twitter and social media to spread the word about the February 15 deadline. Tell your neighbors and friends.”

Ms. Burwell, a former Clinton administration official, thanked Mr. Sharpton for his courage in supporting Obamacare.

“I’ve had the pleasure of knowing the reverend for many years, and have worked with him from my time in the Clinton administration to my time at Wal-Mart to now,” Ms. Burwell said, The Washington Examiner reported.

After quoting King, she said, “Reverend Sharpton has spent his life fighting for what’s right, no matter how challenging. I want to thank you for your courage, tenacity and persistence.”

Mr. Sharpton said “Martin Luther King Day, if it means anything, is serving the unserved, and giving security to those that live every day in anxiety. And on King on day, no one had done that more than our Secretary of Health and Human Services,” the Daily Mail reported.

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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