SAN JOSE - California's soon-to-be marketplace for individual health insurance was lauded by President Barack Obama this morning as a symbol of what his signature health insurance law was intended to do.
The president cited the lower-than-expected prices of health policies recently released by the state agency implementing the law in California. He noted that 2.6 million state residents will be eligible for subsidies to help pay the premiums, half of whom are Latinos, he added.
"In states that are working hard to implement this law properly, we're seeing it work for people, for middle class families, for consumers," Obama said at a brief appearance before reporters here before he flies to Southern California for a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
He also stressed that health insurance consumers, whether employer-paid or self-financed, are enjoying improved coverage and protections afforded by the federal law.
Many opponents of the law predicted the law would result in "doom and gloom" and skyrocketing costs, the president said. Instead, competition and choice is "pushing down costs in the individual market." But he stressed that to make the program work well, uninsured Californians should utilize the online marketplace, dubbed Covered California, when it opens in October.
PHOTO: President Barack Obama pauses while speaking in San Jose Friday, June 7, 2013. AP Photo/ Evan Vucci