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Sprinting to Beat Key Deadline


20 December 2013 - Peter Frost, Chicago Tribune

For two hours on a frigid December evening, Tracelli Rockford stood on a bridge outside a CTA train station in East Garfield Park, her cheeks and lips so cold she struggled to form words.

The health organizer with the nonprofit Garfield Park Community Council, is one of the roughly 1,500 paid helpers in Illinois seeking to assist people in signing up for new health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Along with about a dozen others at CTA platforms scattered throughout the city, Rockford battled the bitter cold to hand out information-filled brochures printed in English and Spanish.

With just days left before the Dec. 23 deadline to sign up for health coverage that will kick in Jan. 1, community groups, insurance companies and the state and federal governments are redoubling their efforts to spur uninsured Americans to seek coverage as the health law known as Obamacare races toward its first major deadline.

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