President Barack Obama's final push to motivate Americans to sign up for health care touched down in New Orleans March 20 as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius, state Sen. Karen Carter Peterson and Mayor Mitch Landrieu highlighted local registration efforts.

  More than 17,000 people in New Orleans and Metairie have enrolled in the health insurance marketplace as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to the New Orleans Health Department. In February, the HHS announced more than 45,000 people in Louisiana had selected a plan through the marketplace. The city's health department and its coordination with 504 HealthNet, a network of health and community organizations and clinics, has hosted more than 125 outreach events for people to sign up before the March 31 deadline. At the New Orleans City Council's Health, Education and Social Services Committee meeting March 19, New Orleans Health Commissioner Charlotte Parent said 30,000 people in New Orleans are eligible for coverage through the ACA.

  The next open enrollment event is 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 29, at the New Orleans East Library (5641 Read Blvd.). The health department's staff office hours for enrollment are 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays in March on the eighth floor of City Hall (1300 Perdido St.). Visit for more events and enrollment information.