The First Lady visited Louisiana on Tuesday to make greater pushes to the younger Latino populations regarding President Barack Obama's new health insurance marketplace, which is planned to open October 1.

Michelle Obama's encouragements to sign up for the health care reforms came on the heels of the White House stating it needs seven million people, comprised of at least 2.9 young people, to sign up for the insurance exchanges — online marketplaces where the uninsured can select the best coverage, similar to car insurance — in order to keep costs down. Mrs. Obama reached out to the Latino population as part of a larger effort to inform and educate people in pockets of the country where the exchanges would otherwise see less traffic.

"Simply passing the Affordable Care Act was not the goal," Mrs. Obama said at the annual conference of the National Council of La Raza, a Latino advocacy group. "The goal is to get folks to sign up for the insurance so they have the care they need to stay healthy."

Obama singled out young people as a driving force behind the success of the exchanges, due to the expected financial burden of caring for older policy holds. Nearly one-third of these young people live in California, Texas, and Florida.

"So we need to send them to those websites which have all the information they need about health reform," Mrs. Obama said.

During the visit, she also drew links between registering for the insurance exchanges and the fight to curb childhood obesity, which she noted was especially prevalent in the Latino community.

She called the epidemic a policy, public health, family, and community issue, heaping responsibility on the families to ensure their children make smart dietary and exercise choices on their own.

"We know better," she said. "And that is one of the greatest gifts we can pass on to our children. This is a gift."

The health insurance marketplace, containing subsidiary health insurance exchanges within it, involves a rigidly tiered system of coverage options that are designed to be more transparent than the current system and to allow enrollees to better understand what it is they're paying for. Under the marketplace's guidelines, insurers cannot deny claims based on pre-existing conditions. Ideally, the marketplace will create competition among insurance companies, lowering cost and improving quality of insurance coverage.

Mrs. Obama's visit to Louisiana was met with much adoration, as the Latino population in the area has expressed much gratitude in the Obama administration's efforts to inform.

"We have a lot of challenges in terms of obesity and chronic disease," said Benjamin Hernandez, a Houston resident who works for the city's Department of Health and Human Services, "so the more we get people on these programs, the more we get them on the health insurance exchanges, the better it is for the entire population."

To make an account starting July 31 for the health insurance marketplace, visit