Michelle Obama (AP photo/Gerald Herbert)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Michelle Obama urged Latino activists on Tuesday to help sign people up for her husband’s health care overhaul, especially the millions of younger, healthier people the system will need to offset the cost of caring for older, sicker consumers.

The first lady said that, starting July 31, consumers can create an account at www.healthcare.gov, or www.cuidadodesalud.gov, its Spanish-language equivalent, so they can get ready to sign up for Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) exchange coverage in the fall, starting on Oct. 1.

“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.”

She emphasized “the need to reach out to our young people” since their participation is key to the law’s success.

The Obama administration is looking for about 7 million people to sign up for health insurance through the exchanges.

The White House has estimated that the exchanges will need to attract about 2.6 million young, healthy enrollees to keep overall coverage costs down.

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.

Associated Press writer Darlene Superville in Washington contributed to this report.

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