Former President Bill Clinton, tapped to explain Obamacare to the nation, will have his school at the University of Arkansas officially kick-off the new era of health care Oct. 1 in Little Rock.

The University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service and Arkansas Insurance Department are partnering for the trailblazing event to begin signing up as many as 500,000 state residents.

“We’re pleased to join with the Arkansas Insurance Department in hosting an Oct. 1 opening-day enrollment fair for affordable health insurance,” Clinton School Dean Skip Rutherford said in a statement. “Thanks to Governor [Mike] Beebe and the legislature, more than 500,000 Arkansans, including some Clinton School students, are now eligible. It’s a big day — especially for those who have no health insurance and for those with pre-existing conditions who now can be covered.”

Cindy Crone, deputy commissioner of the Arkansas Insurance Department, said the Arkansas Health Connector was created by the Arkansas Insurance Department to connect residents to the new Health Insurance Marketplace, where they can access new health coverage options. “We are thrilled to host this opening event in partnership with the Clinton School,” said Crone.

Obamacare begins nationally Oct. 1, when people can first touch base with their state health insurance center. By Jan. 1, every American will have to hold health insurance or pay a fine.

Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at