Affordable Care Act | KERA News

Affordable Care Act

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

Last minute shoppers are streaming in to Los Barrios Unidos Community Clinic in West Dallas, seeking help to enroll in health insurance before the Dec. 23 deadline — that’s the date people have to buy insurance through the federal exchange so coverage starts Jan. 1.

Justin Turveen

Last year North Texas hospitals created more than 265,000 jobs and pumped more than 14 billion dollars into the economy. That’s according to a new report from the Dallas Fort Worth Hospital Council.

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The Texas Department of Insurance decided Friday to postpone the closure of the high-risk health insurance pool, according to the Texas Tribune. That pool serves 23,000 Texans who have trouble finding health insurance due to pre-existing health conditions, like cancer or diabetes.

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So who’s on healthcare.gov? Turns out it’s not just people searching for health care. The site is also attracting hackers — a Department of Homeland Security official told lawmakers there’s been “a handful” of attempts so far. National cyber security expert Fred Chang, who’s now a professor at SMU in Dallas, has been called to examine concerns about lack of privacy of users of the website.

Oregon Shines On Medicaid, As Texas Stalls On Sign-Ups

Nov 16, 2013

Oregon might be seen as a complete failure or a surprising success when it comes to its health insurance exchange.

One the one hand, the state's website has yet to allow a single person to enroll. That's a big problem for the folks who are hoping to qualify for subsidies and buy insurance that will start Jan. 1.

President Obama announced Thursday that Americans who have had their health insurance plans canceled because of his Affordable Care Act can keep those plans for another year if they wish.

Those cancellations — most effective on Jan. 1 — have sparked intense criticism of the ACA, in part because the president pledged many times that if Americans liked the health plans they had, they wouldn't have to give them up under the terms of his program.

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President Obama announced this morning that Americans who have had their health insurance plans canceled because of his Affordable Care Act can keep those plans for another year if they wish.

Those cancellations — most effective on Jan. 1 — have sparked intense criticism of the ACA, in part because the president pledged many times that if Americans liked the health plans they had, they wouldn't have to give them up under the terms of his program.

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Less than 3,000 Texans managed to enroll for health insurance last month on the problem-plagued federal online exchange that's a centerpiece of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.
 
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday that 2,991 people in Texas had selected a plan from the insurance marketplace.

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Update, 3:33 p.m.: James O’Keefe is a conservative activist who uses undercover cameras to expose what he calls corruption and dishonesty. His efforts, though, have been criticized.

This week, his group, Project Veritas, released a new video that he says shows North Texas “navigators” who are signing up people for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act.

In the heavily-edited video, the navigators appear to tell a potential consumer to lie about whether he smokes.

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The day after President Obama visited Dallas to talk health care, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced nearly $6 million in Affordable Care Act funds will go to Texas health centers to expand access to care.

In this round of federal grants, there are 10 Texas health centers on the list, most in the Houston area. In September, a Dallas health center, Martin Luther King, Jr. Family Clinic, received $275,000 in Affordable Care Act money.

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Five stories that have North Texas talking: A Cowboys legend has a brain disease, a group with Arlington ties gets a YouTube award, a recap of the president's visit to Dallas and more.

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President Obama arrived in Dallas shortly before 5 p.m. Wednesday and left around 9 p.m. KERA provided updates on 90.1 FM, as well as this blog.

Update, 9:03 p.m.: Air Force One has left Dallas Love Field. President Obama spent four hours in Dallas, making a speech at Temple Emanu-El to talk with volunteers who are helping people sign up for health care through the Affordable Care Act. He expressed frustration that Healthcare.gov has experienced technical issues, but says the website is improving. Later, Obama appeared at two private fundraisers. KERA's Lauren Silverman covered the president's Dallas visit and has more details.

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President Obama made a whirlwind swing through Dallas on Wednesday, jetting in for fundraisers and a quick visit to health care navigators at Temple Emanu-El — where he made his pitch for Obamacare in person to Texans for the first time.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

In rural Texas, finding a family practice doctor is no easy feat. There are dozens of counties without doctors, and the need for health care is only going to increase as more people buy insurance through the Affordable Care Act. So how do we convince recent medical school graduates to strap on their boots and take root in rural clinics? Give them a taste. Turns out, they often end up sticking around.

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President Obama will visit Dallas on Wednesday.

Obamacare has been facing lots of criticism in recent weeks, so the president hopes to focus on success stories this week in Texas.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

There have been tons of concerns about Obamacare, and many politicians are trying to repeal it. And, in recent weeks, there have been scores of complaints about technical issues with the clunky Healthcare.gov website.

But how is the Affordable Care Act affecting North Texans? Here are four stories featuring everyday folks across Dallas-Fort Worth. Some are pleased with Obamacare, while one has no plans to sign up. Some are frustrated with the computer glitches, while one was able to sign up online right away.

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In Texas there are about a dozen different insurance companies participating in the marketplace, selling roughly 100 plans across the state. As the Texas Medical Association points out though, some areas of the state, especially rural areas, have fewer insurance options than others.

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More than 20,000 people rely on the state run Texas Health Insurance Pool. The pool insures folks with pre-existing health conditions who can’t find coverage elsewhere. In a few months, that risk pool will no longer exist. And at least one North Texas family is celebrating.

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What does the health care marketplace have in common with the Dewey Decimal Classification System? First, they both can seem extremely confusing. Second, the library is the place to go for answers.

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Be Covered Texas, a statewide education and outreach initiative sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, will be hosting a free community health event Oct. 26 at the Dallas Convention Center Arena. The fair, which runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. will provide educational information on the Affordable Care Act, free flue shots and other activities.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

Even with Obamacare, more than one million people in Texas are in health care limbo. Since the state didn't expand Medicaid, low-income people people like Sheila Anderson won’t have access to government assistance or health insurance subsidies on the marketplace.

The Obama administration has entered full damage-control mode over the balky website intended to enroll people in new health plans under the Affordable Care Act.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

If and when the technical problems on the online health insurance marketplace clear up, millions of people are expected to enroll. Not Jackie Sawicky.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

So, where do you go when you need some TLC and appreciation?  Home, right?

That’s exactly what Sen. Ted Cruz has been doing this week.

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Sen. Ted Cruz found a receptive audience in Fort Worth on Tuesday afternoon, meeting with about 20 small business owners for nearly an hour in a closed-door meeting.

But they didn’t discuss the Texas Republican's involvement in the partial government shutdown. Instead, Obamacare was on the agenda. Over half of the participants wanted to talk about the Affordable Care Act and how it was raising their healthcare costs, said Bill Thornton, president of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce.

Extra security was in place for the event after threats against Cruz were posted on Twitter. The Hill reported that a person posted on Twitter Friday: “Take down Ted Cruz, at his home” and listed Cruz’s home address in Houston. “What goes around comes around CRUZ!!” the person wrote.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

It’s been three weeks since the health insurance marketplace opened in Texas. While we don’t know exactly how many people have made it all the way to the finish line, it’s clear plenty are still stuck. As part of KERA’s series Obamacare 101: Making The Choice, we profile of a Fort Worth woman who’s been uninsured for more than a decade.


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So what's behind the traffic jam at healthcare.gov? With the help of Dallas tech guru Mark Haider, and his simple highway analogy, you'll be an expert in no time.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

Obamacare could make getting access to healthcare a lot easier for the Riley’s. In the North Texas family of five, three are members of the Choctaw Nation and have special perks under the Affordable Care Act. As part of KERA’s series Obamacare 101: Making The Choice, we bring you a profile the Riley’s.

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Five stories that have North Texas talking: Ted Cruz says Obamacare is a “job killer,” you can get a degree for $10,000 in Texas, someone in Dallas-Fort Worth is $19.5 million richer, and more.

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Maybe you’ve heard the horror stories about the federally run health insurance marketplace: complaints about the broken website, long waits and unsuccessful sign-ups. Two pieces of good news for you: First, the glitches are getting sorted out. Second, not everyone in North Texas has to visit healthcare.gov.

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