WEEKEND TOP NEWS LINKS:
Even though opposition in the House of Representatives continues from some Houston area legislators, Houstonians working at the frontlines continue to move forward in preparation for the start of the Affordable Care Act’s Health Marketplaces.
Carrie Feibel, KUHF/NPR
Two high-profile Texans are fighting the Affordable Care Act. Gov. Rick Perry has loudly dismissed the law, and fellow Republican Sen. Ted Cruz took to the Senate floor this week at length — 21 hours and 19 minutes to be exact.
On the other side of the issue, you have Rosy Mota and her clipboard, standing at the door of a CVS pharmacy in one of Houston’s Latino neighborhoods, stopping shoppers.
“Hello, would you like a brochure about the new health care coverage that’s coming into effect? We’ll be here if you have any questions,” she tells a customer.
Mota works for , a national organization that has from the Obama re-election campaign. The group has combined sophisticated data-mining techniques and digital maps to figure out where the uninsured in Houston live, down to the block and house level.
Enroll America has just seven workers for Houston’s 800,000 uninsured residents. But it is part of a coalition of organizations that includes the city health department, the county’s public clinics, and groups like the Urban League. They’re all trying to get the word out about health insurance marketplaces and help the uninsured buy coverage made possible by the health law. The exchanges are scheduled to open Oct. 1.
“Regardless of whether you are for the Affordable Care Act or you’re against the Affordable Care Act, we’re not looking at it that way,” says Houston health official . “We’re saying that, from a public health perspective, getting people insured and getting them into the system is a good thing to do.”
The state of Texas is not providing any money or staff to help people sign up. So the city is using federal money funneled through the United Way and also tapping its own resources.
In fact, it considers the project so important that it’s using the same command-and-control structure that it uses during hurricanes. Instead of shelters and relief centers, the city is compiling a list of block parties, church events and festivals where people can learn about how to sign up for Obamacare….
(Listen and read more of the story at NPR)
- U.S. Shutdown Nears as House Votes to Delay Health Law (New York Times)
- House Republicans defy Obama on funding bill; government shutdown nears (AP)
- Ted Cruz: If we have a shutdown, it will be because Harry Reid ‘holds the American people hostage’ (Yahoo News)
- President To GOP: Don’t ‘Burn Down The House’ Over Obamacare (NRP)
LOCAL AREA HEADLINES:
- HISD working hard to get students back in school (Houston Chronicle)
- Ike still hurting Isle’s small businesses (Houston Chronicle)
- MD Anderson Expands To New Jersey (KUHF Public Radio)
- Houston county is one of the nation’s fastest growing (Chron.com)
- For cancer-surviving beer man, quite an outpouring (Houston Chronicle)
- Thieves target Hispanic immigrants near Houston (KRIV 26 News)
- Houston DJ hands kids the mic at Texas Children’s (KHOU 11 News)
- For decades, Fraga brothers show dedication to community (KTRK 13 News)
- More Texas Hispanic students than whites took SAT (KHOU 11 News)
- Update: You May Now Comment on Texas’ New Rules for Abortion Clinics (KUT Austin)
- Researchers: Texas Not Ready for Next Hurricane (Texas Tribune)
- Rock the Vote: Texas Scrambling to Implement New Voter ID Requirements (Houston Press)
NATION & WORLD:
- Radio blackout cited in deaths of 19 firefighters (AP)
- Federal agents make prey of online predators who search out children (AP)
- Malala Yousafzai honoured at Harvard for humanitarian work (Boston Globe)
- Scientists: IPCC Report Should Serve as ‘Wake-Up Call’ (ABC News)