Tribpedia: Federal Health Reform And Texas

When the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Senate version of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law on March 21, 2010, the reaction from Texas leaders of all political persuasions was swift, varied and impassioned — no surprise, given the sweeping scope of the new law.

One thing all sides could agree on: The implications of ...

Zoila Chaver, second from right, a member of the Texas Organizing Project, giving health care information to Dallas resident Graciela Garcia at Garcia's home on July 10, 2013.
Zoila Chaver, second from right, a member of the Texas Organizing Project, giving health care information to Dallas resident Graciela Garcia at Garcia's home on July 10, 2013.

In Texas, Obamacare Enrollment Spiked Before Deadline

Total Texas enrollment in the federal health insurance marketplace created under the Affordable Care Act more than doubled in the month leading up to the deadline, according to figures released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

A patient pays cash for a visit to Dr. Gustavo Villarreal's office in Laredo. Villarreal no longer accepts any form of health insurance.
A patient pays cash for a visit to Dr. Gustavo Villarreal's office in Laredo. Villarreal no longer accepts any form of health insurance.

Giving Up on Red Tape, Doctors Turn to Cash-Based Model

While efforts are underway at both the state and federal level to decrease Texas' sky-high rate of residents without health coverage, Texas is seeing an increase in primary care practitioners who are no longer accepting any forms of insurance.

Jill Ramirez, the director of outreach for the Latino Healthcare Forum, passes out flyers and explains components of the Affordable Care Act on Oct. 5, 2013.
Jill Ramirez, the director of outreach for the Latino Healthcare Forum, passes out flyers and explains components of the Affordable Care Act on Oct. 5, 2013.

Report: Texas Leaves ACA Premium Subsidies on Table

Texans have received $591 million in premium subsidies to help pay for health insurance through the federal marketplace, but they have left millions of dollars in additional funding on the table, according to a new report by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Jill Ramirez, the director of outreach for the Latino Healthcare Forum, passes out flyers and explains components of the Affordable Care Act on Oct. 5, 2013.
Jill Ramirez, the director of outreach for the Latino Healthcare Forum, passes out flyers and explains components of the Affordable Care Act on Oct. 5, 2013.

ACA Advocates Make Enrollment Push Ahead of Deadline

As ACA enrollment figures lag behind expected totals, health reform advocates are running a final blitz to enroll uninsured Texans in the federal marketplace ahead of the March 31 deadline. Critics say the lagging enrollment will continue because of the costs of the marketplace's plans.

Kenneth Flippin, left, and Jane Denson, right, of Enroll America at the home of Shelby Childress.
Kenneth Flippin, left, and Jane Denson, right, of Enroll America at the home of Shelby Childress.

In Texas, a Push to Get Young Adults Enrolled in ACA

Obamacare advocates are working to mobilize young adults to sign up for insurance through the federal marketplace ahead of the March 31 deadline for open enrollment. But with sign-ups among 18- to 34-year-olds lagging behind expectations nationally, pro-reform groups are targeting Texas in an effort to up their numbers.

L to R:  Martin Gomez Jr. and his father Martin Gomez Sr. both work, but make so little that they aren't interested in buying healthcare insurance. The Gomez family lives in a colonia near Alton.
L to R: Martin Gomez Jr. and his father Martin Gomez Sr. both work, but make so little that they aren't interested in buying healthcare insurance. The Gomez family lives in a colonia near Alton.

A Focus on Helping Colonia Residents With Health Law

Living in unincorporated subdivisions, where the uninsured rate is between 50 and 80 percent, thousands of residents of impoverished Texas colonias may be largely left with little hope of obtaining health insurance after falling into the "coverage gap.But community-based organizations are working to educate them on their options.

Lindsay Berlanga, center, site manager for Cognazante, helps Melissa Villareal, right, and her mother, Hortensia Villareal, rear, with registration for the Affordable Care Act during assistance hours at Bibliotech, the new digital public library in San Antonio, Friday, January 17, 2014.
Lindsay Berlanga, center, site manager for Cognazante, helps Melissa Villareal, right, and her mother, Hortensia Villareal, rear, with registration for the Affordable Care Act during assistance hours at Bibliotech, the new digital public library in San Antonio, Friday, January 17, 2014.

Local Governments Pursue Obamacare Enrollment

Government officials and community-based organizations are working together to incorporate new rules, maximize their resources and educate uninsured Texans on how to take advantage of President Obama's signature health law. 

Democrats Argue Navigator Rules Politically Motivated

Democrats pushed the Texas Department of Insurance to justify proposed state rules on the federal navigator program at a hearing on Monday. They said the rules were politically motivated, and created excessive and unnecessary training requirements and registration fees that would impede navigators’ ability to help consumers gain health insurance coverage

Mental health Capitol day rally at Texas Capitol organized by NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness on February 28th, 2013.
Mental health Capitol day rally at Texas Capitol organized by NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness on February 28th, 2013.

New Year Brings Cautious Hope for Mental Health Care

For years Texas has lagged far behind other states in mental health care funding. Now, advocates see new cause for optimism in the unprecedented amount of funding state lawmakers dedicated to mental health services, and in federal health care reform's emphasis on mental health care.

Kenneth Flippin, left, and Jane Denson, right, of Enroll America at the home of Shelby Childress.
Kenneth Flippin, left, and Jane Denson, right, of Enroll America at the home of Shelby Childress.

In North Texas, ACA Navigators Under Scrutiny

Organizations charged with hiring "navigators" to help the uninsured buy coverage in the federal marketplace have come under fire, particularly in North Texas, over allegations of poor oversight and misdeeds. But the organizations argue that such fears have been overblown by Republicans seeking to discredit the president's signature health law.