The Evening Brief: Nov. 13, 2013
Your evening reading: health exchange enrollment numbers are anemic in Texas; Sullivan says "NUTS" to Ethics Commission; Davis to meet big-buck Democratic donors in D.C.
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• Few Texans Have Found Health Coverage Through Obamacare: "Fewer than 3,000 Texans successfully found private health insurance during the first month of the Affordable Care Act’s open enrollment period to purchase a health plan through an online federal marketplace, according to figures released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services."
• Michael Quinn Sullivan Rejects Ethics Commission: "Michael Quinn Sullivan, a conservative gadfly and president of Empower Texans, succinctly and emphatically rejected a proposed settlement from the Texas Ethics Commission that was intended to resolve allegations that he failed to file as a registered lobbyist in 2010 and 2011."
• With Prop 6 Approved, Plans Remain Uncertain: "Now that Texas voters have agreed to spend $2 billion from the Rainy Day Fund to finance water supply projects, legislators say the state finally has some money to carry out its longstanding water plan. But the plan is full of contradictions and questions — challenges that can't be solved by money alone."
• Patrick Releases Ad Aimed at Gun Rights: "In his third TV ad of the campaign season, state Sen. Dan Patrick champions Second Amendment rights, including his support of the castle doctrine, campus carry and lower regulations for concealed handgun licenses."
• Wayne Christian Releases Railroad Commission Ad: "Former state Rep. Wayne Christian, R-Center, a candidate for the Texas Railroad Commission, introduces himself in a new ad."
• Ted Cruz's Father: Black People ‘Uninformed' And ‘Deceived' (The Huffington Post): "Evangelical pastor Rafael Cruz, father of tea party star Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), called black and Hispanic voters 'uninformed' and 'deceived' during a speech to conservative activists in February. ... Cruz also suggested how blacks and Hispanics should vote. 'As a matter of fact, if we could communicate the truth, not only to the Hispanics but to the black population, all blacks should be Republican,' he said."
• It’s Official: Obamacare Enrollment Is Super Low (National Journal): "Roughly 100,000 people enrolled in health insurance through Obamacare last month – far short of the administration's goal. The Health and Human Services Department said 106,185 people have successfully applied for and chosen private insurance through the health care law's new marketplaces. That total is only about 20 percent of the administration's initial enrollment target for October, the first month in which consumers were able to sign up for coverage."
• U.S. oil output tops imports for first time since 1995 (Politico): "In the decades-long fight for energy independence, the United States has scored a major symbolic victory. For the first time since February 1995, in October the U.S. produced more crude oil than it imported, the Energy Information Administration said this week."
• Wendy Davis heads to Washington to meet big-dollar Democratic megadonors (The Dallas Morning News): "Democrat Wendy Davis, who is expected to be heavily outspent by Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott, heads to Washington this week to meet some of the Democratic Party’s biggest campaign donors. Davis will be introduced on Thursday at the Democracy Alliance conference."
• Texas’ Other Death Penalty (Texas Observer): "There’s a popular myth that the uninsured—in Texas, that’s 25 percent of us—can always get medical care through emergency rooms. ... The myth is based on a 1986 federal law called the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), which states that hospitals with emergency rooms have to accept and stabilize patients who are in labor or who have an acute medical condition that threatens life or limb. That word 'stabilize' is key: Hospital ERs don’t have to treat you. They just have to patch you up to the point where you’re not actively dying. Also, hospitals charge for ER care, and usually send patients to collections when they cannot pay."
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