Affordable Care Act | KERA News

Affordable Care Act

Dallas Area Interfaith

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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The health insurance marketplace is ten days old, and the traffic jam at healthcare.gov still hasn’t cleared up. That’s been frustrating for Texans and the people trying to sign them up. As part of our series Obamacare 101, we take a look at some North Texas companies who are celebrating, not complaining about the Affordable Care Act.

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Now that the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Marketplace is open for enrollment, what does that mean for North Texans? And if you want to take part in the marketplace, how can you make the most of it?

That’s the focus of the first hour of today’s “Think” on KERA 90.1 FM. At noon, KERA’s Lauren Silverman will talk with host Krys Boyd about Obamacare. Listen live here.

Call in with your questions: 1-800-933-5372. Or email think@kera.org

Brush up on the Affordable Care Act with KERA’s ongoing Obamacare 101 series:

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Okay, I know. Remembering birthdays, bill payments, and where you left your keys is hard enough. But there are a few dates you should keep in mind now that the Health Insurance Marketplace is up and running (sort of) in Texas. Here’s a breakdown, courtesy of the Texas Medical Association’s “Hey Doc” educational campaign.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

Imagine not having to fill out that new patient form every single time you see a different physician. Or doctors getting automatic notices when a patient is admitted to the emergency room. These are some of the promises of electronic health records.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

For years the government has been trying to convince doctors to trade in their pads and pens for computers and tablets – and not just because their handwriting is often illegible. The switch plays a fundamental role in achieving the promises of Obamacare -- lower costs and more access. Not all North Texas physicians are taking the bait.

BlueCross BlueShield of Texas

The traffic jam of people checking out health insurance options online hasn’t completely let up. But here’s what North Texans will find once they make it past the login page: 40 plus plans to choose from. A handful are from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas — the largest provider of health benefits in the state.

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Speaking to an audience in New Jersey yesterday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry called the opening of the Obamacare health insurance marketplaces a “felony” against young people.

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More than two million Texans may qualify for insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. But many have no idea they’re eligible. We've got a calculator, so you don't have to do the math.

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This fair might not have corny dogs or deep fried lattes, but it will offer a free bag of healthy groceries and an all-you-can learn Obamacare buffet.

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We’re getting an idea of what health insurance may cost through the Affordable Care Act marketplace that opens in Texas next week. A report released today puts a dollar figure to ‘affordable’ health insurance.

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Attention seniors, you will not lose Medicare coverage when the health insurance marketplace opens in October, nor will you have to go to the new online exchange to sign up for plans.

Sorry, wrong number

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In three weeks, the Texas health insurance marketplace will be open for business. There will be a variety of plans to choose from – the basic bronze and even platinum – but all of them, and many private insurance plans too – will be required to cover certain benefits like checkups starting in 2014.

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