KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

The View From Two Counties With Soaring Uninsured Rates

The Texas Tribune looks at how Houston officials are using techniques honed in hurricanes and other public emergencies to try to enroll the uninsured. Kaiser Health News looks at the health law's impact on the county in Florida that has the state's highest uninsured rates.

The Texas Tribune/The New York Times: Local Governments Pursue Obamacare Enrollment
While no one believed carrying out the Affordable Care Act in Texas would be easy, a series of additional obstacles has impeded efforts to help the 6.2 million uninsured Texans find health coverage. The launch of the federal marketplace, healthcare.gov, was a technical disaster. The state's Republican leadership, saying Medicaid is broken, has refused to expand the program for impoverished adults. And last week, the Texas Department of Insurance issued state regulations that added further training and other requirements for the navigators hired and trained by recipients of federal grants to help people enroll in the health marketplace. Still, 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 the federal law (Aaronson, 1/26).

Kaiser Health News: Florida's Decision Hurts County With Highest Uninsured Rate
In the city that calls itself "America's Sweetest Town," the smell of burning sugar cane pierces the 80 degree January air. Steam billows from the 12-story U.S. Sugar Corp. factory that dominates the landscape and the economy in this region, halfway between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Some describe the aroma as sweet, others as sour -- a metaphor of sorts for the Affordable Care Act and its impact on this South Florida county that has the state's highest uninsured rate (Galewitz, 1/27).

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