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Sign-Ups Surge as Final Week for Obamacare Enrollment Arrives

Sign-Ups  Surge as Final Week for Obamacare Enrollment Arrives

As this week marks the final week to enroll for Obamacare, U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo) says south Texas still has the largest number of uninsured individuals of any region of the country.

 

  Cuellar says all of the partisan bickering over the Affordable Care Act isn't helping.

 

  "The Republicans want to repeal it, it's not going to go away, the courts have already said it is Constitutional," Cuellar said.  "Then on the other side, you have Democrats who don't want to change one word, that's wrong."

 

  Cuellar says in his district, which stretches from northeast of San Antonio all the way to the Rio Grande, one third of people are still without health insurance.

 

  Cuellar says it is time for both sides to stop yelling at each other in attempts to gin up their political base, and have a serious conversation about the fate of the bill.

 

   "We got to sit down and say this part of the bill we should modify, this part we should repeal," Cuellar said.  "Hopefully after the election we'll get around to doing that."

 

  Meanwhile, it's crunch time for local groups which are trying to enroll people in the Affordable Care Act, and several groups will be working extra hours this week and doing plenty of outreach to try to bring people on board.

 

  Andrea Guajardo of the CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health Care System, says, unlike in the early days of the program, when the well publicized web site glitches kept people away, there is now interest in signing up.

 

  "We get 100 or 200 people each time we go out," she said.

 

  She concedes that the hardest sell are the 'young invincibles,' young people with limited resources who feel that they don't need health insurance and would rather spend their money elsewhere.

 

  "A lot of times, their moms are bringing them in," she said.

 

  Navigators say another problem with signing up is that terms which are familiar to people with insurance coverage, like 'copay' and 'deductible' are foreign to people who have never had coverage in their lives, so those people are taking longer to make their way through the system.

 

  Another problem facing this area.  Congress specifically exempted illegal immigrants from having to follow the provisions of Obamacare, so a large segment of the south Texas population will remain uninsured, and will continue to depend on expensive public hospital emergency rooms for basic health care.

 

 

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