Administration Cuts Make Signing Up For Insurance Via The Affordable Care Act Harder

Our daily roundup of Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelSeptember 29, 2017 4:12 pm|

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

The Trump administration has made several changes that could make it harder for Texans to sign up for Affordable Care Act health plans.

One change is that the open enrollment period, which starts November 1, has been cut in half, from 90 days to 45 days.

Another is that funding for local groups that help individuals and small businesses register for coverage has been significantly cut. These groups are known officially as Navigators.

Melissa McChesney is an outreach coordinator for the left-leaning Center for Public Policy Priorities. She says navigator groups in Texas have seen about a 35 percent cut in funding across the board.

“There are groups here in Texas that saw a cut well about that average and so are having to either reduce the staff that’s available to do the enrollment, or reduce the service area they can serve. So maybe they were serving 20 counties and now they’re going to have to focus on 5 counties,” McChesney says.

The Navigator program was started under the Obama administration to help vulnerable communities, in particular, sign up for health plans. Texas has both the highest rate and the highest number of uninsured people in the country.


 




The impact of President Trump’s attacks on NFL players who kneel during the national anthem is still rippling through communities across the country.

And as Houston Public Media’s Brien Straw reports, local schools and youth leagues are reacting to the debates around these protests differently.

The Cy-Fair youth football league says it will stop playing the national anthem before games. As for high schools in the area, they say it’s a non-issue.

 “It hasn’t been even a topic. I feel like we’re so focused. We are aware as a district that somebody may choose to do that, we won’t make any major response to it one way or the other,” says Summer Creek head football coach Brian Ford.

His school is in Humble ISD. Houston ISD says it won’t require students to stand during the national anthem. Probably because they can’t.

A 1943 Supreme Court decision makes it unlawful for any school to require students to stand during the anthem.

Summer Creek student Alexandria Chambers explains why she sat during the anthem, last night. “Why should I stand for a flag that represents a country where African-American aren’t technically free?”

Cy-Fair ISD says they don’t plan to address the issue. In Fort Bend County, they say until a problem arises, there’s no need to discuss policy.


 




The State Fair of Texas opens Friday at Fair Park in Dallas. And that means wild foods like Deep Fried Froot Loops.

KERA’s Eric Aasen says the food has always been a big deal at the far, ever since it started in 1886.

In the early years, foods that were sold included sausage sandwiches, fried chicken, even oysters.

The State Fair runs through October 22nd.