News Roundup: Texas Offers Legal Arguments Against Obamacare; Health Insurance For One Million Texans At Stake

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelJuly 5, 2019 11:58 am

Today’s the deadline for Texas to submit materials to a federal appeals court as part of the state’s effort to overturn the Affordable Care Act.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans will hear oral arguments in the case early next week. They’re reviewing the decision of a Fort Worth judge who sided with Texas and ruled the ACA unconstitutional because Congress zeroed out the tax penalty for the individual mandate. That’s the part of the law requiring people to buy health insurance.

Brian Sasser is with the Episcopal Health Foundation, a group that advocates for increased access to healthcare for Texans. He explains what will happen if Texas eventually has its way and the ACA is dismantled.

“The first ramification is immediate,” he says. “More than a million Texans lose their health insurance. And these are Texans who bought an ACA Marketplace plan because it was affordable to them to buy.”

But as Sasser points out, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

“Preexisting conditions may not be covered, preventative services without a copay – that was part of the ACA, allowing young adults up to 26-years-old to say on your health insurance, that would go away,” Sasser says. “Even if you don’t an ACA plan, or ACA health insurance marketplace plan, you’re still going to be potentially affected by this ruling.”

A three-judge panel at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear the case on July 9. The ACA remains in effect throughout these legal proceedings.

A woman in East Texas could face prison time for licking a container of ice cream at a local Walmart.  Nadia Hamdan with KUT News has the story.

The now-viral video was posted over the weekend and has over 12 million views, Hamdan reports. In it, we see a young woman holding an opened half gallon of Blue Bell’s Tin Roof ice cream. She then takes a big lick off the top, puts the lid back on and returns it to the freezer – all the while a man recording is egging her on.

Now, police in Lufkin are searching for the young woman. She’s charged with a second-degree felony for tampering with a consumer product. The punishment is 2 to 20 years in prison. Blue Bell came out with a statement saying they found and removed the compromised ice cream carton. But, just in case, all the Tin Roof half gallons were removed from that Walmart.

As the July 4 holiday weekend continues, some Texans may be spending time on a boat.  But Texas Parks and Wildlife is reminding folks to be safe while hitting the water.

Specifically, the agency says Texas Game Wardens and thousands of law enforcement officers will be on the lookout for those violating boating under the influence laws.

The effort to crackdown on impaired boaters runs from today through Sunday. Last year, game wardens issued 162 boating while intoxicated citations.