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Advocates assist in last minute push for healthcare enrollment
Other headlines: Heating assistance deadline extended; Republican majority in Congress despite more Democratic voters
by WKSU's JEFF ST. CLAIR


Reporter / Host
Jeff St. Clair
 
  • Heating assistance deadline extended
  • Republican majority in Congress despite more Democratic voters
  • One killed, three injured in Amish buggy collision
  • Fresh Express salad mix recalled 
  • Hackenbracht: good faith effort to sign in

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    Advocates assist in last minute healthcare enrollment
    Health care advocates are holding their final enrollment events around Ohio as a key deadline under the federal law approaches.

    People who start an application by Monday can enroll for this year in the insurance marketplaces created by President Barack Obama's law.

    Sarah Hackenbracht is director of Cuyahoga Health Access Partnership. She says even if people who want to sign up for health insurance through Healthcare.gov can’t get through, they need to prove they tried.

    She says, “They need to be able to say they went on at March 31st and the website was down…those kind of things that they’re going to be looking for consumers to attest the fact that they actually were making a good faith attempt to get signed in.”

    She says Health navigators will be helping people enroll right up until the midnight deadline.

    The latest enrollment numbers through March 1 show that nearly 79,000 Ohioans have picked private plans through the healthcare exchanges. 

    The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that as of January 1.5 million Ohioans were without insurance, half were eligible for Medicaid, 26% would receive tax credits on the health exchanges.

    Heating assistance deadline extended
    The long, cold winter has been a drain on the household budgets of many Ohioans.

    Nearly 134,000 have received $34 million in help with heating bills through Ohio's Home Energy Assistance Winter Crisis Program. Because of the severity of the winter, the deadline to apply for help has been extended to April 15.

    The typical deadline is today.

    The Ohio Development Services Agency says the extension allows those Ohioans who didn't think they would need the help to apply for it.


    Republican majority in Congress despite more Democratic voters in Ohio
    Ohio has more Democratic than Republican voters, but is headed toward another rock-solid Republican majority in Congress this fall.

    This bellwether state provides one of the clearest examples in the nation of how congressional districts drawn after the 2010 Census using a combination of geography and gerrymandering gave Republicans a 33-seat majority despite heavy voting losses.

    The four of Ohio's 16 districts held by Democrats are more heavily uninsured, poor and black than Republican districts. The dozen districts controlled by Republicans are on average wealthier and predominantly white.

    Ohio's Republican chairman says GOP leaders who controlled the process followed laws preserving communities and protecting minority representation.


    One killed, three injured in Amish buggy collision
    Authorities say a man was killed and three family members injured when an SUV slammed into the back of an Amish buggy in northeastern Ohio.

    The Ohio State Highway Patrol says alcohol may have been a factor in the Sunday night crash in Burton in Geauga County.

    Twenty-eight-year-old Joseph Byler died at a hospital Sunday night. Byler's 19-year-old sister, Alma Byler, was flown to a Cleveland hospital. Two other family members were treated at a hospital for injuries that were not life-threatening.

    The patrol said the car driven by a 42-year-old Ashtabula man slammed into the back of the buggy just before 9 p.m. The horse broke loose and was killed by a second car.

    The patrol said charges are pending.


    Fresh Express salad mix recalled
    Retailers in Ohio and 14 other states are pulling a brand of bagged salad from store shelves.

    Fresh Express brand ordered the recall after discovering listeria, a potentially dangerous food-borne bacterium, one its bagged salads .

    The recall is for a limited number of cases of 10 oz. and 6oz. Italian Salad with the already expired Use-by Date of March 26.

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