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Lance Traweek<br>

Lance Traweek

Traweek Column: A healthy dose of reality

Last Modified: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 11:18 AM

By Lance Traweek / American Press

Health care has meant big business in the United States, considering profit in illness has steered the health insurance industry for decades.

But political motives coupled with the mounting national debt have put the original intent of reform, affordability and accessibility to health care, on the back burner.

Now, access to health care has been opened to thousands who were once shunned because of pre-existing conditions. And to help with the confusion the change has brought, Southwest Louisiana will play a vital role for the whole state.

When the health insurance marketplace enrollment opened in October, the Southwest Louisiana Area Health Education Center (AHEC) was awarded a $1.1 million federal grant to fund “navigators” to help educate the uninsured across Louisiana.

The award was part of $67 million in grants, which were given to 105 groups nationwide. Four Louisiana organizations split $1.8 million in grants — with the Southwest Louisiana AHEC getting the largest amount to lead the efforts.

And with nearly 400,000 uninsured and under-insured Louisianians, the goal of the navigators will be to raise awareness and provide education, said director Brian Burton.

“As they are entering the marketplace for the first time and trying to figure out their options, our navigators will be a resource for them to answer questions and to help them pick the insurance plan that best works for them,” Burton has said. “Our goal is to get out there and help people make the most informed decision that they can make with information that is not based on rumors, fear or propaganda.”

Burton said the exchange will give those eligible “better control” and “more choices,” without having to worry about any “hidden agendas.”

Glitches on the website healthcare.gov have plagued its launch for weeks. But on Sunday, the Associated Press reported that 476,000 health insurance applications were filed through the federal and state exchanges.

Nonetheless, millions of Americans continue to be against Obamacare for various reasons, while others adamantly support it.

Ever since D.C. changed its name to ATM, the national deficit has skyrocketed to infinity and beyond with or without health reform. When Lady Liberty laid down her torch, picked up a plunger and unclogged an economic backup with a bailout for an industry with a tummy-ache, capitalism as we knew it, was flushed down a big ‘ole industrial-sized toilet. Regardless, whether or not you think Obamacare smells a little too much like socialism, wake up and take a big whiff. Because after years of swirling debate and biased interpretations of the facts, one thing is clear: the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is law.

• • •

Lance Traweek serves as business reporter at American Press. Contact him at 494-4082 or ltraweek@americanpress.com.

Posted By: A O Savoie On: 10/23/2013

Title: Refreshing journalism

Well written. Traweek is a thoughtful, knowledgeable and resourceful business reporter.
The American Press is fortunate to have him on their staff. He helps to offset the ultra liberal Associated Press' agenda
that the local paper uses as their news source.

Posted By: L Simpson On: 10/23/2013

Title: 360 circles

I love the imagery of lady liberty with a plunger after years of swirling debate.

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