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Elected Officials On The Westside Saturday In ACA Enrollment Push

State and local officials will join Congressman Lloyd Doggett, State Senator Leticia Van de Putte, and city council members Shirley Gonzales and Ray Lopez Saturday to encourage residents on San Antonio’s west side to sign up for health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

The Bilingual Health Care Enrollment and Resource Fair is set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Progreso Hall, a popular gathering spot for Westside residents.

Gabe Farias, president of the West San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, says often the roadblock for signing up bilingual residents is just a lack of information.

“The challenge is ... letting these folks know that this is a good law, that a good number of Westside residents can qualify for Affordable Health Care. And once they find out that there are resources out there that can help them be in compliance with the law and provide them with quality, affordable health care, they’re excited about it,” Farias says.

Farias says Westside business leaders will join with elected officials to personally help their own employees sign up before the March 31st deadline.

“I’ve talked to several different small businesses, especially in the West Chamber, and once they’re learning more about the law, they’re liking it, and they’re seeing that there are options that they can provide their employees on Affordable Health Care,” Farias says.  

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was on an enrollment push in San Antonio two weeks ago. She said more than 300,000 people were still not signed up for health coverage, and 92 percent of those would qualify for financial help to pay for it.

The Bi-lingual Enrollment Fair is open to everyone from 10 to 2 p.m. Saturday at El Progreso Hall on Guadalupe Street.

Eileen Pace is a veteran radio and print journalist with a long history of investigative and feature reporting in San Antonio and Houston, earning more than 50 awards for investigative reporting, documentaries, long-form series, features, sports stories, outstanding anchoring and best use of sound.