HOUSTON (AP) - The city of Houston's approach to the rollout of the nation's new health care program resembles the response to a hurricane.
To ensure high enrollment, the city's director of health and human services, Stephen Williams, spearheaded a 13-county coordinating group that pools resources to reach as many uninsured people as possible.
Houston's effort is being cited as a model for other cities. It exemplifies the gap between the vitriolic rhetoric in some conservative states against the new health program, and the actual efforts of local officials to promote it. The city effort received only $600,000 in federal grant money and no state support.
The city is providing office space, laptops and cellphones for workers reaching out to the uninsured, and setting up online enrollment in city-owned buildings.
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