November 22, 2014


Push is on to sign up holdouts for health insurance

Stephanie Wiersma, chief executive officer for Lorain County Health and Dentristry, speaks at a press conference Friday to promote insurance enrollment under the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at Elyria City Hall. STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE

Stephanie Wiersma, chief executive officer for Lorain County Health and Dentristry, speaks at a press conference Friday to promote insurance enrollment under the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at Elyria City Hall. STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE

ELYRIA — It was not President Barack Obama, comedian Zach Galifianakis and didn’t take place between two ferns, but Friday afternoon the message urging people to sign up for health insurance before the March 31 deadline came through during a press conference at Elyria City Hall.

With the deadline to comply with the provisions of the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act looming for Americans, federal employees up and down the management ladder are crisscrossing the country to get the word out.

Federal Health and Human Services Region V Director Kathleen Falk stopped in Elyria on a tour of the area and echoed the sentiment Obama shared between barbs with the comedian on the “Between Two Ferns” Internet show featured on the Funny or Die website, shown during commercials on nearly every available channel and conveyed in email blasts from elected officials.

“Health care is now accessible to everyone and affordable, but the window to sign up for it is quickly closing,” Falk said.

Elyria Mayor Holly Brinda said her city and Lorain County are well-positioned to benefit from the Affordable Care Act. A countywide health survey conducted in 2012 showed that 12 percent of Lorain County residents — roughly 35,000 people — were without health insurance.

“This is why we have been trying to do things locally to encourage people to enroll before the deadline,” she said. “In this county, there are multiple health service agencies that are trained and ready to answer questions and enroll residents as needed.”

To date, 80,000 Ohioans have enrolled in health insurance programs. It is estimated that more than 1 million people still are without insurance in the state, Falk said.

“Those numbers tell us we still have so much work to do, and time is dwindling down,” she said.
Most of the uninsured in the state, as is the same for much of the country, include Latinos and young adults between 19 and 35 — historically the largest population of uninsured persons.

“Those who don’t have insurance are one catastrophic illness away from financial ruin,’’ Falk said.

March 31 is 16 days away and the next open enrollment period doesn’t begin until Nov. 15.
Kathleen Burke, community outreach and volunteer program coordinator for Lorain County Health and Dentistry, said typical enrollment events include a lot of information sharing, but once clients
are informed about the new law, many are eager to sign up.

“We have enrolled about 400 clients since October with many coming in January once the Medicaid expansion came through,” she said. “People are hearing about us through the grapevine, and they are calling us to enroll. The word is getting out there, but it needs to get out more.”

Tanas Wilcox, nursing director of the Lorain County Health District, said enrollment specialists are not willing to give up as the deadline draws near.

“We’re doing this because we know we’re helping people get insurance that they wouldn’t otherwise have,” she said.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or Follow her on Twitter @LisaRobersonCT.


Upcoming Lorain County insurance enrollment events sponsored by various organizations and the Coalition for the Uninsured of Lorain County include the following:

  • 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday in the Ross Conference Room 2 of Mercy Regional Medical Center, 3700 Kolbe Road, Lorain
  • 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday in the front lobby of Mercy Allen Hospital, 200 W. Lorain St., Oberlin
  • 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 26 at the Elyria City Health Department, 202 Chestnut St., Elyria
  • 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 27 at the Partnership Ridge Campus of Lorain County Community College, 32121 Lorain Road, North Ridgeville


Those who would like to enroll can walk in or preferably make an individual appointment at one of three Lorain County Health & Dentistry locations:

  • 1205 Broadway — Lorain
  • 3745 Grove Ave. — Lorain
  • 412 East River Road — Elyria

The number to call is (440) 240-1665.


  • Individuals who attend these events or make an appointment and want to enroll must bring the following documents:
  • Social Security number
  • Birthdate
  • Pay stubs, W-2 forms, or wage and tax statements
  • Policy numbers for any current health insurance
  • Information about health insurance available through current employer (if applicable)


  • The deadline for enrollment in the Affordable Care Act is March 31.
  • A debate discussing the merits and possible alternatives to the Affordable Care Act will take place at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Dye Lecture Hall at Oberlin College. The event is free and does not require a ticket. The discussion will feature David Henderson, an associate professor of economics at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., and Theodore Marmor, professor emeritus at Yale University.

  • oldruss

    The preceding was a free political advertisement for Obamacare.

    • SniperFire

      The C-T has gone full Pravda.

      • Mark B

        Even to the point where you can no longer VOTE DOWN on a post .. Its sad when they will not even allow a vote down . Or Maybe Obama don’t like it .

        • Joe Smith

          Kind of like when you can’t use a red pen to give little Johnny a bad grade because it might offend him.

        • ekwaykway

          CNN has Disqus too, no down votes. Must be politically incorrect to down vote a comment. Ain’t this world great?

  • CharlesMartel732

    More desperation from Emperor Zero, having to send out the court jesters to deep blue areas of the country pushing his failing signature legislation. He can’t even sell it to the lemmings.

    • turd

      Emperor zero that has the DJIA at record levels saved the housing markey and solid GDP.

      oh who brought us Osama Bin Laden?

      That republican Selective Amnesia strikes again!!!

      • Conservator440

        The stock market–not markey– has been sustained by the printing of money known as QE-quantitative easing. It is worthless money. When there is no value to the specie, it loses real value. I would refer you to Germany in the 1930′s where a wheelbarrow of marks was needed for a single loaf of bread. Care to wonder why a pound of ground beef is over five bucks a pound?

        The housing bubble, also caused by democrats. Isn’t it interesting that you libs create the problem and are the first ones in who want to fix the problem they created. Kind of like the arsonist who calls in the alarm for the building he just torched.

        Militant Islam brought out Bin Laden, and Bill Clinton, your hero and husband of the tyrant who wants to be the next democrat president, had ample opportunities to do away with him, but he could not be troubled to have his golf game interrupted.

        I don’t know about selective amnesia, but you, turd, suffer from terminal ignorance. You really should research some facts before you reply.

        Hey Charles M –always at your side.

        This whole scenario is so typical of this administration. Make the visible part of the structure have great curb appeal, while the foundation crumbles where it cannot be seen.e

        • CharlesMartel732

          Good day to you Sir Conservator. I got a good laugh and was about to reply to above lemming but I found that you had, as usual, covered it succinctly.

          Barack Obama, whited sepulcher. (somehow that will be construed as racism I’m sure)

        • alreadyfedup1

          Thanks Obama!

      • golfingirl

        But the rise in the Dow Jones benefitted only those with money to invest.

        The wealthy benefited more than any other class. In fact, the very thing Obama criticizes, the uneven distribution of wealth, has only grown because of the policies of the Federal Reserve, which fueled the stock market.

        A travesty I tell you!! The wealthy benefitted more than the poor!!

        We need to get that money back into the hands of the government, so they can decide how best to redistribute it.

        Oh we did, we raised the capital gains taxes. But still not enough!

        We need to seize their bank accounts!! That money belongs to all, not those who earned it!

        Sarcasm intended.

        • turd

          DJIA has doubled under Obama, How well did it do under the last guy?

          Check Mate

          • golfingirl

            I thank the Fed for that. Free money as the Fed continues to print it. Can’t raise interest rates, since the economy is so poor.

            Problem is, only those with money to invest actually benefitted. Like myself.

            It served to widen the wealth gap in this country, the very thing Obama despises.

            He hates income disparity, but his policies have done more to widen the income gap than any other administration.

            So, will we hit that magic 7 million number under the ACA by midnight?

          • turd

            Maybe 6 million, Thats 6 million more than you wanted and I smile while you cry.

            Maybe you can finally get your caddy some insurance!

          • golfingirl

            And how many have paid? They don’t have insurance until they pay, now do they?

            You are boring me, I will simply turn you off now.

            Good bye and have a nice day.

          • Petah

            GolfnFirl, Looks like they hit 7 million despite all of your crying.

            Looks like you lose…AGAIN!

          • Sis Delish

            Petah, Turd, and their sympathizers…

            Do you Really Believe your claims?

            Do you sincerely believe the enrollment numbers?

            Do you Realize they are using Common Core Math to Calculate the figures for the consumption by the least-likely-to-be-able-to-figure-it-out-by-themselves-portion-of the-population.

            Will you all come back to your senses when the real, audited figures are presented in 30-60 days?

            When your combined ignorance of the facts are added up, you’ll still be short of intelligence especially the type of intellect required to admit you all have been bamboozled by the Bamboozle-in-Chief.

            Rather than attacking the real problem associate with this miserable law, namely it was hoisted upon the citizens via the Lie-Express of Pelosi, Reid and Obama, you simpletons prefer a game of Nah, Nah.

            For this reason alone, any further comments from any of you on this issue shall have no value.

            Now, go get some free health care with your new health plan… if you can.

          • turd

            Thanks for all the inspiration, Without your ignorance we would have never voted to make this a reality.

            Thank you

          • bpbatista

            Obama has been great for the 1% — for the rest of us not so much.

  • LookBackTwo

    Is there anything scheduled for people who do not qualify for subsities to explain how we are being taxed to pay for other peoples insurance? How can we find out what we can do to become exempted from obamacare, like politicians and political party doners?


      You’re just a selfish, racist, homophobic, rich, hateful, old, Christian, white, male who would eat the eyeballs out of poor children and watch old people die in the gutters just for fun for questioning this gift from God, I mean Obama. How dare you think it is not your responsibility to fund the lives of those who won’t work and vote a particular way. I think I pretty much covered the opinion of the leftists.

    • Conservator440

      Sure there is. Bend over and enjoy the ride.

  • SniperFire

    What ridiculous, agenda-driven reporting. Why not point out the the uninsured want NOTHING to do with Obamacare – most of those being enrolled are those who lost their insurance when the direct lie made by Democrats kicked in – and that it is a complete failure?

  • Starryeyes63

    If you like your doctor……………………….

  • Sis Delish

    “Elyria Mayor Holly Brinda said her city and Lorain County are well-positioned to benefit from the Affordable Care Act.”… Well, then, Ms. Mayor, how ’bout you spare the City of Elyria the premium costs associated with the City’s Current Health Plan and jump onboard the ACATrain by mandating that all City Employees convert from their Current Plan to one approved by your commandant? THAT, would be leadership.

    • Conservator440

      Stir: NO ONE truly benefits from the ACA.

      • turd

        Well the hired actors that opposed it benefited as did the actual people the Koch Brothers hired to defeat it.

        Wasnt it one of their opposers found to save 1200 a year with ACA.

        Facts win and Conservatives lose.

        its the natural order of being on the right side of history.

        • Sis Delish

          Tell us, Turd, how You are benefitting from your Tingly Affordable Care Act… What were your Premiums/Deductibles before and after?

          Curious Minds want Facts.

          • Starryeyes63

            Medicaid has no premiums or deductibles…

        • Joe Smith

          Fact: I lost my insurance because the underwriter for my insurance got out of the business of health insurance due to Obama care and dropped everybody they covered as an underwriter in all 50 states.

          Fact: My premiums went up and my deductible went from $1750 a year to $6300

          Fact: Some of the meds I have been taking for years that kept my heart issues under control are not covered under my new insurance and the new meds I am forced to take don’t work as well and make me sick.

        • Starryeyes63

          The Koch brothers are # 59 on political donors 1-58 are unions George Soros and other dummycrat supporters…..

        • golfingirl

          When this “train wreck” ends, we will see who is on the “right side of history.”

          • turd

            That would be now, When the DJIA doubled ended the housing crisis and brought the head of Osama Bin Laden.

            How does it feel to get served?

  • Sis Delish

    What? No Male Participants?? Anyone know how many citizens attended this “event”?

    Directly from the Elyria City Hall website. Federal Health and Human Services Region V Director Kathleen Falk joined Elyria Mayor Holly Brinda and representatives from Elyria and Lorain Health Districts and Lorain County Health and Dentistry to help spread the word about the Affordable Care Act.

  • golfingirl

    Despite receiving $160 million in taxpayer money, Oregon’s ObamaCare website has yet to properly sign up a single person for health care.

    Kind of says it all!

    Government efficiency at its finest.

    • turd

      Oregon has their very own health exchange website.

      You dont even know what you are talking about

      Kinda says it all doesn’t it?

      • Starryeyes63

        AND NO ONE HAS SIGNED UP duh…………………. They were given 160 million from the FEDERAL government to set it up. Have you passed 3rd grade comprehension????

        • turd

          Really nobody signed up?

          I think we all know the answer to your statement

          Laughing at you

      • golfingirl

        Hey Turd,

        So what does the fact it is a state run ObamaCare exchange have to do with it? Cover Oregon is unacceptable, using federal government dollars, and taxpayers deserve accountability!!

        Cover Oregon is part of the ACA, formerly known as ObamaCare. (Until recently, when Obama does not want his name associated with it any longer)

        In fact, the Government Accountability Office is requesting a review of the $304 million in FEDERAL grants that Oregon received to build its broken website. (Silly me, last time I looked it was only around $160M)

        Not a single person has been able to enroll through the site, and none will be able to do so by the March 31 deadline.

        Turd means a pile of excretement, I think that “kinda says it all.”

        • turd

          GolfGirl means self entitled elitist that think she is entitled to everything.

          I enjoy how you are clearly proven wrong and you just switch subject rather than accept the fact you are wrong.

          none the less I am right you are wrong and its on the internets for everyone to see.

          Its gotta be tough always being on the wrong side of history.

          Stay in school and a little less time on the lynx little golf girl :-)

          • golfingirl

            Spell much???

            Turd means a pile of excretement, I think that “kinda says it all.”

          • turd

            You are bright arent you haha

            Stahy in school kid

          • golfingirl

            Check back after midnight, and lets see if the necessary 7 million people have enrolled in and actually “Paid” for health insurance.

            Not those who lost their insurance, but the 30 million without insurance this disaster was targeted to cover.

          • turd

            Still no actual facts just complaints.

            I love how you know the TRUE numbers but are unable to post a legitimate data source for your childish claims.

            Your golf caddy must be proud

          • turd

            Can you believe 7.1 million people enrolled, Looks like you were wrong again!!!!

            Reality tends to have a liberal bias doesn’t it ???

            Anything else you would like to add?

          • Sis Delish

            Actually, no I cannot believe 7.1 million people enrolled.

            I cannot believe a turd can type either.

          • turd

            yep, look at all the things you have been wrong on.

            Makes you want to consider reality doesn’t it? who know how much else you have been wrong on. Facts and logic go a long way.

          • Sis Delish

            You are one special turd, then.

            Turds all have one thing in common, however.

            Turds are butt a reminder of all that which we take in that is nutritious remains with us, and the turd is expelled.

            The turd then goes on a journey to a processing plant where the turd is treated before being released back into the environment so that it does not harm the rest of us.

            That’s how society deals with turds.

            That is Reality.

          • turd

            WOW Thanks for adding so much to the conversation.

            Make sure you tell you 3 friends you got schooled by someone named TURD LOL

          • golfingirl

            Not what I said. Reread my post. No one is enrolled until they “PAY.”

            The administration’s enrollment figures are inflated by counting unpaid “sign ups.”

            Why won’t they tell us the number who has paid and therefore actually have insurance? They know the number, and you can bet it is below 7M. So, just tell us.

            Many of those “7M” were FORCED into ObamaCare, which added to the enrollment numbers, even though they only needed insurance because their policies had been cancelled, not because they were uninsured. Insuring the uninsured was the goal of the entire program, was it not?

            So, we have a mandatory program, which you must enroll in, or be fined, with continued deadline extensions, and subsidies to help offset the cost. And this is proclaimed as some type of victory? Really?

            Wait until people see their premium increases this April for 2015, because not enough young, healthy people enrolled, to offset the cost of the sick and elderly. There will be such a backlash; few Democrats will be elected this November. Several BCBS plans are already projecting double digit increases, coupled with huge deductibles, which come out of pocket.

            Wait until the employer mandate kicks in next year. People will really realize then what it is costing, since they will be paying. The unions fought for employer paid health insurance for decades, now even they are against ObamaCare.

            So tell me, how many have actually paid? Of these, how many were uninsured? How many were already Medicaid members who were simply transferred over?

            Until they paid, the insurance companies consider them uninsured.

            I’ll check back once the numbers are released. Don’t celebrate too early.

            Bottom line is, you are incorrect, 7.1M people are not enrolled, they are simply “signed-up” and many have not paid after they saw the cost.

            So,why won’t they give us the number? We both know why.

          • turd

            ahh so got to change it along as you go.

            Im so glad you know the true numbers that nobody else knows LOL

            I love how you put ‘paid’ in quotes like its your personal definition haha

            Just another time you are wrong.

            Reality, Facts and logic make golfing girls look like little baby girls.

            Love Turd

          • turd

            LOL Im kinda embarassed for you and your ignorance.

            Besides I think its up to 9 million now?

            PS when you sign up you can expect a 97% pay rate.

            PS isnt it strange they were as you say ‘forced’ yet they logged in and signed themselves up.

            Let me guess you have your own special imaginary definition of that word also?


            Case Closed, Now go clean the greens

          • turd

            Its always the same with you people isnt it? Wait until this or wait until the true numbers come out.

            Well were 6 years in and your wait and see’s havent paid off at all.

            Actually the only thing we waited to see was the republicans losing by a landslide.

            Reality wins again :-)

            With love Daddy

          • turd

            welp, Checked after midnight and were gonna be at 8 million.

            Wrong again

          • turd

            Awaiting an actual response but all you have is nothing.

            Gotta be tough not being able to provide facts to back up your claim.

            Ill check back in a couple weeks. Since I already torched you in 45 seconds.

            This will give you time to come up with an actual response… Hopefully


            Maybe next time sweetheart.

          • turd

            WOW Name calling instead of bringing reason to the discussion.

            Guess thats all you got left?

            You are still a bully just like you were in school.

            Still sad inside I see.

    • Joe Smith

      Don’t listen to a turd, they have pointy heads and don’t even think about trying to polish one, you just can’t do it. LOL

  • Conservator440

    The navigators are coming—the navigators are coming. Lock up your women and children, bar the doors, and get ready to vote out the offending party from the Senate.

    With any luck, this will be an exercise in futility. The seven million person minimum that “looks like success” won’t be achieved–more delays will surface–and/or the courts will strike it down.

    Notice how this is all conveniently timed to the election. Now, administration, do you actually think that the American people are so stupid as to think that we can’t see through that ruse? Oh, right–he was re-elected because of apathy on the part of the opposition. At least the people of Elyria and Lorain are buying it. Mercy is holding a sign up this week. Whoopie.

    Perhaps this is why the prez is holding back on destroying the health insurance system for the employers–knowing that this is going down in flames, even he can’t leave the entire nation in a smoldering mess health insurance wise. Or maybe that is another pipe dream, that sanity prevail somewhere in this administration.

    For many years, Edsel Ford held the Rube Goldberg title for most magnificent mess. We can take comfort that our beloved president will soon take over that slot when things that don’t work will be referred to as “looks like Obamacare again.” What a fitting legacy for a man for whom overreach is his M.O.

    • turd


      • Starryeyes63

        Maybe you should you might learn something.

        • turd

          Nope filled with lies and inaccuracies.

          Its a good writing for a 4th grader so it you are in the 4th grade you should feel good. If not you need to go back to school.


        • turd

          welp read and it still means nothing. Anything else you would like to add?

      • golfingirl

        Turd = “a pile of excrement”

        How is that for short and to the point!

        Fits your TL;DR pretty well.

        • turd

          Golf Girl = Little girl that is an elitist and spends too much time inhaling my turd manure to keep your greens green

  • alreadyfedup1

    Claim the “Hardship” clause in the latest Obama trade off to ACA and don’t worry good till 2016.

  • bpbatista

    The only thing worse than not having enough people sign up is . . . having a lot of people sign up. As more people sign up more people will realize that they are grossly over paying for substandard insurance that does not let them keep their doctors or their hospitals of choice.

    It’s a win-win!!