Best Of The Border (9/23 - 9/27)

Sep 28, 2013

Managed Care Organizations Look To Cash In On Native American Patients

Hate it or love it, the Affordable Health Care Act is set to roll out soon. And as most already know, the act requires nearly all citizens to obtain health insurance or face penalties.

But some of those exempted from the mandate are Native Americans. That hasn't deterred private insurance companies from launching a campaign in Indian Country to sign up tribal members in New Mexico.

Bilingual Fire Training Brings International Pros To New Mexico

This week, parts of the Santa Fe National Forest will be on fire. On purpose.

A group of forestry and fire professionals from across the Americas and the Iberian Peninsula will be practicing how to set controlled burns.

The Nature Conervancy's Jeremy Bailey said this is the third training for Spanish speakers that the organization has held in the past four years. Bailey said the demographics of New Mexico forestry staff - many of whom are completely bilingual - is what makes it possible to host a hands-on Spanish-language training there.

ACA Enrollment Tools Delayed For Small Businesses, Spanish Language

Beginning Oct. 1, individuals can pre-enroll for health insurance in the marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act. But federal officials say some online tools for small businesses and Spanish speakers won't be ready by then.

The delays will impact the 36 states, including Arizona and Texas, that are using the federally-run marketplaces or partnering with the federal government.

Drought Spurs Native Farmers To Use Non-Traditional Irrigation Methods

Severe drought has been gripping much of the Southwest for years, with New Mexico getting the worst of it.

Since drought set in, the Santo Domingo Pueblo's traditional earthen ditch irrigation system wasn't cutting it, leaving many farmers without enough water to work their fields.

And because the drought isn't expected to let up anytime soon, the decision was made to upgrade. The tribe installed a pipe-based irrigation system on about 10 percent of their fields. Something Water Resources Manager Jonathan Garcia says was a hard sell to his tribal council that was hesitant to stray from tradition.

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