• Blogs

    June 30, 2014

    No Contraception for Employees of Hobby Lobby's 15 Houston Stores [Updated]

    This story was updated to include a statement from Governor Rick Perry Hobby Lobby has 15 stores in the Greater Houston Area, and none of them will have to offer insurance coverage for birth control methods the company equates to abortion. The Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 that the Religious Freedom ... More >>

  • Music

    March 13, 2014

    How Will Obamacare Affect Musicians?

    The Affordable Care Act could offer a path to health care for struggling artists.

  • Blogs

    March 12, 2014

    Cover Story: Obamacare Still Lacking For Some Local Musicians

    January 1, 2014 saw most of the final stages of President Barack Obama's signature legislation, the health-care reform initiative known as both the official title of the Affordable Care Act and more derisively as Obamacare, start to be implemented. The individual mandate that requires every able per ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 31, 2014

    248 Dogs Face Uncertain Future, And Their Rescue Organization Won't Tell us Why

    Until last December, Hewitt-based Happy Endings Dog Rescue paid hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to board dogs at the Lavon-based Camp Diggy Bones kennel. But word went out among the animal rescue community that Happy Endings, run by a woman named Linda Robinson-Pardo, suddenly lost a major ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 23, 2014

    Louie Gohmert Rejects Obamacare, Personally

    There's a lurching feeling that comes when you realize you don't have any health insurance. You'll be walking along, a swing in your step, a grin on your face, when it hits you: Anything could happen. You just walked under a ladder. Fool! You just felt like you had to sneeze. It's pneumonia! That ... More >>

  • News

    January 16, 2014

    Lane Closure Exposure

    New Jersey traffic retribution scandal tough for Houstonians to understand.

  • Blogs

    January 10, 2014

    Blue Cross Blue Shield's Obamacare Fail Continues

    If you have Texas Blue Cross Blue Shield, the odds are good you have sat on the phone enjoying their hold music recently. Cat Jeanes, of Austin, has definitely gotten an earful of that happy snappy guitar that plays on the automated system, and she isn't alone, judging by the other complaints surf ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 9, 2014

    Obamacare is Moving Along, But One Guy Says He's Paying for Insurance He's Not Getting

    Texas Blue Cross Blue Shield has lovely hold music. Just ask Fred Rhodes. He and his wife have taken turns listening to it since they found out that, despite having enrolled and paid for their new health insurance in December, they still aren't in the system. With the advent of the Affordable Care ... More >>

  • News

    November 14, 2013

    The San Jose Clinic Is Here to Take Care of Those Left Behind by the Texas Health-Care Debate

    Even after the Affordable Care Act, tens of thousands of Texans have no medical coverage. That is why the San Jose Clinic in Midtown still exists.

  • Blogs

    August 21, 2013

    Perry Hates Obamacare, But He Still Wants Obamacare Money

    Gov. Rick Perry has a hatred for the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) that comes as natural as breathing to him, but it seems hate only goes so far when there's $100 million in federal funding on the table. When U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius came to Texas a few weeks ... More >>

  • News

    July 25, 2013

    Getting Stuck: Uninsured Patients Slammed with Lawsuits by Not-for-Profit Hospital

    Memorial Hermann treats patients without insurance, tells them not to worry about the cost and then sues them for thousands of dollars.

  • Blogs

    July 24, 2013

    Cover Story: Getting Stuck

    As Igancio Alaniz lay beneath his ancient white Buick, trying to get his car restarted one evening in January 2012, he heard a click as his car popped into gear. A split-second before more than 3,000 pounds of metal smashed over his chest, Alaniz realized he was about to be run over by his own car. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 15, 2013

    Advocacy Group: Will Abbott be Just Another Perry, Just With Worse Hair?

    Now that state Attorney General Greg Abbott has thrown his hat in the gubernatorial ring, the Texas Organizing Project, an advocacy group for low- and middle-income families, is worried that many families will still lack access to affordable health care. Abbott has "led the charge against the Affor ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 31, 2012

    Let's Get Ahead Of Ourselves: Romney Wins, Dies, And Paul Ryan Takes Over? Introducing Paul Ryan's America

    For a moment, let's talk fantasy. Let's say Mitt Romney somehow overcomes all of his apparent weakness -- Bain Capital rapaciousness, tax-record speculation, rich-guy aloofness -- and somehow ekes past President Obama in November in one of the narrowest victories in recent American politics. Democra ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 28, 2012

    Eric Dick Takes on Geico for Denying Customer's Claim

    If there's one thing everyone can agree on, it's that auto insurance companies are freaking awesome. They universally love their customers, who are legally required to purchase a service they may never actually use, and if a customer does have to pay a claim, insurance companies never bend over back ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 13, 2012

    Four Ways to Keep Your Technology and Data Safe During a Storm

    It's been a little wet in Texas recently for those who don't live here. When we get thunderstorms here, it can create some issues, particularly for technology, which, as you probably know, doesn't mesh very well with water or power surges from lightning. I mean, have you ever dropped your iPhone in ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 23, 2012

    Brian Greenhouse: Son of Man Killed on Rodeo Amusement Ride to Get $1.9 Million

    A state judge has approved a $1.9 million settlement for the son of the man killed on a Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo ride in 2011. Brian Greenhouse, 46, was thrown 28 feet to his death on the Hi-Miler roller coaster at the 2011 rodeo. His family sued the rodeo and Ray Cammack Shows, which oper ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 3, 2011

    Money-Hungry MLB: Author Says the League is Treating Some Retirees Like Garbage

    David Clyde: $10k richer but still no MLB retirement benefits for the Houstonian​Specific Major League Baseball retirees are getting the shaft, according to the author of the controversial A Bitter Cup of Coffee: How MLB and the Players Association Threw 874 Retirees a Curve. The crux of Dou ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 5, 2011

    Comment of the Day: Your City Bureaucracy at Work

    ​We have some great commenters here on Hair Balls, and it's time we paid some damn attention to them. So we'll be highlighting a Comment of the Day each morning, from the previous day's work. Maybe two comments, even. This will all be determined by a highly rigorous scientific formula involv ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 11, 2011

    Space Tourists Can't Sue: And Take a Look at Their Insurance Policy

    Using any of these will void the policy.​With NASA getting out of the shuttle business, the next big thing is expected to be space tourism. It can be a dangerous thing, but luckily there is the Texas Legislature to make sure, as they always do, that no one can sue a company for pretty much an ... More >>

  • News

    March 10, 2011

    Betting Their Lives

    It's easy for a three-time felon to get $20 million for his investment company, as long as no one asks any questions.

  • Blogs

    March 9, 2011

    Howard Judah and Greg Jablonski: If They Are Scam Artists, They're Pretty Bad Ones

    ​Say your insurance agent or financial adviser asks you to invest $25,000 on a sure thing with a "guaranteed" rate of return, with a company you never heard of. Do you cut a check right then and there, without asking a single question? Well, that appears to be what nearly 300 folks in Tex ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 18, 2011

    Christopher Purser: Indicted for Huge Fake-Insurance Scheme

    Insurance fraud for a tour boat that sank and killed 20​A Houston man is one of six people indicted for selling bogus insurance policies, including one to a tour boat that sunk and killed 20 people in a New York lake in 2005. Christopher Purser, 49, was one of the people who sold an insurance ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 14, 2011

    Lack Of Social Safety Net Tying Many Musicians To Day Jobs

    "I fantasize sometimes that my musical career would hit gold and help us escape these grim realities, but it's not something I really expect to happen." ​There are few issues in the current political climate more fraught with contention than whether or not the U.S. government will take a more ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 8, 2009

    Bank Of America Scamming Hispanics, Local Lawsuit Says

    ​All Jorge Gonzalez of Houston wanted was a safe place to keep his meager earnings. But in this era of banking scandals and swindles, that was apparently too much to ask. Instead, Gonzalez became the lead plaintiff in a sweeping class action lawsuit against Bank of America, AIG and several other c ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 1, 2009

    Houston Woman A Star (Unfortunately) In The New Michael Moore Movie

    ​Michael Moore's new movie, Capitalism: A Love Story, expectedly serves up a quick and dirty glimpse at the consequences of unfettered corporate corruption and exploitation. But the most disturbing story of corporate greed in the film, unfortunately, comes right from our own backyard.Houston widow ... More >>

  • Calendar

    September 10, 2009

    D Tour

    Musician’s kidney failure threatens to derail dream

  • News

    July 30, 2009

    Missing the Mexican

    Did we underestimate the popularity of Gustavo Arellano's column?

  • News

    July 16, 2009

    Cover Me

    Kathern Cathey thought she had an insurance policy that would save her life. Not exactly.

  • Blogs

    July 6, 2009

    Amegy Bank, Very Concerned About The Health Of Its Employees

    A ghoulish lawsuit filed against Amegy Bank just got a little, uh, ghoulisher. In February, the Chron brought us the story of Irma Johnson, who sued Amegy after finding out the bank took out a life insurance policy on her ill husband, a bank employee, in 2001. After brain surgery to partia ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 3, 2008

    Gloom And Doom For Uninsured Texas Children

    There are two solutions to help the population of uninsured children in Texas, according to a Houston pediatrician: Pray for change or move to Canada. That's overstating it a bit, but Dr. Ana Malinow, a pediatrician and co-founder of the advocacy group Healthcare for All Texas, tells Hair Balls that ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 28, 2008

    Documentary Takes A Look At Houston, Port Arthur

    Vanguard producer Lauren Cerre filmed The Great American Detour over a three-week period as she went from Los Angeles to New York, stopping at eight cities and towns along the way to talk to young people about their concerns regarding the upcoming election. Instead of asking, “What do you think of ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 4, 2008

    The Cult of the Progressive Car Insurance Chick

    Am I the only one completely and totally enamored of the woman in the television ads for Progressive car insurance? You know, the ones starring that babelicious brunette named Flo with her “tricked out nametag” and her 60s style eye makeup and her kissable red red lips? Apparently I’m not ... More >>

  • Calendar

    September 4, 2008

    Michael Gates Gill

    The author of How Starbucks Saved My Life: A Son of Privilege Learns to Live Like Everyone Else tells all

  • Blogs

    August 28, 2008

    JCPenney REALLY Wants Mentally Handicapped Woman To Have Credit Card

    A Houston family has a bone to pick with JCPenney. Seems a 5th Ward woman with the mental age of a four-year-old was somehow issued a JCPenney charge card. Family members, including the woman’s legal guardian, have been trying to get the account closed, with no luck. As they've written the compan ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 26, 2008

    Texas Continues To Shine At Being Uninsured

    Texas is at the top of the heap again – this time we are the most uninsured state, health care-wise, in the country. Woo hoo! Oh, snap, wait, that’s not a good thing, is it? The U.S. Census Bureau released a report today stating that the number of uninsured in America was down to just 15.3% in ... More >>

  • Calendar

    August 16, 2007

    South Pacific

    Summer never sounded so sweet

  • News

    June 20, 2002

    Buyers' Remorse

    The Cohns say their builder ripped them off with a poorly built home that became infested with mold. They've joined other Texas homeowners who want a lemon law passed just for houses.