Hundreds of people from civil rights groups to teacher unions gather on this national day of action to issue a failing report card for Texas' state and federal lawmakers.
Over 300 people braved the freezing temperatures to let their voices be heard about how they dissatisfied with lawmakers in Washington, D.C., and at the state capitol. The Texas State Teachers Association’s Clay Robinson said he would ask lawmakers to reconsider three key areas.
Texas Matters: While Gov. Rick Perry has continued his hard line on Medicaid expansion under the ACA, a new study finds that Texas taxpayers will end up paying billions for the other states that do. Never fear, it is now totally fine to say "Merry Christmas" in Texas public schools. Also on this show: Amy Tan talks about the inspiration behind her new book, "The Valley of Amazement."
Texas Matters: A new study by the RAND corporation is examining the economic costs of states who do not expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Also in this episode: Texas voter turnout hits last in the nation in 2010, and how recovery efforts are going in West, Texas.
Despite a lack of direction from the Texas Legislature, the state’s leading doctor is optimistic about how Texas will function without having a plan to address Medicaid expansion.
Dr. Kyle Janek is the commissioner for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and will be the chief negotiator when the state begins discussions with federal government on whether to extend Texas a waiver and award the state a block grant to start a state-run form of Medicaid.
The state of Texas is turning down billions of federal dollars that would have paid for health care coverage for 1.5 million poor Texans.
By refusing to participate in Medicaid expansion, which is part of the Affordable Care Act, the state will leave on the table an estimated $100 billion over the next decade.
Texas' share of the cost would have been just 7 percent of the total, but for Gov. Rick Perry and the state's Republican-dominated Legislature, even $1 in the name of "Obamacare" was a dollar too much.
Now that every opportunity for Medicaid expansion is gone at the state capitol, the lawmaker who authored the GOP plan, which eventually failed, explained what medical options are left for the state’s working poor.
Rep. John Zerwas, R-Simonton, is a doctor and has seen first hand the problems the 1.5 million Texans without health insurance face when it comes to seeking medical care.
When the sun rises over the Rio Grande Valley, the cries of the urracas — blackbirds — perched on the tops of palm trees swell to a noisy, unavoidable cacophony. That is also the strategy, it could be said, that local officials, health care providers and frustrated valley residents are trying to use to persuade Gov. Rick Perry and state Republican lawmakers to set aside their opposition and expand Medicaid, a key provision of the federal health law.