David Martin Davies

The Rio Grande Valley along the Texas Mexico border is one of the most impoverished regions in the nation. For many who live there receiving quality health care is not a possibility. But last week Operation Lone Star provided many with a chance to get needed medical treatment.

There are two rows of portable dental chairs along the baseline at the Palmview high school gym in Mission, Texas. The chairs are filled with patients - many are having extensive work done on their teeth after a lifetime of neglect.

In 2009, the Affordable Care Act was still a bill making its way through congress.  One proposal, which many considered modest, was trying to mandate repayments for doctors who talk to and counsel patients about advanced directives and end-of-life care.  

Advocates said it offered a voluntary incentive to fully inform patients about the human cost of their treatments, and that it offered options.

Critics of the program – largely from the right– had big concerns. 


AUSTIN — The private health data for thousands of Medicaid patients in Texas has been accidentally exposed, officials with the state Department of Aging and Disability Services said Thursday.

The exposed data included names, residences, mailing addresses, birth dates, Social Security and Medicaid numbers, and medical diagnoses and treatment information.

The agency said it has begun notifying about 6,600 Medicaid recipients about the data breach that it has known about since April 21. It just began revealing it to clients on Thursday. The department took down the problematic website on April 21 when it was advised that the information on the site was publicly accessible on the Internet, according to a statement it released. 

Dallas's Parkland Hospital treats a lot of people without health insurance. On a November day in 1963, emergency room doctors at this county hospital frantically tried to save an American president who could not be saved. These days, emergency room doctors frantically try to treat 240,000 patients every year.

"So you can see we have every treatment area filled up. Beds are in the hallways and the rooms are all full," says Dr. John Pease, chief of emergency services.

The White House

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Governors in Kansas and Texas say they will join Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s lawsuit against the Obama Administration, alleging that federal officials are coercing the state to expand Medicaid in order to get $1 billion in federal hospital funds.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback said Monday he plans to file an amicus brief in a fight to protect states’ right to make their own decisions. Scott said Monday that he’d talked with Gov. Greg Abbott, who also pledged support.