Ryan Poppe / TPR News

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.

Ryan Poppe / TPR

Update: (May 9, 6:45 a.m.) A group of House Democrats are outraged that the Zerwas "Texas Solution" to Medicaid will not be scheduled for a debate or vote.

Donna Howard, D-Austin, said both sides of the House are calling the move to kill the bill highly suspicious.

Ryan Poppe / TPR News

Proposals were made by both the Republicans and Democrats in the House, but it is House Bill 3791, the Republican "Texas-ccentric" plan, that is heading to the House floor for a vote. 

The plan is to get federal dollars in the form of a block grant that is used to create a state alternative to Medicaid expansion, though the federal government has not said if such a grant will be given.

Chris Eudaily / TPR

After hearing the Democratic plan to accept Medicaid expansion dollars, a House appropriations subcommittee heard the leading Republican plan that calls for not taking the money, and instead asks the federal government for a block grant.