Lead Stories

Texas News
1:50 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

How Prisoners Are Reigniting the Debate Over Texas Medicaid Expansion

The debate over Medicaid expansion in Texas came up at the Capitol at a hearing on May 29, 2014, because of concern over rising costs of inmates' health care.
Nick Cowie for Texas Tribune

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 11:20 am

The debate over Medicaid expansion in Texas came up at the Capitol today in a new way: there’s concern about how to pay the rising costs of health care for prison inmates.

Costs related to infectious diseases like Hepatitis C and HIV are on the rise in the Texas correctional system. Another number on the rise: the amount of Texas inmates older than age 55.

State Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, says it’s another reason why the state should consider expanding Medicaid eligibility as offered by the Affordable Care Act.

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Politics
11:41 am
Thu May 29, 2014

In Texas Statewide Elections This Fall, 'Voters Will Certainly Have A Choice'

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 3:16 pm

The Tea Party had its share of success in Tuesday’s primary runoffs, and more may lie ahead. KERA's Sam Baker looks ahead to the fall elections with Texas Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey.

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Healthcare
11:40 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Texas Pilot Program Combines Medicare, Medicaid Into One Plan

A 2015 pilot program in Texas for people on both Medicaid and Medicare would help them get the care they need in an appropriate facility.
Spencer Selvidge/KUT

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 4:10 pm

In Texas, about 400,000 people are on both Medicare and Medicaid. Right now, they’re on separate health plans: the state handles Medicaid, while the federal government oversees Medicare. 

But a pilot effort is underway to shed some redundancy and unnecessary cost – by folding the plans into one.  

Combining services under one plan would help people get the care they need in an appropriate facility – a nursing home instead of a hospital, for example, according to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. Spokesperson Stephanie Goodman says it increases cost-saving incentives if one plan is not making decisions that are paid for by the other plan. "By combining it, you can get people better care in the right setting, lower costs generally, and the savings can be shared by both the state and federal government," Goodman says.

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Likely Stories Book Review
10:13 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Likely Stories: Voss

Sweeping adventure in the Australian Outback by Nobel Prize winning author Patrick White.

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Business
8:40 am
Thu May 29, 2014

U.S. GDP Fell 1 Percent; First Drop In 3 Years

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 12:39 pm

Revising its early numbers for the first quarter of 2014, the Commerce Department says the U.S. economy shrank by 1 percent at an annualized rate. Last month, estimates of the quarter's gross domestic product had shown a small gain of 0.1 percent.

Government analysts blame the slump on "a significant decline in inventory investment," especially among car dealerships. They also say U.S. exports declined along with spending on housing and government programs.

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