Medicaid

KUT Morning Newscast for March 01, 2024

Central Texas top stories for March 01, 2024. Today is the last day for early voting. Smokehouse Creek fire update. Districts choose not to hire chaplains as counselors. Texas is extending postpartum Medicaid and CHIP coverage from two months to 12 months. Austin leaders are trying to make soccer accessible to more people across the city.

KUT Afternoon Newscast for February 15, 2024

Central Texas top stories for February 15, 2024. A petition to incorporate parts of Williamson County into a groundwater conservation district based out of Bell County fails. The City of Austin will spend more than $700 thousand to finalize a labor contract with Austin Police. The Austin City Council adopted a resolution to address climate change, sustainability and resiliency. The Texas Department of Health and Human Services is nearing the end of a process to re-determine Medicaid eligibility. The Pflugerville Independent School District is in the market for a new superintendent.

Remembering renowned ventriloquist Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Estrada

Ready? Or not? As primaries fast approach, an effort to prepare young Texas voters to cast their very first ballots.

A federal complaint filed over Texans being wrongfully kicked off Medicaid rolls.

The latest on a challenge to Texas’ new law prohibiting social media companies from censoring political speech online.

A new TV series on Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X inspired by the groundbreaking work of a Texas professor. We’ll talk with him.

Also, the Standard’s Kristen Cabrera on the death of a beloved entertainer: San Antonio-based ventriloquist Ignacio “Nacho” Estrada.

Celebrated African American art and history exhibit arrives in Texas

With winter storm warnings out across the Lone State State, emergency management officials are warning Texans to stay inside if at all possible, avoid travel, and monitor calls for energy conservation. We’ll get a status update from Matt Lanza of Space City Weather, plus a look at what’s ahead this week.

With COVID-era protections like eviction moratoriums gone, Texans are feeling the effects.

And on this Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we’ll hear about an award-winning collection of artifacts now on display in Houston documenting the African American experience: Our conversation with collectors Bernard and Shirley Kinsey about a project more than 50 years in the making.

Does drone medical help offer hope for rural Texans?

A court rules that Texas power generators do not have a responsibility to provide power in emergencies, like the winter storm of 2021. Mose Buchele of KUT Austin has more on what this means.

Understanding Pope Francis’ decision to permit Catholic church officials to bless same-sex marriages.

The Securities and Exchange Commission, more used to white-collar crime enforcement, wades into Texas cattle country to bust up what it calls a Ponzi scheme.

And: For West Texans far from medical facilities, some help zooms in by way of drones.

KUT Afternoon Newscast for December 12, 2023

Central Texas top stories for December 12, 2023. Austin police give an update on last week’s shootings. A federal judge upholds Texas’s TikTok ban. University of Texas at Austin fires two Teaching Assistants. A member of Congress from Austin says more needs to be done to chip away at the state’s backlog of food assistance and Medicaid applications. Kyle unveils its new comprehensive plan. Gas prices fall with inflation.

Ken Paxton whistleblower says his fight is not over

He was one of the whistleblowers against Attorney General Ken Paxton, and he says his fight is not over.

What appears to be a 180° turn by the Biden Administration as it waves environmental laws and resumes construction work on a border wall in South Texas.

Hundreds of thousands of Texans dropped from Medicaid rolls post-‘peak COVID’ – some wrongly so, whistleblowers say – due to errors at the state health department.

What could be an epic football battle this weekend: the Red River Rivalry. Are the Longhorns back, for real?

Also, the week in Texas politics with the Texas Tribune.

Diaspora Network’s worship service represents nationwide shift in church demographics

We’re tracking Tropical Storm Harold, which is set to bring considerable rain and wind to large parts of South Texas. Meteorologist Matt Lanza of Space City Weather join us with the latest.

House managers preparing for the impeachment trial of Ken Paxton have published nearly 4,000 pages of documents as the Senate gets set to decide the fate of the currently suspended attorney general.

And though polls show more people turning away from organized religion, many migrants in Texas are forming communities around churches.

After a pandemic boost, what’s the next chapter for independent booksellers?

Fort Worth ISD temporarily closed its school libraries as the district worked to comply with a new state law over adult content.

Texas is one of only 10 states that hasn’t expanded Medicaid. Why?

The pandemic boost for books, and its aftermath: the Standard’s Sean Saldaña on the next chapter for independent booksellers.

The most dangerous jails in Texas may not be the lockups that get the most attention. Eric Dexheimer of the Houston Chronicle shares more.

And the Texan trying to redefine travel TV, and what travel looks like in the real world, too.

64,000 Texans stand to benefit from Biden student loan forgiveness

More people in Texas are set to benefit from student debt forgiveness than in any other state.

The Houston Police Department has released a comprehensive report on its investigation into the 2021 Travis Scott Astroworld festival tragedy.

Texas’ major cities are on track to lose lots of jobs to AI, and soon – San Antonio tops the list; Austin and Dallas are not far behind.

Also, billions of dollars have been announced for rural broadband, but apparently there’s a disconnect when it comes to funding the buildout.

What’s the future of air conditioning in Texas?

You’ve heard of abandoned, so-called orphan oil wells? Now there’s a growing concern about zombie wells.

After the pandemic, Texas Medicaid rolls are shrinking – but many are losing coverage for procedural reasons, and they may not even realize it.

A new state law means that next year, construction workers in some Texas cities may not have the protections they do now requiring water breaks

With climate change, can demand for A/C keep up? We talk to an author who says it might be making things worse.

And at TV stations large and small, something strange: the case of the disappearing meteorologists.

What more electric vehicles mean for the Texas electric grid

Momentum is growing among Republicans to use the U.S. military to take on drug cartels in Mexico in the fight against fentanyl. How serious is such talk?

More ripple effects following a ruling by a federal judge in Amarillo that would effectively ban the abortion drug mifepristone.

The Dallas Federal Reserve finds young adults feel increasingly disconnected from work and school – but there may be more to the story.

And with more electric vehicles hitting the road in Texas, how will the need for pluggable power affect the state’s electric grid?

Taylor Swift fans in Texas are ready for the Eras Tour

For the first time in three years, Medicaid recipients have had to re-apply for the benefit as a major safety net installed during the pandemic disappears – and millions of Texans may lose health coverage.

Taylor Swift is coming to town, and the excitement is off the charts for the superstar’s Texas swing, starting this weekend in Arlington.

Also take a deep dive into deep fakes.

How Ro-Tel became a staple of Texas cooking

Lawmakers at the Capitol are considering changes to how Texas handles bail. The push would give judges more leeway to deny bail for violent offenses – and Democrats may have a considerable say in what happens.

More fallout from this month’s ice storm: why the Texas capital city may be looking for a new city manager soon.

Amid concerns about rising prices, layoffs and more, the Dallas Fed weighs in with a forecast on the Texas economy.

And why a can of diced tomatoes – you know the one – has such a rabid Texas following.

Texas Standard: September 26, 2022

Abortion, gun laws and much more. What might be on the agenda as Texas lawmakers prepare to reconvene? Some of the political patterns emerging for Texas in the aftermath of the Texas Tribune festival. Political writer Patrick Svitek ties some of the strands together. Also eyes on the skies, as Hurricane Ian enters the gulf what it could mean for the energy cap of the world. You know the one. And speaking of energy, guess which state has the most blackouts? We’ll shed some light on that. Also not for the down and out, we’ll meet the man who literally wrote the book on the Texas dive bar. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: June 3, 2022

As the people of Uvalde continue to morn the loss of 19 school children and 2 teachers, new questions raised about the law enforcement response. There are new revelations about what happened during the school shooting in Uvalde indicate that 911 calls from kids inside were not relayed to the incident commander. This hour, we take a closer look at what happened, what didn’t and why. Also, how residents of Uvalde are talking about the mass shooting and about guns. Plus the census undercount in Texas, did it cost the Lone Star State a congressional seat? Also Medicaid and maternal health, the week in politics with the Texas Tribune and more today on The Standard:

Texas Standard: May 2, 2022

As Governor Abbott weighs the possibility of declaring an invasion at the southern border, legal challenges over immigration policy pile up. We’ll have details. Also growing calls for a European embargo of Russian oil and the ripple effects felt closer to home. And a medical mystery in south Texas as health officials warn of a rash of pediatric hepatitis cases in young kids, sometimes necessitating liver transplants. We’ll talk with a specialist from UT Health San Antonio. And a production in Fort Worth bearing witness to racist violence against Black people blurring the boundaries between actors and audiences. Those stories and much more today on the Texas Standard:

LBJ’s Humor

When most people think of Lyndon Johnson they don’t envision a man with a great sense of humor. He was in power in turbulent times.

When I see his face in my mind I see a man who was troubled, an unsmiling man with furrows in his brow accentuating unrelenting worries. Yet even in those dark moments his humor would surface unexpectedly and lighten his mood. He once said “When the burdens of the presidency seem unusually heavy, I always remind myself it could be worse. I could be a mayor.”

He also said, facetiously,  “There are no favorites in my office. I treat everyone with the same general inconsideration.”

Though he didn’t have the public eloquence of Kennedy or King, he was interpersonally charismatic. He was a wonderful storyteller. Last week, I had the pleasure, and the honor I might add, of speaking with Doris Kearns Goodwin for about 30 minutes. As you may know, she worked closely with LBJ for 7 years, and because of her professional relationship with him, out of all the biographies about him, I would argue that hers is the most humanizing. No writer knew him better.

Dr. Goodwin told me that LBJ was a fantastic storyteller and she never tired of listening to him, though eventually she came to realize that his stories were not all completely true. He might have used my tag line.  Some of his stories were apocryphal. Goodwin told me that, like Lincoln, LBJ used stories to animate his points, to skewer his adversaries, or simply to amuse and entertain folks.

He learned his storytelling, she said, from his father and grandfather. He listened at night as they talked politics on the porch with local power brokers. That became LBJ’s unique power, too: interpersonal persuasion. He could read people and package an argument, often in story form, so that it was uniquely positioned for them.

Let me share a couple of LBJ stories that my father, a great admirer of LBJ, shared with me long ago.

LBJ liked to refer to Barry Goldwater and Nelson Rockefeller as Barry and Rocky. He said: “I understand that Barry and Rocky, in running for the GOP nomination, are both cutting way back on their visits to California. Reminds me of a case in Texas where a man wanted to run for Sheriff against an unpopular incumbent named Uncle Johnny.  Man asked his friend Dave if he thought he had a chance. Dave said, ‘Well, I guess it depends on who meets the most people.’ ‘Yeah, that’s what I was thinking,’ said the man. Dave explained further, ‘If he meets the most people you’ll win and if you meet the most people he’ll win.’ That’s the situation Barry and Rocky find themselves in.”

One last one is about a “boy in Texas who was very poor and tired of seeing his mama struggling so much to feed her family. So he sent a letter to God asking for 100 dollars for his mama. The letter got forwarded eventually to the postmaster general in Washington D.C. He took pity on the boy and put 20 dollars in an envelope and mailed it to him. Two weeks later, the postmaster got a letter back from the boy that said, “Dear God, thank you for sending the money, but next time don’t send it through Washington cuz they took 80% of it.”

Doris Kearns Goodwin said that it was LBJ’s time teaching in Cotulla that inspired and shaped his vision for the Great Society. She’s happy to see that LBJ is getting long deserved credit now for the progressive laws and policies he passed in his time, like Medicaid and Medicare, and the Voting Rights Act, as well as the institutions he helped to found, like NASA and Public Broadcasting. She just wishes he was still around to see it. He would certainly smile.

Texas Standard: January 21, 2022

What, exactly, does Governor Abbott’s newly unveiled “Parental Bill of Rights” really mean for Texas public schools? Also, many renters in Hays county brace themselves as federal dollars for a covid rent relief program disappear. Those stories, the week in politics, and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: January 13, 2022

Harris County is once again at its highest COVID-19 threat level. We’re talking to County Judge Lina Hidalgo about why and what she wants the community to know. Also with high COVID-19 positivity rates across the state, many Texans are desperate for tests. How to make sure the at-home variety give you the most accurate results. Meanwhile, at a time when hospital systems are overwhelmed, one is facing a potential financial crisis that could shut it down. We’ll look at why. And we’ll introduce you to a folk rock duo that describes their sound as “Southern and Garfunkel.” All that and more today on the Texas Standard: