Emily Ramshaw Editor

Emily Ramshaw oversees the Trib's editorial operations, from daily coverage to major projects. Previously, she spent six years reporting for The Dallas Morning News, first in Dallas, then in Austin. In April 2009 she was named Star Reporter of the Year by the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors and the Headliners Foundation of Texas. Originally from the Washington, D.C. area, she received a bachelor's degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

Recent Contributions

Feds Slated to Reduce Texas Medicaid Match

Patients check out at the People's Community Clinic in Austin, a safety-net clinic that serves Medicaid recipients and the under-insured. The federal government is preparing to reduce the percentage of Texas Medicaid expenses that it currently pays, adding to the state's fiscal problems.
Patients check out at the People's Community Clinic in Austin, a safety-net clinic that serves Medicaid recipients and the under-insured. The federal government is preparing to reduce the percentage of Texas Medicaid expenses that it currently pays, adding to the state's fiscal problems.

Already facing a record budget shortfall, Texas has received more bad news: The portion of state Medicaid costs paid by the federal government is about to drop. Texas’ Federal Medical Assistance Percentage, a mathematical formula linked to a state's per-capita personal income, will fall more than 2 percentage points in late 2011, equivalent to a $1.2 billion hit. Only two states — Louisiana and North Dakota — will face a bigger percentage drop. And that’s after federal stimulus funds that have been artificially enhancing this match dry up in the spring, another blow to cash-strapped state Medicaid programs in Texas and across the nation.

Private Providers Fight Back Over Service Change

Health care assistant Crystal Kreig plays a card game with Steve Parker (center) and Eulalio Alvarada (right) at a group home operated by D&S Residential, Inc. Companies like D&S used to handle case management for their clients, but a budget change sent that responsibility to local Mental Retardation Authorities.
Health care assistant Crystal Kreig plays a card game with Steve Parker (center) and Eulalio Alvarada (right) at a group home operated by D&S Residential, Inc. Companies like D&S used to handle case management for their clients, but a budget change sent that responsibility to local Mental Retardation Authorities.

For years, the state paid private providers who care for people with disabilities to handle their clients’ case management. But an 11th-hour change inserted into the budget last session stripped them of that responsibility, giving it instead to quasi-governmental Mental Retardation Authorities — and potentially creating a conflict of interest.

Deborah Peel: The TT Interview

Deborah Peel, founder and chair of the non-profit Patient Privacy Rights
Deborah Peel, founder and chair of the non-profit Patient Privacy Rights

The patient privacy advocate on why our electronic medical records are in grave danger, how they could be used to discriminate against us and what Facebook can teach health care professionals about informed consent.

Can Texas and a Dozen Other States Drop Medicaid?

The waiting room at People's Community Clinic in Austin, TX in November 2010.
The waiting room at People's Community Clinic in Austin, TX in November 2010.

A week after newly emboldened Republicans in the Texas Legislature floated a radical cost-saving proposal — withdrawing from the federal Medicaid program — health care experts, economists and think tanks are trying to determine just how possible it would be. The answer? It’s complicated. But it’s not stopping nearly a dozen other states, frantic over budget shortfalls and anticipating new costs from federal health care reform, from exploring something that was, until recently, unthinkable.

Helmet Manufacturer Challenges Repair Practices

Whether reconditioned football helmets sufficiently protect young players from concussions and other serious injuries has become a subject of fierce debate. Texas parents are torn between the desire of their kids to play and increasingly hard-to-ignore studies about the relationship between football and long-term brain damage. Coaches struggle to balance safety with fans’ cries for harder hits, bigger players and crushing wins. And at least one upstart manufacturer is contributing to the public's unease by challenging the industry’s long-standing practice of refurbishing old helmets.

After Monitor Departs, A Teenager Is Killed

The same Houston-area residential treatment center where staffers forced disabled girls to fight each other — prompting child welfare officials to halt admissions and hire a safety monitor — is now under fire for the asphyxiation of a 16-year-old boy who died Friday after a restraint was applied by a staffer in a closet.

Yes, the GOP Wave Turned Out to Be a Tsunami

Rick Perry won his third full term as governor of Texas on Tuesday, defeating former Houston Mayor Bill White by a convincing double-digit margin and positioning himself for a role on the national stage. And he led a Republican army that swept all statewide offices for the fourth election in a row, took out three Democratic U.S. congressmen and was on its way to a nearly two-thirds majority in the Texas House — a mark the GOP hasn't seen since the days following the Civil War.

An Interview With Former First Lady Laura Bush

The former first lady on life in the Governor's Mansion vs. life in the White House, her newfound freedom living in Dallas, why she kept her personal politics out of her husband's presidency, the role she's playing at the Bush Library, the two works of fiction she's reading now and her fondest memories of the Texas Book Festival, which she launched when she was living in Austin 15 years ago — and whose annual gala she'll headline tonight with a reading from her best-selling memoir, Spoken from the Heart.