HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES

Senate Unanimously Backs "Right to Try" Legislation

Capitol lobbyist Andrea Sloan waged a public battle with ovarian cancer, seeking federal permission to try an experimental treatment in 2013. She died Jan. 1, 2014.
Capitol lobbyist Andrea Sloan waged a public battle with ovarian cancer, seeking federal permission to try an experimental treatment in 2013. She died Jan. 1, 2014.

The Senate gave a unanimous vote of support on Friday to a measure that would allow terminally ill patients to try experimental drugs that have received preliminary approval by the FDA.

More Pay for Medicaid Doctors Lost in Budget Deal

Sens. Lois Kolkhorst, Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, Jane Nelson, Charles Schwertner, Joan Huffman and Reps. Larry Gonzales, Sarah Davis, Sylvester Turner, John Otto and Trent Ashby make up the 2015 budget conference committee.
Sens. Lois Kolkhorst, Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, Jane Nelson, Charles Schwertner, Joan Huffman and Reps. Larry Gonzales, Sarah Davis, Sylvester Turner, John Otto and Trent Ashby make up the 2015 budget conference committee.

The House-Senate budget conference committee adopted its compromise on health and human services funding Wednesday, pleasing fiscal conservatives and giving little cheer to advocates for the poor and disabled.

 

Senate Panel OKs Restrictions on Minors Seeking Abortions

State Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, and state Rep. Geanie Morrison, R-Victoria, are shepherding House Bill 3994 through the Legislature. The bill would tighten the requirements on "judicial bypass," the legal process used by minors seeking abortions without parental consent.
State Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, and state Rep. Geanie Morrison, R-Victoria, are shepherding House Bill 3994 through the Legislature. The bill would tighten the requirements on "judicial bypass," the legal process used by minors seeking abortions without parental consent.

A far-reaching proposal to restrict the mechanism used by minors seeking abortions without parental consent is headed to the Senate floor.

Cannabis Oil Approved for Epilepsy Patients

House Speaker Joe Straus speaks with State Rep. Stephanie Klick, R-Fort Worth, as the chamber awaits word of a special session mid-afternoon on May 27, 2013.
House Speaker Joe Straus speaks with State Rep. Stephanie Klick, R-Fort Worth, as the chamber awaits word of a special session mid-afternoon on May 27, 2013.

Epilepsy patients in Texas suffering from seizures could get prescriptions for medicinal oils containing a non-euphoric, therapeutic component found in marijuana under a bill tentatively approved by the state House on Monday.

Hard to Find in Parts of Texas: A Top-Rated Nursing Home

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Natalie Anne Sealy, photographed by her daughter Billie Pender.
Natalie Anne Sealy, photographed by her daughter Billie Pender.

Texas has the highest percentage of one-and two-star homes in the country: 51 percent of its nursing homes are rated “below average,” or “much below average” on Nursing Home Compare, which was designed by the federal government.

House Advances E-Cigarette Ban for Minors

E-cigarettes vaporize a liquid solution for inhalation. They have grown steadily in popularity since they were introduced in 2005.
E-cigarettes vaporize a liquid solution for inhalation. They have grown steadily in popularity since they were introduced in 2005.

Texas moved a step closer to banning the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors after the state House gave tentative approval Monday to a bill that lawmakers say would prevent young Texans from purchasing nicotine products.

Critics Question Whether Insurance Card Measure is a Remedy

Jill Ramirez, the director of outreach for the Latino Healthcare Forum, passes out flyers and explains components of the Affordable Care Act on Oct. 5, 2013.
Jill Ramirez, the director of outreach for the Latino Healthcare Forum, passes out flyers and explains components of the Affordable Care Act on Oct. 5, 2013.

UPDATED: House Bill 1514, which would add a special label to the health insurance cards of people receiving financial assistance under the Affordable Care Act, tentatively passed the Texas House on Friday. Opinions are mixed on what the impact would be.

House OKs Expanded Sales of Raw Milk

Livestock from Licon Dairy, on Feb. 19, 2013, outside of Fort Hancock, Texas, in Hudspeth County. The dairy farm had 42 acres and approximately 40 heifers.
Livestock from Licon Dairy, on Feb. 19, 2013, outside of Fort Hancock, Texas, in Hudspeth County. The dairy farm had 42 acres and approximately 40 heifers.

Texas consumers could soon be able to buy raw milk at farmers markets and receive such deliveries straight from the dairy under legislation tentatively approved by the House on Thursday. 

 

State Rep. Fletcher to Make Bid for Harris County Sheriff

House sponsor State Rep. Allen Fletcher, R-Cypress, stands among House members during the consideration of a point of order on HB 972 a campus carry bill on May 4, 2013.
House sponsor State Rep. Allen Fletcher, R-Cypress, stands among House members during the consideration of a point of order on HB 972 a campus carry bill on May 4, 2013.

Republican state Rep. Allen Fletcher of Cypress confirmed on Thursday that he will abandon his House seat for a bid to replace Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia, who is running for mayor of Houston.