HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES

Midland-Area Housing Crunch Hurts Foster Care Oversight

Child Protective Services caseworker Juan Carlos Pacheco rents a spare bedroom in his childhood friend's home in Odessa. He has also lived in a trailer with five other people and a one-bedroom apartment with six other people. His own family lives in El Paso.
Child Protective Services caseworker Juan Carlos Pacheco rents a spare bedroom in his childhood friend's home in Odessa. He has also lived in a trailer with five other people and a one-bedroom apartment with six other people. His own family lives in El Paso.

The oil boom has brought jobs and prosperity to Midland and Odessa, but it has also driven up housing prices, making it difficult for the Department of Family and Protective Services to hire caseworkers.

 

The Brief: An Arresting Situation With the National Guard

Adjutant General John Nichols of the Texas National Guard explains the Guard's role in helping secure the border as Gov. Rick Perry, l, and DPS Director Steve McCraw listen July 21, 2014.
Adjutant General John Nichols of the Texas National Guard explains the Guard's role in helping secure the border as Gov. Rick Perry, l, and DPS Director Steve McCraw listen July 21, 2014.

Can those National Guard troops being sent to the border arrest people? The latest word is they can. And the reason why is that Rick Perry sent them, and not the federal government.

Texas Lawmakers Hear Tales of Foster Care Woes

State lawmakers have already met several times this year to discuss rampant and persistent problems in the state's foster care system. On Thursday, they heard from former foster youths to find out what needs to be changed.

Report: New Law Led to Statewide Drop in Abortions

A hallway at the Whole Woman's Health clinic in Austin. The clinic, one of 22 remaining abortion providers in the state, does not currently meet requirements that will take effect on Sept. 1.
A hallway at the Whole Woman's Health clinic in Austin. The clinic, one of 22 remaining abortion providers in the state, does not currently meet requirements that will take effect on Sept. 1.

Abortions in Texas decreased by about 13 percent statewide and 21 percent in the Lower Rio Grande Valley after strict abortion regulations went into effect last November, according to a study released Wednesday.

Report Sheds Light on Workers Losing Out on Health Coverage

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Texas fast-food workers are planning to join a nationwide strike on Thursday to call for $15-an-hour wages. Recently, there have been similar strikes in cities across the country. This one was in Milwaukee.
Texas fast-food workers are planning to join a nationwide strike on Thursday to call for $15-an-hour wages. Recently, there have been similar strikes in cities across the country. This one was in Milwaukee.

Of the roughly 1.5 million more people who would have health insurance if Texas expanded Medicaid, more than half of them work in the state's booming service industry, according to a new report.

The Brief: Perry and the Force Multiplier Effect

Gov. Rick Perry announces the deployment of National Guard troops along the Texas border as Texas Guard Adjutant General John Nichols listens at the Texas Capitol on July 21, 2014.
Gov. Rick Perry announces the deployment of National Guard troops along the Texas border as Texas Guard Adjutant General John Nichols listens at the Texas Capitol on July 21, 2014.

The words of the day on Monday were "force multiplier," as in what Gov. Rick Perry said the activation of up to 1,000 National Guard troops would do for the border surge effort already underway by the Department of Public Safety.

The Brief: Perry to Send National Guard Troops to the Border

Gov. Rick Perry and DPS Director Steve McCraw spoke at a June 23, 2014, news conference following a tour of a federal facility housing unaccompanied minors in Weslaco, Texas. The state is providing $1.3 million per week to step up border patrols.
Gov. Rick Perry and DPS Director Steve McCraw spoke at a June 23, 2014, news conference following a tour of a federal facility housing unaccompanied minors in Weslaco, Texas. The state is providing $1.3 million per week to step up border patrols.

Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst will make a border security announcement at 2 p.m. at the state Capitol. The two are expected to announce the deployment of 1,000 National Guard troops to the Rio Grande Valley.

Texas Sees Rise in Medicaid Signups

Yesenia Alvarado holds her daughter, Medicaid patient Melanie Almaraz, 2, while waiting to see Dr. Alberto Vasquez for the treatment of a fever at the Su Clinica Familiar in Harlingen on Jul. 9, 2013.
Yesenia Alvarado holds her daughter, Medicaid patient Melanie Almaraz, 2, while waiting to see Dr. Alberto Vasquez for the treatment of a fever at the Su Clinica Familiar in Harlingen on Jul. 9, 2013.

More than 80,000 additional Texans have enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program since the rollout of the Affordable Care Act last fall, despite Republican state leaders’ decision not to expand eligibility.

Women Want State’s Help in Pelvic Mesh Fight

Aaron Leigh Johnson-Horton, founder of The Mesh Warrior Foundation, prepares gifts to mail to women with complications from a mesh implant at her home in Dallas, Texas on July 8, 2014.
Aaron Leigh Johnson-Horton, founder of The Mesh Warrior Foundation, prepares gifts to mail to women with complications from a mesh implant at her home in Dallas, Texas on July 8, 2014.

While thousands of women across the country are engaged in lawsuits against manufacturers of pelvic mesh implants, a Texas group is trying to get the state to take action against a company that makes the medical devices.