Tribpedia: Medicaid

Tribpedia

MEDICAID
Medicaid is the safety net health insurance provider for children, the disabled and the very poor. It is jointly funded by the federal government and the state, which administers the program with oversight from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Both Medicaid and Medicare — the federally ...

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Spending Theirs, Saving Ours

Texas Weekly

The Texas Senate approved a $182.2 billion budget that includes over $10 billion in federal stimulus money, avoids across-the-board cuts in state agencies, and leaves the state's $9.1 billion Rainy Day Fund untouched.

March Madness

Texas Weekly

Our bracket says Pitt will win the NCAA men's basketball championship. That doesn't mean it'll happen. And if it does happen, we won't be able to claim (honestly, anyway) that we knew it was gonna happen. We'll just have guessed right. [eds. note: After this was written, Pitt lost to Villanova, failed to make the Final Four, ruined our bracket, and painfully proved our point about predicting the future.]

One Decade at a Time

Texas Weekly

That noise you hear in the Senate and the House isn't just partisan barking — it's the early signal that, in two years, those lawmakers will be drawing political maps and spilling political blood.

Now It Starts

Texas Weekly

The new speaker's first bit of danger is out of the way, with House members on their way home for a long weekend to mull their committee assignments and to consider the difference between what they hoped for and what they got.

The Order of Things

Texas Weekly

The conversation in the halls is mostly about House committee assignments and who'll get what. The underlying political tension is between Democrats who think Speaker Joe Straus should reward them for making up 80 percent of the vote that put him in the corner office, and Republicans who think he needs to consolidate power within his own party in the closely divided chamber to have any chance of hanging on to the controls.

Waiting

Texas Weekly

The House has its rules in place after a long day of warbling and negotiating, and the one that sticks out is the rule that lets the House depose a speaker with only 76 votes — a simple majority. The speaker no longer has the power to ignore privileged motions, including motions to "vacate the chair." And an effort to raise the bar — to require 90 votes, or 100, to unseat a speaker fell short. It's 76: If it were a rear-view mirror on the Speaker's dais, it'd have words on it: "Warning! Hostile representatives in mirror are closer than they appear."

Starting to Start

Texas Weekly

Week three. Speaker race, over. House, kumbayahed. Two-thirds rule, guarded condition. Senate, patching things up. Revenue estimate, ouch. Base budget, tight. President, sworn in, twice.

Money and Time

Texas Weekly

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, raised $1.7 million during the three months ending June 30 and got to the mid-year mark with $9.3 million in the campaign account.

Surprised?

Texas Weekly

By now, Texas businesses were supposed to have already filed returns and written checks for the newish business margins tax. They got a one-month reprieve from Comptroller Susan Combs, who decided the level of confusion was high enough to give everyone another month to calculate and pay up.

Gusher!

Texas Weekly

While other states are facing deficits large and small, the Texas Legislature will start its next session with a surplus of almost $15 billion, according to House Speaker Tom Craddick.

The Other Season to Greet

Texas Weekly

You think they decorate the malls too early? Here's our version: There are only 90 money-raising, commercial-running, attack-mailing, town hall-squabbling, sign-stealing, robo-calling, finger-pointing, voter-abusing days left until the Texas primary elections.

Who Done It?

Texas Weekly

Six Fort Worth Republicans are asking for an investigation of automated phone calls they say might have swung the results of a special election earlier this month.

A Very Expensive Footnote

Texas Weekly

Democrat Mikal Watts — having spent $947,505 "exploring" a run for the U.S. Senate — decided not to run after all. That removes one serious opponent for U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, but the Texas Republican will still face opposition a year from now — probably state Rep. Rick Noriega, D-Houston.

England's New Flag

Texas Weekly

Rep. Kirk England of Grand Prairie is switching parties, saying he'll seek reelection as a Democrat. There hasn't been a party switch in the Texas Legislature in a decade, and it's been a long, long time since a legislator left the Republicans for the Democrats and survived the switch.

The Speaker Thing

Texas Weekly

Start with a follow-up to last week's story about the powers of the House Speaker, and the attempts to get Attorney General Greg Abbott to referee. The issue is now in the hands of the lawyers, mostly, and that means there is a large stack of briefs to go through.

Survivor: Austin

Texas Weekly

House Speaker Tom Craddick had the tenacity to withstand a three-day siege at the end of the legislative session, but it cost him some of his own supporters in the House. The question now is whether the next elections will replace enough of the rebels for him to hold on for a fourth term.

Catch and Release

Texas Weekly

Corrections to a tax bill could save thousands of small businesses in Texas from the gross receipts tax approved by lawmakers a year ago. Lawmakers might raise the minimum revenue requirements, letting more companies escape the new levy.

Crunch City

Texas Weekly

When this last break of the legislative session is over next week, there will be seven weeks left in the 80th regular session of the Texas Legislature. And you know, even if you're new to this, that the rules start killing things before the last day.

Record Spending, Record Restraint

Texas Weekly

A $150.1 billion state budget is on its way to the full House, which already approved another $14.2 billion spending plan for school finance. Those bills, along with a "supplement" appropriations bill to patch thin spots in the current budget, would bring state spending for the next two years to about $164.3 billion, up from $144.6 billion in the current budget.

Bummer, Dude

Texas Weekly

Pity Tom Pauken. The Dallas lawyer tapped to head a task force on property tax reform turned in his report in January, with plenty of time for lawmakers to work on it. The governor listed property tax reform as a priority in all of his pre-session interviews with reporters. The Guv mentioned it again in his state of the state speech.

Wanna Bet?

Texas Weekly

Legislation that would expand legal gambling on two fronts while also funding a quarter of a million college scholarships could go to voters if two-thirds of the Texas Legislature approves.

Need to Hide Something Big?

Texas Weekly

Ask Gov. Rick Perry for advice. He managed to bury headline-grabbing proposals for the sale of the state lottery, a $3 billion war on cancer, $100 million for border security, a $2.5 billion tax rebate, and health care for up to two million of the state's working poor behind a vaccine for pre-teen girls against a sexually transmitted disease.

Real Soon Now

Texas Weekly

The last act, usually, of the "fixin' to fixin' to" phase of every legislative session is the governor's State of the State speech. They're hard to remember, for the most part, because the Legislature has a tradition of listening politely, clapping a lot, and then ignoring some or all of the items on a given governor's wish list. But some of it gets into the wiring, and into the ears of lawmakers and even, sometimes, the public.

Big Mo and Little Mo

Texas Weekly

Gov. Rick Perry's appraisal reforms don't have nearly the momentum of last year's school finance package, though both came out of task forces headed by political figures and comprised of business folks. School finance was hard to crack, but the Legislature wasn't split on the need to do something. This time, you'll find disagreement on the nature of the problem and the proposed solutions. This package will be harder to pass.