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The Evening Brief: Feb. 23, 2012

Your evening reading: Texas joins suit challenging contraceptive mandate; Texas health commissioner signs rule banning abortion affiliates; health insurer with ties to Perry Super PAC founder wins state contract

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New in The Texas Tribune:

  • Texas Joins Lawsuit to Challenge Contraceptive Rule: "Texas joined six other states and a handful of Catholic organizations to challenge the constitutionality of a new health care rule approved by the federal government that would require all employers to include coverage for contraceptives coverage in employees' health care benefits."
  • Health Commissioner Signs Rule Banning Abortion Affiliates: "Texas Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Tom Suehs signed a rule today that formally bans Planned Parenthood clinics and other 'affiliates of abortion providers' from the Women's Health Program — likely ending the program."
  • Plan to Train Mexican Officers is Slow to Start: "A cross-border training program involving Texas peace officers and Mexican police has yet to get off the ground, a byproduct of election-year politics and fears of corruption south of the Rio Grande. But experts say that despite hurdles, U.S. authorities are still intent on helping their southern neighbor."
  • TribLive: James on Birth Control, Sex and Gay Marriage: "At this morning's TribLive conversation, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Craig James alternately agreed and disagreed with his preferred presidential candidate, Rick Santorum, on a series of controversial social issues."


  • Lobbyists with Rick Perry ties take a victory lap: "A major state health insurance contract was flipped two days ago from Blue Cross-Blue Shield to UnitedHealth, whose top lobbyist is the creator of Rick Perry's presidential Super PAC Mike Toomey. He also served a stint as the governor's chief of staff."
  • Perry will undergo surgery Friday: "Gov. Rick Perry will undergo surgery Friday to repair a bone that did not heal properly after a 2009 bicycling accident. Perry will undergo a 90-minute procedure to repair his right clavicle, a spokeswoman confirmed. The procedure, which will be performed in Austin by Dr. Bruce Malone, will require the placement of a contoured plate."

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