Affordable Care Act
Dec 3rd - 8:12 pm
In Tuesday’s Capital Tonight, we looked at where the candidates stand on the issue, and what they’ve said in the past.
The White House is reporting over a million people visited the healthcare.gov website Monday, on the first full business day after a series of repairs. Government officials now say the federal online health insurance exchange is now functioning 90 percent of the time.
We spoke with Mimi Garcia of Enroll America about their efforts to get the word out about health insurance options through the Affordable Care Act in states like Texas, where the federally created website is the only one available.
Plus, our Capital Commentators, Harold Cook and Ted Delisi, joined us to look at what’s next for the Affordable Care Act and how Republicans and Democrats will position themselves around the law.
Dec 2nd - 8:11 pm
In Monday’s Capital Tonight, we looked at whether the changes are noticeable in Texas, where a number of groups are working to get people enrolled and get the word out.
ON THE AGENDA
The campaign filing deadline is one week away, and it could mean some last-minute scrambling for a few candidates. The Quorum Report‘s Harvey Kronberg joined us to explain why.
Plus, we sat down with Republican gubernatorial candidate Miriam Martinez. Click the image below to hear about Martinez’s unique background and her thoughts on immigration reform, the Republican party and more.
Nov 26th - 7:48 pm
In Tuesday’s Capital Tonight, we spoke to advocates for both sides of the issue, who say the outcome will go far beyond any one company.
Libertarian candidate for governor, Kathie Glass, joined us to share her political vision beyond the two-party system, including why property taxes should be one of the first things on the chopping block.
NEW DEADLINE LOOMS
When Congress returns to Washington after the Thanksgiving break, budget negotiators will have to scramble to strike a deal to avoid yet another round of steep, automatic spending cuts.
Nov 13th - 8:03 pm
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in the Fisher v. University of Texas case yet again, following a U.S, Supreme Court decision to remand the case. Fisher, a white Texan, sued the University of Texas at Austin when she was denied admission back in 2008. But even after the lengthy legal process, UT Austin President Bill Powers says he’s cautiously optimistic.
And in Washington, House Speaker John Boehner is putting the final nail in the coffin of immigration reform — at least until the new year. The Senate already passed a comprehensive bill that includes tighter border security and a pathway to citizenship for undocumented residents, but Boehner is making it clear that any hope that the Republican-led House might do the same is dead.
Nov 13th - 4:10 pm
After downplaying expectations for weeks, federal officials say fewer than 3,000 Texans were able to sign up for coverage in the health insurance marketplace in October. Nationwide, the total comes to just over 100,000 people.
The Department of Health and Human Services released the totals Wednesday afternoon, following a rocky start to the healthcare.gov enrollment website. Since its launch on October 1, the site has seen widespread technical issues. Federal officials have testified about the problems and say they’re working to fix them.
Enrollment through state-run websites — implemented by 14 states and Washington, D.C. — makes up three quarters of the total number. Texas is one of 36 states that opted not to create its own exchange website, meaning residents have to go through the federal marketplace.
Nov 6th - 6:23 pm
Gov. Rick Perry had some harsh words for President Barack Obama Wednesday. Obama traveled to Dallas to promote his landmark health care law and to urge the state to consider expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
According to Obama, doing so would potentially cover more than a million Texans who are currently uninsured.
“One of the things that gets me a little frustrated,” Obama said, “are folks who are complaining about how the website’s not working, and why isn’t Obama fixing it. And yet they’re leaving more than a million people right now without health insurance that they could immediately fix.”
Gov. Perry has maintained that Texas will not expand Medicaid under Obamacare. Instead, he requested a federal block grant that would allow Texas to make changes to the program without having to follow federal guidelines. Gov. Perry did not mince words in his response to the President’s request, saying:
“President Obama deceived the American people by promising that anyone who liked their health care plan could keep it, but millions of Americans are now discovering that simply isn’t true. Now, he’s coming to Texas in a desperate attempt to salvage his ill-conceived and unpopular program from a Titanic fate by preaching expansion of the same Medicaid system he himself admits is broken. In Texas, where Medicaid already consumes a quarter of the state budget, we simply need the flexibility to implement fundamental, state-specific reforms to our Medicaid program, instead of a one-size-fits-all Washington mandate, before it bankrupts our state. Mr. President, Texans aren’t the reason Obamacare is crumbling; Obamacare is the reason Obamacare is crumbling.”
Texas is one of 21 states that declined to expand Medicaid as part of Obamacare. There were several bipartisan attempts last legislative session to come up with a Texas-specific version of expansion. None of those bills gained enough support to move forward.
Nov 6th - 4:33 pm
Attorney General Greg Abbott released a new online ad Wednesday to coincide with President Obama’s visit to Dallas. In his ad, Abbott criticizes the administration over the troubled roll out of the Affordable Care Act and highlights Obama’s losses in the Lone Star State.
In a statement to accompany the ad, Abbott said, “Texans don’t need a half-billion-dollar website to find out that they don’t support ObamaCare, and we are not going to let this abusive, overreaching program sink its teeth too deeply into Texas.”
Texas has the highest rate of uninsured citizens in the country. Obama spoke in Dallas to promote the positive points of the Affordable Care Act and to urge Gov. Rick Perry to expand Medicaid.
Oct 31st - 7:56 pm
The state’s cancer research funding agency is back up and running, after state leaders lifted a moratorium on the grant process. But after a high-profile scandal over misuse of the approval process, can the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas successfully rehabilitate its image? Our Capital Commentators, Harold Cook and Ted Delisi, joined us to weigh in on that topic and more.
HEALTH CARE COSTS
Regardless of your thoughts on the Affordable Care Act, there’s no doubt that premiums will rise for some in Texas. We spoke with John Davidson with the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation about why he believes young, adult males will be hit the hardest.
Oct 21st - 7:58 pm
One of the most controversial laws passed this legislative session saw its first day in court Monday. Women’s groups are challenging House Bill 2, which enacts some of the strictest abortion laws in the country.
In Monday’s Capital Tonight, we heard from the plaintiffs about why they believe the law should be put on hold, and why state attorneys say their case is strong. Plus, we spoke to county election officials about how the newly implemented voter ID law will work at ground level.
We’ve talked a lot about the water initiative known as Proposition 6 leading up to the Nov. 5 election, but there are other measures to consider, including one constitutional amendment that could drastically change the process of home ownership among our aging population. We sat down with Scott Norman of Texans for Proposition 5 about why he supports the measure.
The government shutdown is over, but another federal hangup continues. The website where people can shop for health insurance is still seeing heavy delays, a problem for which President Barack Obama says there’s no excuse. We heard from the president about what’s being done to fix it, and got an update from local enrollment organizers about how the effort is going closer to home.
Oct 16th - 9:48 pm
In Wednesday’s Capital Tonight, we checked in on the latest from Washington, and looked at new information from water experts on where the drought stands.
DEBATING PROPOSITION 6
In part three of our State of Water series, we held a roundtable discussion with critics and supporters of Proposition 6, which would appropriate $2 billion from the state’s Rainy Day Fund into a new fund for water infrastructure projects.
Recent poll numbers show that voters are largely in favor of Proposition 6, but a lot hinges on whether or not they turn out in the first place. We sat down with James Henson of Texas Politics Project to dig deeper into the data.