Health

Latest Columns

Doctors dislike surprise medical billing, too

In practice, doctors generally charge higher rates and insurers generally pay lower rates; when they can’t agree, the patient gets a surprise bill. Since we live in a free society, it is reasonable to support both the physician and insurance company positions, but it seems unfair to place the patient financially in the middle of this difference of opinion between businesses.

Will ‘Pro-Life’ Bills Actually Save Lives?

Texans have again sent to the Legislature a pro-life majority, which includes some who merely profess that view for re-election efforts. Regardless, voters across the state expect those campaign promises to be upheld, protecting innocent unborn human life and safeguarding pregnant women.

Texas has a smoking problem

Texas should prohibit all forms of tobacco use on the grounds and campuses of all state agencies, including state institutions of higher education, and we should do everything possible to prevent kids from starting to smoke.

Texas' new frontier for HIV/AIDS

As we commemorate World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, our hope is health care providers, the public and policymakers in Texas realize the virus is still invading neighborhoods at astonishing rates, often so silently that increasing numbers of youth don't realize they are living with HIV.

A better way to fix health care

The Affordable Care Act, a sweeping law full of crushing regulations and burdensome mandates, has accomplished exactly the opposite of what President Obama naively promised while shattering the confidence of millions Americans in the process.

Medicaid expansion? No way!

Overinflated promises being made for expansion of Texas' Medicaid program remind us of two time-proven adages: "If it looks too good to be true, it probably is," and "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch."

What LifeWorks can say about the UT slaying suspect

I have been asked repeatedly over the past few days "what I can say" about LifeWorks' involvement with Meechiael Criner, the suspect in the death of UT-Austin student Haruka Weiser. If he is found guilty of this terrible crime, we will be left to debate whom is to be held responsible for his fate — himself alone, school bullies, foster care, parents? I hold no hope for an easy answer.

Abortion funds and activists are mobilizing for marginalized Texans

As a leader at an abortion fund in Texas, I see firsthand the consequences of restrictive anti-abortion laws — consequences that too often fall on people of color, non-english speakers, undocumented immigrants, LGBTQ people and those who are struggling financially.

Texas doesn't need Planned Parenthood

The recent decision made by officials at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to terminate Medicaid contracts with Planned Parenthood marks a step toward higher health and safety standards for women and children.

Access delayed is access denied

Texas politicians will go great lengths to make a necessary, legal, and constitutionally protected medical procedure nearly impossible to access in our state, with the greatest harms falling on young people, immigrant women, low-income families and those living in rural areas.

Lamar Smith’s lesson in congressional hypocrisy

U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith’s record reveals a public servant staunchly on the side of protecting Americans’ privacy — unless you’re a victim of asbestos-related disease. In that case, he believes you should be required to make public large chunks of your sensitive personal information on the internet.

Space, the final health care frontier

Some Texans live in places so remote, they might as well be outer space. That's why many of the medical innovations that we’re developing for astronauts have the potential to improve the practice of medicine on Earth.

Why aren't we talking about health care?

It was supposed to be the No. 1 election issue this year, but it quickly faded. With Ebola now dominating headlines, it’s time for a rational debate over what we should’ve been talking about all along: health coverage.

How Texas kicked its big drug problem

A decade after an overmedication crisis in Texas’ foster care system was brought to light, the state has dramatically reduced psychotropic drug use among foster children. And understanding how Texas did it could be key to solving future policy problems.

Strike down Texas' new abortion rules

Politicians painted House Bill 2 as an effort to make abortion safer. The reality Texas women face today has exposed those claims for what they are: deceptive tactics that will ban abortion for most Texans and make women's health care less safe.