Health Care Policy Articles

‘Conscience’ division at HHS aims to reignite culture wars

Austin American-Statesman, February 6, 2018

Did you know that health care workers are complaining to the federal government that they’re suffering from discrimination by employers for declining to give care that violates their religious beliefs? I didn’t either. What’s more, in 30 years of providing health care, I’ve never heard of an employee who felt their religious freedoms were being […]

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CDC’s banned-word list shows Trump’s contempt for science

Austin American-Statesman, December 20, 2017

Just when I think the Trump administration can no longer surprise me, they go and do it. But the latest stunt is more a shock than a surprise. Senior budget officials of the esteemed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were called to a meeting last Thursday and read a list of forbidden words and […]

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Ending individual mandate raises questions of morality

The Houston Chronoicle, December 8, 2017

As Congress debates getting rid of the individual mandate to buy health insurance to better afford a tax overhaul, I’m reminded of one of the mandate’s leading advocates — Uwe (pronounced OOH-vuh) Reinhardt, one of the greatest minds in health care economics. In 2009, as Congress was debating the Affordable Care Act (signed into law […]

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Health partnership responds when parents react to fewer RNs in schools

Austin American-Statesman, October 1, 2017

Since the Gallup Poll began ranking “most trusted professions” in 1999, nurses have placed No. 1 every year with the exception of 2001, when firefighters took the spot after 9/11. People have depended on and trusted nurses through life’s most intimate moments: birth and dying and times in between of injury and sickness. And parents […]

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In America, pursuing health care reform is like Sisyphus pushing the stone

Austin American-Statesman, July 23, 2017

In Greek mythology, Sisyphus was condemned to ceaselessly roll a giant stone to the summit, only for it to roll back down of its own weight. In trying to fix health care, we Americans are like Sisyphus. Bearing witness to the strenuous futility is exhausting. First, let’s take a look back to see how our health care […]

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Bills would allow nurses to offset doctor shortages

Austin American-Statesman, March 28, 2017

While Congress proved incompetent to improve health care, Texas legislators have a golden opportunity right now to dramatically increase access to care. How? By substantially increasing the number of primary care providers. And … it wouldn’t cost a dime. We’ve got a real problem here. According to The Commonwealth Fund, in 2015 Texas ranked dead […]

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Ann Richards warned us; now we march to protect women’s rights

Houston Chronicle and Austin American-Statesman, January 19, 2017

I’ll be marching in the Texas version of the Women’s March on Washington on Jan. 21. Why? Because women’s reproductive rights are being taken away, just as the late Gov. Ann Richards predicted. On a brisk night in October of 1990, many of us had gathered for a hastily called rally for gubernatorial candidate Ann […]

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Lasting health care legacies built by two caring, faithful Austinintes

Austin American-Statesman, October 28, 2016

If Austin had a Top 10 Most Influential Women in Health Care Award, Dr. Mary Lou Adams and Trish Young Brown would certainly rank high on the list. Guided by a strong and abiding faith, both women were on a mission — and in a hurry. The mission? To see to it that the underserved […]

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Criticism of women’s health study woefully misplaced

Austin American-Statesman, March 10, 2016

After the Oscar victory for “Spotlight,” let’s shine one on the effects of excluding Planned Parenthood affiliates from the Texas Women’s Health Program and the appalling imbroglio after the study was published Feb. 3 in The New England Journal of Medicine. For background, when the federal government refused to allow — and the courts blocked […]

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Politicians need to butt out of medical board investigations

The Dallas Morning News, December 8, 2015

Texas politicians have a nasty habit of interfering with medical board investigations. They need to butt out. The health professions boards exist to protect you and me from harm, thus are some of the most important agencies in state government. Despite parsimonious funding, they do a fine job of governing, licensing and disciplining doctors, nurses, […]

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