Politics 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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Daffyesque Donald

Unpublished, June 8, 2017

As I watch Donald Trump as candidate and president and read his tweets, he keeps reminding me of Daffy Duck. A nursing school class on mental health required the students to present on a major personality disorder. One of the students chose narcissism, and her brilliant and unforgettable presentation used Daffy Duck as the subject. First, […]

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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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Immigrant scapegoating, roundups bear echoes of the Third Reich

Austin American-Statesman, March 7, 2017

When I was a girl, I was captivated by “Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl.” The aspiring journalist wrote her diary from 1942 to 1944 while she and her family were in Amsterdam hiding from the Gestapo. She wrote in such a way that I felt as though I were hiding there with […]

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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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The 2016 presidential election reflects our country’s cultural shift — and not in a good way

Houston Chronicle, October 16, 2016

With our election for president less than a month away, a discussion of the office of the presidency is in order. The president of the United States must be a person of virtue and talent who can speak clearly to the American people and set a standard of ethics and moral leadership. The president must […]

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Life of beloved rescue dog offers hope in dismal times

Austin American-Statesman, June 16, 2016

With Donald Trump at the helm, like the rest of the world I couldn’t resist following the Republican campaign last fall. But rather than watching dignified auditions for the American presidency, it soon felt voyeuristic. Even worse, my fellow Americans loved him. Filling the debate venues, raucous mobs drowned out the moderators. His vote tally […]

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Uber: The case of the fox guarding the henhouse

Unpublished, April 28, 2016

[Author update: Uber and Lyft lost Austin’s May 7 election by a margin of 56 to 44 percent, making national news.]  As a casual observer, it looks to me like Uber and Lyft rode into town in 2013, operating outside the law. People liked the service, so the Austin City Council, taking seriously its responsibility for […]

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