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Texans Brace for Potential End of Obamacare’s Insurance Exchange

The enrollment period for the federal health insurance exchange ends Jan. 31. For many Texans who don’t get their insurance through an employer, this has been an affordable way to get a policy in the state for the past few years. But if the Affordable Care Act is repealed, this could be the last year it’s an option.

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From Texas Standard:

After Donald Trump is sworn in as president, the center of his operation is expected to move from Trump Tower in Manhattan to the White House. But not all of Trump’s team will be making the transition.

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From Texas Standard:

As President Barack Obama leaves office, one of the legacies he’ll leave behind is his social media presence. He was one of the first presidents to use social media in such an extensive way, across multiple platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Texas State Library and Archives Commission/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Today marks the start of the 85th Texas legislative session. Lawmakers will have 140 days to pass bills and set the budget for the next two years. But the projected amount they’ll have to work with is 2.7 percent less than what they've been expecting.

NPR's YouTube channel, Skunk Bear, answers your science questions. This week, we picked one in honor of David Bowie.

Austin History Center, PICA 18419

“They were very concerned that it would affect the chickens and they wouldn't know when to lay the egg.”

What could shake up things so much that chickens in Austin wouldn't know the right time to do their thing? That recollection from a newspaper article can be heard in a documentary called The Last of the Moonlight Towers, which illuminates (get it?) the history of those iconic towers. Seventeen of the 31 original towers built around Austin are still standing. And though Austin wasn't the first city in the country to get moonlight towers when they went up in the 1890s, Austin is the last city that still has functioning towers.

"This is the most ambitious production I've ever done," says Justin Sherburn of his new multimedia project The Time Machine. "It's definitely combining music and theater in a way that's new for me," he says, adding "the shows I've done in the past have been mostly music oriented with slight multimedia, [but] this is a full-on multimedia experience."

The show grew out of Sherburn's longstanding fascination with synthesizers. "I just always thought it'd be fun to... basically use a time machine as a theme to explore sythesizers.

In the sci-fi themed show, Sherburn and his band will journey through the 20th century, starting in Austin and moving through the decades and across the planet. Visual designer Stephen Fishman will manipulate an animation sequence live during the show, projecting images onto and around the band. "It makes it look like the band is actually immersed in this machine," Fishman says.

The Wall: A Special Report from Texas Standard

Jan 9, 2017
Donna Burton/U.S. Customs and Border Protection (U.S. Government Work)

Click here to experience "The Wall: A Special Report from Texas Standard"

 The Texas Standard gets a lot of emails: story ideas, feedback - sometimes good, sometimes different. On occasion, we get a call to action.

Photo Illustration by Andrew Weber, Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Austin’s got a checkered past when it comes to digital road signs. The blinking roadway signs have been hacked a few times in the past to warn of zombies, to taunt the OU Sooners and to even pay tribute to the meme-launching death of Harambe. But the City of Austin Transportation Department has decided to harness that creative energy for good, by allowing anyone to submit safe-for-work language for road signs starting today.

Bob Daemmrich for Texas Tribune

From The Texas Tribune: Facing sluggish economic forecasts amid low oil prices along with billions in tax revenue already dedicated to the state highway fund, Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced Monday that lawmakers will have $104.87 billion in state funds at their disposal in crafting the next two-year budget, a 2.7 percent decrease from his estimate ahead of the legislative session two years ago.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Federal lawmakers have set their sights on repealing the Affordable Care Act as quickly as possible. According to a new study, if they succeed, Texas could lose thousands of jobs in the coming years, but it could be more than just health care jobs.

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