Ashley Lopez

Ways to Connect

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

A Houston lawmaker is trying to get the Legislature to reverse cuts to a Medicaid program that pays for therapy for children with development delays – despite it not being on the official agenda for the special session.

Spc. Carlynn Knaak/Wikimedia Commons (public domain)

A Texas Senate panel approved legislation Sunday afternoon aimed at cracking down on mail-in ballot fraud by imposing steep criminal penalties.

Proponents of the bill say Senate Bill 5, which was one of the 20 items the Gov. Greg Abbott included on his call for a special session, would curb an ongoing problem in Texas.

“The bill is long overdue,” Alan Vera with the Harris County Republican Party told lawmakers.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

For Carol Elliott, a Port Aransas resident in her early 60s, the Affordable Care Act is not a failure.

“The Affordable Care Act saved my life,” the musician says.

Elliott lived in Nashville for a long time, but has spent the last 15 years living in the island town in the Gulf of Mexico off the Texas shore.

She says money has always been tight, and she’s had to cut corners through the years. That’s often meant she’s been priced out of health insurance.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

The Trump administration cut more than $200 million from teen pregnancy prevention programs and research across the country last week. It was a surprise to a lot of people on the receiving end of those grants – including many here in Texas, where teen pregnancy is a big problem.

Callie Richmond / Texas Tribune

During the regular session, Texas lawmakers passed new reporting requirements for abortion providers. Gov. Greg Abbott wants them to pass even tougher requirements during the special session that starts Tuesday.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Gov. Greg Abbott has asked lawmakers to take another stab at prohibiting abortion coverage in private health insurance plans in Texas.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Mandy Blott, a psychologist living in East Austin, says she has always been somewhat plugged into politics. Her activism has ebbed and flowed through the years, but after the last presidential election, she decided to double down.

The first thing she did, she says, was look up her member of Congress.

Sen. Ted Cruz talks to members of a town hall in Austin on Thursday about health care.
Martin do Nascimento / KUT

At a town hall-style forum in Austin on Thursday, Sen. Ted Cruz said it was "critical" for Republicans to honor their promise of repealing the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Among the 20 items Gov. Greg Abbott has asked legislators to tackle during the upcoming special session is a push to block all taxpayer funds from being sent to abortion providers.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

One of the structures that has allowed more than 960,000 Texans to gain health insurance under the Affordable Care Act would be a thing of the past under the Senate repeal bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Senate’s proposed replacement for the Affordable Care Act has “declared war on people with disabilities of all ages,” a disability rights advocate said Monday after the Congressional Budget Office released a report scoring the legislation.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

As Healthy Texas Women closes in on a one-year milestone, the state says the program has been steadily increasing access to health care for women. Advocates, however, are skeptical.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Almost seven years ago, Donna Kreuzer was taking care of her newborn granddaughter in a hotel room in San Antonio. Her daughter, Kristi, was attending a law conference with her husband, and Kreuzer came along to help out.

During that trip, she says, her daughter revealed a secret she had been keeping for eight weeks.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

In a matter of weeks, the U.S. Senate could be voting on a Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act. On Wednesday, 25 health care advocacy groups in Texas sent a letter to Republican Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz raising concerns about the plan.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Gina Caro, 12, drapes a protective arm around her 9-year-old brother, Joshua, as they sit on a curb waiting for a bus to take him to camp. This is Joshua’s first time going away to camp, and he’s a little nervous.

When asked if he’s excited, Joshua shyly replies, “I don’t know.”

But Camp Grey Dove is geared specifically toward children like him.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Texas is closer to testing out a Trump administration rule that allows states to withhold federal funds from Planned Parenthood.

via Texas Tribune

Democratic House Rep. Dawnna Dukes of Austin was already in hot water at the start of the legislative session. She had walked back a promise to resign and, soon after, was indicted.

But members of the Travis County Democratic Party say she then failed to do a major part of her job: show up.

Pu Ying Huang for KUT

The past several months have been chaos for groups that help resettle families in the U.S. As a result, Texas has resettled drastically fewer refugees this year than it has in previous years.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Health advocates were hoping lawmakers would seriously tackle the issue of maternal mortality during the legislative session that ended Monday. But legislative efforts fell short.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

A bill was sent to Gov. Greg Abbott last week that would eliminate straight-ticket voting in Texas. But opponents say the legislation could be headed to court.

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