Health Care Issues

  • Blogs

    October 21, 2014

    Riverside Hospital CEO Convicted of Fraud

    Earnest Gibson III, Riverside's General Hospital's CEO of more than 30 years, was convicted Monday of conspiring to buy and sell patients in a Medicare and Medicaid scam that siphoned $158 million from government coffers. Also convicted and awaiting sentencing are his son Earnest Gibson IV, Rivers ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 24, 2014

    Houston to Ban Smoking at Parks, Pools, Golf Courses

    Following a trend that is occurring in numerous cities across the country, the city will extend its ban of smoking already enforced in most public indoor spaces, outdoor stadiums and within 25 feet of buildings to larger outdoor areas as well beginning September 2. The downtown library facilities wi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 10, 2014

    My Next-Door Neighbors Are Peeping Toms. Help!

    Welcome to Ask Willie D, Rocks Off's advice column where the Geto Boys MC answers reader questions about matters, in his own words, "funny, serious or unpredictable." Something on your mind? Ask Willie D! WHY DO SMOKERS STAND RIGHT OUTSIDE OF DOORWAYS TO SMOKE? Dear Willie D: I have a healthy con ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 1, 2014

    Ted Cruz Goes Obamacare Trolling and Fails

    As we rolled up to the fourth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act being signed into law, Sen. Ted Cruz couldn't help but take a shot at the program -- which has had plenty of administrative problems since it was kicked off last fall. (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 12, 2014

    Cover Story: Obamacare Still Lacking For Some Local Musicians

    January 1, 2014 saw most of the final stages of President Barack Obama's signature legislation, the health-care reform initiative known as both the official title of the Affordable Care Act and more derisively as Obamacare, start to be implemented. The individual mandate that requires every able per ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 9, 2014

    Obamacare is Moving Along, But One Guy Says He's Paying for Insurance He's Not Getting

    Texas Blue Cross Blue Shield has lovely hold music. Just ask Fred Rhodes. He and his wife have taken turns listening to it since they found out that, despite having enrolled and paid for their new health insurance in December, they still aren't in the system. With the advent of the Affordable Care ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 7, 2013

    From Santelli's Rant to Shutdown: A Short History of the Tea Party

    In popular "lore", Rick Santelli's infamous rant on the free-market schill network that is CNBC, was the spark that lit the fire creating the tea party. There is something to this, indeed there is a lot to this ("tea party" became the perfect rallying cry for disgruntled coservatives), but it is fai ... More >>

  • News

    July 25, 2013

    Getting Stuck: Uninsured Patients Slammed with Lawsuits by Not-for-Profit Hospital

    Memorial Hermann treats patients without insurance, tells them not to worry about the cost and then sues them for thousands of dollars.

  • Blogs

    February 19, 2013

    Texas Starts The Debate Whether To Take Obamacare's Medicaid Money

    Advocates of Medicaid expansion -- part of Obama's Affordable Care Act -- continue to ply Texas lawmakers with economic numbers, making the point that the expansion of the program is not a cost, but a benefit, to taxpayers. Like Sisyphus eternally pushing his boulder up the hill, advocates for Medi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 17, 2012

    Exposer of Fraudulent Texas Drug Protocol Named Whistleblower of the Year

    The man who exposed a drug maker's fraudulent marketing of an antipsychotic drug that is still given to Texas's foster care children has won the Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund's Whistleblower of the Year Award. Allen Jones was forced out of his job at the Pennsylvania Office of Inspector G ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 31, 2012

    Let's Get Ahead Of Ourselves: Romney Wins, Dies, And Paul Ryan Takes Over? Introducing Paul Ryan's America

    For a moment, let's talk fantasy. Let's say Mitt Romney somehow overcomes all of his apparent weakness -- Bain Capital rapaciousness, tax-record speculation, rich-guy aloofness -- and somehow ekes past President Obama in November in one of the narrowest victories in recent American politics. Democra ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 27, 2012

    6 Songs for LBJ Day... One's About His Dick

    Today is officially Lyndon Baines Johnson Day here in the state of Texas. The late 36th president's birthday was hallowed in his home state after he died in 1973 of a massive heart attack at the age of 64. He would have been 104 today. Johnson ascended to the presidency from the vice-presidency aft ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 15, 2012

    Incredible Medibles: The Official High Times Cannabis Cookbook, Part 2

    The one thing that The Official High Times Cannabis Cookbook doesn't tell you is that making medibles is a smelly process. Measurements in the brand-new cookbook are accurate if disjointed -- going from ounces to grams to cups in one recipe, for example -- and the recipes are reliably good. Many of ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 14, 2012

    Incredible Medibles: The Official High Times Cannabis Cookbook, Part 1

    "Ancient people almost exclusively ate their cannabis, saving seeds for food, and using the resinous flowers for medicinal, recreational, and spiritual use," the introduction to the new The Official High Times Cannabis Cookbook tells us in its fascinating introduction to humanity's long history of e ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 3, 2011

    Money-Hungry MLB: Author Says the League is Treating Some Retirees Like Garbage

    David Clyde: $10k richer but still no MLB retirement benefits for the Houstonian​Specific Major League Baseball retirees are getting the shaft, according to the author of the controversial A Bitter Cup of Coffee: How MLB and the Players Association Threw 874 Retirees a Curve. The crux of Dou ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 31, 2011

    Tea Time at the New Marquis II

    Photo by Paul KnightThe unchanged Long Island, sitting on the pre-renovation bar​Seeing people smoking outside of the newly renovated Marquis II is strange enough to distract you from the other changes, like the exterior coat of dark paint and the windows that make the place seem less like the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 16, 2011

    ACL: Cults Semi-Wows To Start Our Day And Ha Ha Tonka Bassist Says To Hell With Smoking Ban

    Craig Hlavaty​Smoking ban? What smoking ban? Ha Ha Tonka bassist Lucas Long don't care about the smoking ban at Zilker Park. Good times, y'all.

  • Blogs

    September 7, 2011

    Jodi Leonore Latson: Quite the Alleged Medicare Defrauder

    Houston makes the fraud lineup.​If you're going to defraud the U.S. government, go big. It's not like they're going to miss a stray $62 million or so. Thus was the thinking of Houstonian Jodi Leonore Latson, 45, who -- unfortunately for her -- ended up as one of the bigger fish caught in a na ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 29, 2011

    Planned Parenthood: Punched in the Uterus by Misguided Texas Senate

    More bad news for women who rely on Planned Parenthood.​A Texas Senate subcommittee wrangled the vulvas of Texas women into a chokehold yesterday with its latest assault on Planned Parenthood. Republican Senator Robert Deuell, who is a physician, introduced a bill to a three-member subcommitte ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 8, 2011

    Bassey & Rose Essien: Father-Daughter Team With Million-Dollar Adult-Diaper Scam

    In this family, missy, we scam the government with adult diapers!!!​Keeping things in the family, passing knowledge from one generation to the next: It's a heartwarming American tradition, especially when it involves ripping off Medicaid for more than a million dollars with an adult-diaper sca ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 31, 2011

    Comment of the Day

    ​Today Katharine Shilcutt confirmed that the Health Dept. outlawed customers bringing dogs to Moon Tower Inn, much to our collective chagrin. One commenter, Zippy, made some good points: I get not bringing dogs INTO restaurants, but the rule against having dogs on patios is ridiculous. And i ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 14, 2011

    Lack Of Social Safety Net Tying Many Musicians To Day Jobs

    "I fantasize sometimes that my musical career would hit gold and help us escape these grim realities, but it's not something I really expect to happen." ​There are few issues in the current political climate more fraught with contention than whether or not the U.S. government will take a more ... More >>

  • News

    December 2, 2010
  • Blogs

    October 25, 2010

    Marijuana Laced Soda: Dixie Elixirs, The Anti-Red Bull​Medicinal marijuana is legal in 14 states, and it's big business. Earlier this month the New York Times reported on the financial boom from medicinal marijuana ads in Colorado, citing our sister publication in Denver and Village Voice Media's COO, Scott Tobias:

  • Music

    July 29, 2010
  • Blogs

    January 21, 2010

    Local Group Leads Charge To Limit "Harmful Substances," a/k/a What Houston Is Known For

    ​If you like the idea of lower health care costs and are not one of the twisted few who are philosophically opposed to breathing cleaner air, there's a good chance you'll be excited to know that there's an effort underway to update the federal policies which govern toxic chemicals.Earlier today, t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 29, 2009

    Houston Is Epicenter Of Big Medicare-Fraud Sweep

    ​Houston is at the center of a big sweep against Medicare fraud announced today by the feds. A grand jury here issued indictments involving more than $16 million in fraud, and agents went out today and arrested 32 people in Houston, New York, Boston and Louisiana.Sayeth the feds: The Strike Force ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 26, 2009

    Methodist Hospital Gets Hit For Medicaid Fraud

    Usually when the Justice Department announces the settlement of a Medicaid-fraud case, it's a small-time operation dealing with wheelchairs or even adult diapers.Not today.Today they've nabbed a nearly-$10 million settlement out of Methodist Hospital here for defrauding the federal program.The US At ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 26, 2009

    City Says Smoking Ban Has Had No Impact On Bars

    Two years ago, Houston City Council approved a smoking ban for local bars. This week, it was announced that the city had spent $12,000 to measure the impact of the ban.Their conclusion? It had no impact on bar sales whatsoever. "It's reassuring that we did the right thing. We protected workers who o ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 25, 2009

    Statewide Smoking Ban For Bars: Coming Soon?

    Photo by Daniel KramerIt's been tried before, but this time there may be some possibility of a statewide smoking ban in Texas.Two bills address the subject, (one by Houston's Rodney Ellis) and the Texas Restaurant Association has announced it can support a ban.Although the TRA says it has "som ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 10, 2009

    R.I.P., Eleanor Tinsley

    Eleanor Tinsley, who served on the City Council for 16 years, has died.She was big on two things -- getting Houston's billboards taken down, and trying to stop cigarette smoking anywhere and everywhere, it seemed.The elegantly coiffed Tinsley -- she always looked like the Dallas-native Baylor alum s ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 2, 2009

    Local Scientists Say The Superbugs Are Coming To Get Us

    Listen up people - we have run out of options. At least when we come to superbugs, if University of Texas Medical School researchers Dr. Barbara E. Murray and Dr. Cesar Ariasare to be believed. The two study infectious diseases for a living, so they should know. Their article in a recent New England ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 3, 2008

    Gloom And Doom For Uninsured Texas Children

    There are two solutions to help the population of uninsured children in Texas, according to a Houston pediatrician: Pray for change or move to Canada. That's overstating it a bit, but Dr. Ana Malinow, a pediatrician and co-founder of the advocacy group Healthcare for All Texas, tells Hair Balls that ... More >>

  • Calendar

    October 16, 2008

    David Sedaris

    Humorist returns on the heels of his latest release, When You Are Engulfed in Flames

  • Blogs

    August 28, 2008

    Smoke Toys: BBQ Pits by Klose

    Clarence Pierson, whose outstanding smoked pork is featured in this week's Cafe review, pulls a brisket out of his bank safe-shaped pit. Pierson & Company's smoker was built by one of Houston's most famous custom barbecue pit builders, BBQ Pits by Klose (2216 W. 34th Street, 800-487-7487). Thes ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 26, 2008

    Texas Continues To Shine At Being Uninsured

    Texas is at the top of the heap again – this time we are the most uninsured state, health care-wise, in the country. Woo hoo! Oh, snap, wait, that’s not a good thing, is it? The U.S. Census Bureau released a report today stating that the number of uninsured in America was down to just 15.3% in ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 4, 2008
  • Blogs

    July 14, 2008
  • Music

    May 1, 2008
  • Blogs

    November 30, 2007
  • Music

    November 29, 2007

    The Smoking Ban

    Has it been good for Houston? A dozen local music figures sound off

  • Music

    September 13, 2007

    Up in Smoke

    The ban's arrival, from a Catbird's seat

  • Blogs

    January 5, 2007

    Passing a Buck to the Smokers

    Daniel Kramer Dave Pickrell cuts through the smoke on the latest tax increase. No word on what he's doing about the mirrors. We asked Dave Pickrell, president of Smokers Fighting Discrimination, what he thinks about the $1 cigarette tax increase that went into effect throughout the state on Mon ... More >>

  • News

    April 7, 2005
  • Best of Houston

    September 26, 2002

    Best Democrat

    District 147 State Representative Garnet Coleman

  • News

    June 6, 2002

    Con's Con

    A contained experiment in Medicaid finally gets uncovered

  • News

    August 31, 2000

    Lucky Strikes Back

    A tobacco company takes to the streets to reassure marginalized smokers

  • News

    August 19, 1999

    Dangerous Deficits

    Mental health cuts may come back to haunt the public

  • News

    July 17, 1997

    Holistic Touch

    Some ex-patients credit the mind-body therapy of New Age healer JoAnne Mandel with saving their lives. Others say her compassion stopped at the bottom line.

  • Calendar

    November 17, 1994
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