Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

  • Blogs

    June 30, 2014

    No Contraception for Employees of Hobby Lobby's 15 Houston Stores [Updated]

    This story was updated to include a statement from Governor Rick Perry Hobby Lobby has 15 stores in the Greater Houston Area, and none of them will have to offer insurance coverage for birth control methods the company equates to abortion. The Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 that the Religious Freedom ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 30, 2014

    Several Hospitals Make List for High Infection Rates

    The Centers for Disease Control said more than 1.5 million people get infections while they are in the hospital. As part of a program through the Affordable Care Act, hospitals that receive Medicare money will be hit with a penalty if they have too many people get sick while seeking treatment. A re ... More >>

  • News

    April 10, 2014

    Rick Perry Is the King of Pay-to-Play

    Rick Perry's employment agency and McCutcheon simplified.

  • 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 >>

  • Music

    March 13, 2014

    How Will Obamacare Affect Musicians?

    The Affordable Care Act could offer a path to health care for struggling artists.

  • 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

    February 19, 2014

    Infant Mortality is Higher When a Republican is in the White House, Study Shows

    Let's get this out of the way at the front. The study -- the one I'm about to delineate -- does not mean that there is a causal relationship between Republican presidents and infant mortality. It means that after the authors controlled for certain relevant variables -- e.g., education attainment, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 17, 2014

    Cruz, Hated Enough by Republicans, Should Get a Food Tester, ABC News Reporter Says

    Republicans have been at odds with Sen. Ted Cruz for a while now, but his latest stunt seems to have propelled inner-party hatred to new heights, the kind that might require a food taster, according to Jonathan Karl at ABC News. Cruz has spent much of his time in the Senate taking his own very uniq ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 23, 2014

    Louie Gohmert Rejects Obamacare, Personally

    There's a lurching feeling that comes when you realize you don't have any health insurance. You'll be walking along, a swing in your step, a grin on your face, when it hits you: Anything could happen. You just walked under a ladder. Fool! You just felt like you had to sneeze. It's pneumonia! That ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 22, 2014

    Truthiness and Free Speech: Supreme Court Takes Up Important First Amendment Case

    The Supreme Court (SCOTUS) recently agreed to hear a case that has important implications for political discourse in campaigns. Indeed, this case has a little bit of everything: abortion rights, free speech, campaign finance and PACs. Here's what happened: an anti-abortion PAC, Susan B. Anthony Lis ... More >>

  • News

    January 16, 2014

    Lane Closure Exposure

    New Jersey traffic retribution scandal tough for Houstonians to understand.

  • Blogs

    January 15, 2014

    Greg Abbott: Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss

    If you have occasion to meet or see Greg Abbott, it's impossible not to notice that he is in a wheelchair. In a freak accident, a tree fell on him when he was 26 years old and rendered him a paraplegic. However, this has not stopped him from ascending the ranks of Texas politics and he is, presumab ... 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

    January 2, 2014

    10 Tech Resolutions for an App-y New Year

    Every year beginning January 2, people start with resolutions they can't or won't possibly stick with, as if the arbitrary start to a new calendar year is going to be the impetus we all need to be better, skinnier, healthier, smarter and less drunk. By February, it's all over and we try to figure ou ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 11, 2013

    Ted Cruz Part II: The Tea Party is Going to "Primary" Senator Cornyn

    Senator John Cornyn is no one's idea of a liberal. Senator Cornyn is no one's idea of a RINO or a squish. Indeed, the non-partisan Nation Journal ranked Cornyn the second most conservative member of the U.S. Senate. As Talking Points Memo reports on Cornyn's conservative bona fides: He has an "A" r ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 10, 2013

    Ted Cruz Has His Own Coloring Book (And It's Glorious)

    Sen. Ted Cruz is the gift that keeps on giving. Yes, he's usually out there spouting some Tea Party-infused dogma or doing things that you know must make some of the more mainline Republicans want to smack their heads on the table, but Cruz occasionally does things with a twist of fancy that Hair Ba ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 6, 2013

    Free Tommy! New Lawsuit Argues Chimpanzees Have Human Rights

    Yale law professor Jack Balkin is credited with coining the term "off the wall" legal arguments and has written how "off the wall" arguments can become accepted as mainstream or obviously correct. Some examples: it would have been "off the wall" for an antebellum Southern lawyer to argue that slaves ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 28, 2013

    Thankful for Thanksgiving: Five Reasons It is My Favorite Holiday

    Everyone has a favorite holiday. I would dare say for many that is Christmas. Others might prefer July 4 or the always scintillating President's Day. For me, it's Thanksgiving. Much of that is likely owed to the fact that my family hosted the holiday every year and it was the one time when, at least ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 27, 2013

    The Top 5 2013 Political Topics To Avoid at Thanksgiving Dinner

    In this age of pluralistic families, we are likely to encounter at our family Thanksgiving dinners folks of all political stripes. Perhaps you have a very conservative uncle/nephew/father, who thinks Obama is a raging socialist. Perhaps your younger sister is coming back from college imbued with a n ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 26, 2013

    City of Houston Launches Newsroom Web Site

    If we have learned anything from the rollout of the Affordable Care Act's website, it is that these things need to be tested heavily before they launch. The failure of the Obamacare website underscored the lessons I've personally learned in 15 years of building websites for customers, primarily that ... More >>

  • News

    November 14, 2013

    The San Jose Clinic Is Here to Take Care of Those Left Behind by the Texas Health-Care Debate

    Even after the Affordable Care Act, tens of thousands of Texans have no medical coverage. That is why the San Jose Clinic in Midtown still exists.

  • Blogs

    November 12, 2013

    Perry's Getting His Presidential Hair Ready Early, Railing Against Obamacare, Appearing in Iowa

    He's vacating the governor's office after this term is up in January 2015, but it looks like Gov. Rick Perry has no intention of letting that perfect mop of political hair languish in retirement. Judging by the smoke signals from his most recent forays into media, Perry is looking at another preside ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 29, 2013

    Sebelius Says Texas Politics Screwed Up Obamacare

    The Affordable Care Act has been rolled out, the insurance enrollment website went live and it's had a lot of snags in the process. Hair Balls will bet no one knows that better than U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. She's been out on tour, promoting Obamacare while simulta ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 28, 2013

    Ted Cruz: Politician, Populist, Lover of The Princess Bride

    Even after it seems that everything about the man has been said, Sen. Ted Cruz finds a way to restart the conversation. This time it's thanks to a cuddly-soft interview with the Des Moines Register. There Houston's own, the slightly Canadian Cruz let the veil fall a bit and showed his true colors, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 23, 2013

    Obamacare Opponents Put on "Obamascare" Halloween Party...for the Kids

    When you ask a kid what he wants for Halloween, he'll probably say Reese's or full-sized candy bars. I know. One year I decided to give out all Reese's, the full sized, not those "fun size" tiny things. By the end of the night, kids were literally showing up at my door chanting, "REE-SES, REE-SES!" ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 22, 2013

    Somebody Wants Ted Cruz Dead (And Not a Member of His Own Party)

    Sen. Ted Cruz has made a name for himself with all the government shutdown hijinks he's pulled in the past few weeks, but he's also ensured that there are a lot of people right now who don't much like guy, including at least one person who's been using Twitter to urge someone to get rid of Cruz. Wh ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 21, 2013

    Let Them Eat Cake: The Poverty of Libertarianism

    The GOP's ill-fated strategy to defund Obamacare via a government shutdown ended in a political defeat for the Republicans. But the Libertarian Party was happy: "Elected Republicans in the House can stimulate the productive private sector by slowing down Big Government," said Geoffrey J. Neale, cha ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 14, 2013

    Four Reasons Why Being Politically Ignorant May or May Not Matter

    The Onion, as it so often does, hits the nail on the head regarding political ignorance with this "headline": "Man Who Understands 8% Of Obamacare Vigorously Defends It From Man Who Understands 5%." The satirical headline is simply highlighting the commonplace that Americans simply do not know much ... More >>

  • News

    October 10, 2013

    Loving Obamacare

    Despite glitches, Houstonians flock to sign up to be covered by the new insurance plans.

  • Blogs

    October 8, 2013

    The Blame for the Current Government Crisis: Not the Answer You Expected

    American exceptionalism, for being an abstract idea, is a real aspect of American politics. Especially among those on the right -- see, e.g., Sarah Palin -- there is a belief that we are a blessed, unique nation (note the underlying theological tones). Part and parcel of American exceptionalism is a ... 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 >>

  • Blogs

    October 3, 2013

    Federal Government Shutdown And College Sports: The Best Press Release Ever

    As we drink our morning coffee and watch President Obama talk about how avoidable the federal government shutdown is and hear Republicans counter with their arguments, it's important to note that there have actually been several government shutdowns over the last few decades. So while this is more ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 2, 2013

    Despite Glitches, Houstonians Are Flocking to the Obamacare Exchanges

    Even as the United States government shut down over a deadlock in Congress regarding the continued funding of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, the insurance exchanges created by the law that allow private citizens to shop for plans that will cover them despite pre-existing condition ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 1, 2013

    Five Ways the Government Shutdown Will Screw Up Your Life

    With the Affordable Care Act tied to the federal budget, and the Senate and House of Representatives about as cooperative as a herd of sugared-up, nap-free toddlers, it seemed inevitable that the government would shut down at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday...and it did. A government shutdown hasn't happene ... More >>

  • News

    September 26, 2013

    How to Annoy Your Fellow Republicans

    Senator Ted Cruz continues to march to his own special drumbeat.

  • Blogs

    September 26, 2013

    Ted Cruz, The Miley Cyrus Of Politics, Reads "Green Eggs and Ham"

    Sen. Ted Cruz, the freshman senator from Texas with possible 2016 ambitions and a knack for pissing off fellow members of the Republican party he represents, has been everywhere lately. A few weeks ago there was the Canadian citizenship thing. Then he was tromping on the toes of his fellow Texan p ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 19, 2013

    Teddy Cruz is Annoying the Crap Out of People in D.C.

    Senator Ted Cruz is apparently pissing off everyone in Washington. From political blog The Monkey Cage: The staffer, whom two GOP sources identified as working for Representative John Culberson of Texas, went on to decry Cruz for holding events in Culberson's district and telling his constituent ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 12, 2013

    Rick Perry is a Trendsetter: Other States Threatening Secession

    As we know, Rick Perry likes to party like its 1860 (the year South Carolina became the first to secede in the "War Between the States"). Of course, Perry wanted to secede based on Obamacare and federal debt, not one of the great moral crimes in American history, but we all have our own cause celebr ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 21, 2013

    Perry Hates Obamacare, But He Still Wants Obamacare Money

    Gov. Rick Perry has a hatred for the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) that comes as natural as breathing to him, but it seems hate only goes so far when there's $100 million in federal funding on the table. When U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius came to Texas a few weeks ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 20, 2013

    Sebelius Announces Obamacare Video Contest From Houston, Perry Probably Isn't Entering

    You might be able to find someone who hates the Affordable Care Act more than Gov. Rick Perry, but you'll have to look hard, especially now that U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius came all the way to Houston on Monday to announce a video contest promoting the federal healthc ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 9, 2013

    Perry Goes Old School Mexican Bandito On Health Secretary About Affordable Care Act

    As has been made clear, Gov. Rick Perry isn't a fan of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), and it seems the guy with the perfect mop of hair is even less of a fan of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius after her swing through the state Thursday. Sebelius was in Austin to try ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 15, 2013

    Advocacy Group: Will Abbott be Just Another Perry, Just With Worse Hair?

    Now that state Attorney General Greg Abbott has thrown his hat in the gubernatorial ring, the Texas Organizing Project, an advocacy group for low- and middle-income families, is worried that many families will still lack access to affordable health care. Abbott has "led the charge against the Affor ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 21, 2013

    Steven Hotze Gets Funky: His New Songs Denounce Obamacare But Are Sadly Silent on Why Birth Control Makes Chicks Ugly

    We were stoked to hear that Republican activist Steven Hotze -- a physician who once extolled the virtues of 19th century snake oil such as colloidal silver and who belongs to a hardcore Christian sect that believes doctors shouldn't provide medical services on the Sabbath -- had recorded some anti- ... More >>

  • News

    April 25, 2013

    Thieves' Bazaar: Medicare Fraud

    Hospitals, doctors and dealers have made Medicare the nation's sweetest crime. The feds are now trying to shutter the door.

  • Blogs

    July 10, 2012

    An Obamacare Playlist You Can Afford

    The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act has now been almost two weeks ago. If you keep up with national news, or maybe just don't avoid the Internet machine, well, you have probably observed that people are still noticeably buzzing about the ruling. It does happen to be one o ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 9, 2012

    Rick Perry Stands Tall Against Socialism, Obamacare and Godless Federal Dollars

    Governor Rick Perry has confirmed in a letter today to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that he's no pal of socialism and as such, must reject two key measures of Obamacare - a state insurance exchange and expanding Medicaid. To embrace a state exchange would mean playing ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 29, 2012

    Wine and the Supreme Court Health Care Ruling

    When I was a student in Italy in my early twenties, I ate twice a day in a university cafeteria, where 3,000 lire (roughly $2) got you a pasta or rice first course (usually topped with tomato sauce or tomato and meat sauce), a second course of fish or meat with a side of vegetables, a piece of bread ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 28, 2012

    SCOTUS, Obamacare, CNN Effing Up: Supreme Court Decisions In The Twitterverse (UPDATED With Keen Rick Perry Insight)

    If you were two seconds late posting your "BREAKING NEWS!" report of the Supreme Court decision largely upholding Obamacare, you were left in the dust and looking like a fool, fool. Hey, dude, tell us something we don't already know! You get your news by Pony Express? Harrumph. frowny face, etc etc ... 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 >>

  • Blogs

    December 22, 2010

    Eight Tips for Improving Your Christmas Dinner Photos

    John McStravickGet creative with your Christmas dinner photos and even a drunken brawl will look good!​Christmas dinner can be a wonderful experience, sitting around a big table with family and friends laughing and enjoying each other's company. It can also be a horrible disaster complete with ... More >>

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