News Roundup: Authorities Say A Texas Man Is Behind The Shooting Of A Former Baseball Star

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelJune 21, 2019 1:54 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

A Texas man is accused of being the mastermind behind the shooting that wounded former Boston Red Sox player David Ortiz in the Dominican Republic. Officials there think Victor Hugo Gomez ordered the plot that ultimately injured the beloved baseball star – known to his fans as “Big Papi.”

Authorities say the last address they have for Gomez is in Katy, a suburb of Houston.

Earlier this week, the attorney general for the Dominican Republic, Jean Alain Rodriguez, explained that Ortiz was not the intended target of the attack. Instead he says the target was actually a friend of Ortiz who was sitting with him at the same table.

The Houston Chronicle reports that U.S. federal agents previously indicted Gomez in a massive sting on cocaine and heroin traffickers in Texas in March.

Ortiz, who was shot once in the back at close range, remains hospitalized in the intensive care unit at Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital after ongoing surgery.  This week, doctors upgraded his condition to good.

Texans who work for a large employer are more likely to get a surprise bill for emergency care compared to any other state in the country, according to research published yesterday by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Ashley Lopez with KUT News reports this a large population in the state that will NOT be protected by new legislation aimed at shielding Texans from surprise bills.

Large employers health plans are regulated by the federal government. The new law signed by Gov. Greg Abbott only focuses on state regulated policies. And according to Karen Pollitz with the Kaiser Family Foundation, that means there are still a lot of Texans likely to get charged out of network for medical care during an emergency – resulting in a surprise bill. Pollitz says the national rate of surprise bills in emergencies is 18 percent… but…

“Among people covered by large employer plans in Texas, 38% of emergency claims included at least one surprise medical bill. So, it’s a much bigger problem among workers in the state of Texas,” Pollitz says.

The study also found that 27% of planned hospital stays in Texas resulted in a surprise medical bill for someone with insurance from a large employer. Democratic Congressman Lloyd Doggett of Austin has been working on passing federal protections for people with large employer plans.

The state’s top trio of Republican lawmakers are holding a press conference  in Austin today.

Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen did not reveal what they would discuss ahead of time. At the noon event, they revealed the state plans to address the influx of migrants at the border by deploying 1,000 national guard troops to the area.

The three lawmakers are coming off what’s been dubbed a “kumbaya” legislative session, where big bills on school finance and property taxes were passed. Abbott even signed off on the state’s new two-year budget without making a single line-item veto.