News Roundup: Expanding Medicaid Could Cover One-Third Of Uninsured Texans, Report Finds

Here’s our daily roundup of headlines from across the state.

By Becky FogelJuly 16, 2018 12:02 pm

Thousands of members of the NAACP are in San Antonio this week for the organization’s annual convention.

Texas Public Radio’s Joey Palacios reports the gathering will focus on curbing racism and increasing voter turnout.

NAACP President Derrick Johnson says the tone of the current political landscape is riddled with racial intolerance.

“We are watching an increase in racial hatred, violence, and activities that’s germinating from this White House,” Johnson says. “It is our goal not to allow what is taking place to become the norm.”

Johnson adds that voting is the currency of democracy, and one of the goals for this conference is to encourage people to treat the 2018 midterms elections like a presidential election year. Conference leaders are also making a strong push for younger members to increase voting among millennials. The conference will additionally have workshops on gerrymandering, gun violence, and women’s reproductive choices.

About two million Americans miss out on healthcare because they live in states that have not expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act – and more than a quarter of those people are in Texas.

A new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation finds 638,000 Texans fall into what’s known as the “coverage gap.” That means they make too much money for current Medicaid eligibility standards, but too little for ACA marketplace premium tax credits.

Anne Dunkelburg specializes in health care policy at the left-leaning Center for Public Policy Priorities in Austin.  She says if the state legislature expanded Medicaid, it would make a significant dent in the number of uninsured Texans – “about a third of our current uninsured,” she says.  “So not everybody in Texas who’s uninsured would be picked up by a change like this.”

Texas has the highest uninsured rate in the nation and the highest number of uninsured residents. Texas is also one of 17 states that has still not expanded Medicaid.

Top executives at Texas universities tend to make more money than their counterparts in other states.
A new report from the Chronicle of Higher Education ranks top staff at universities around the country.
Dan Bauman put the data together. He tells Houston Public Media a lack of pay restrictions in Texas, unlike other states, helps drive competition among universities.

“Obviously, there’s a desire to let people know that you’re the best university,” Bauman says. “And one of the ways you let people know you’re the best university and hiring the best people is to offer what you consider to be the best people the salary they’re demanding.”

Two out of the top ten most well-paid U.S. college presidents are outgoing chancellor William McRaven at the University of Texas, followed closely by John Sharp at Texas A&M. Both made over a million