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Posts Tagged ‘Texas Department of State Health Services’

State issues new guidelines for birth and death certificates

That was quick. The state has issued new guidelines for filing and changing vital records to recognize same-sex marriage status, as ordered by a federal judge in San Antonio In a court advisory filed late Wednesday, the Texas Attorney General’s Office and the Texas Department of State Health Services said they believe the new guidelines […]

Paxton gets a deadline

Better stick to it. In an order late Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia also instructed Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office and the Texas Department of State Health Services to approve all pending applications for death and birth certificates involving married gay couples by that date. The judge is holding both agencies to their […]

Paxton avoids contempt hearing

He accomplished this by folding like a lawn chair on the issue of same-sex death and birth certificates. Wednesday’s contempt of court hearing for Attorney General Ken Paxton and a state health official was canceled Monday after state officials agreed to allow death certificates to acknowledge same-sex marriages, a lawyer involved in the case said. […]

State Health Services department finally amends that death certificate

Good. Complying with a federal court order, Texas has issued an amended death certificate acknowledging a Conroe man as the husband of a same-sex spouse who had died in January. The men had been married in New Mexico in 2014, when Texas still banned gay marriage. Shortly after the change was made Thursday night, state […]

There’s more to complying with SCOTUS than issuing marriage licenses

Looks like Ken Paxton may get to learn that the hard way. A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Texas must recognize the same-sex marriage of a Conroe resident by naming him as the surviving spouse on his late husband’s death certificate. And U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia also ordered Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and […]

I’m not the only one who thought the state’s response to the birth certificate lawsuit was specious

Actual legal experts didn’t think much of it, either. The state of Texas can’t hide behind sovereign immunity to escape a lawsuit for denying birth certificates to U.S. citizen children of undocumented immigrants, the director of the University of Texas’ Transnational Worker Rights Clinic said Tuesday. That state’s claim of immunity is mere “boilerplate,” said […]

State wants birth certificate lawsuit dropped

I don’t know about that. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Wednesday asked a federal district judge to dismiss a lawsuit that claims a state agency violated the U.S. Constitution by denying birth certificates to U.S.-citizen children of immigrant parents. Attorneys with Paxton’s office said that the Texas Department of State Health Services, which is […]

More on the state’s refusal to issue birth certificates

The Observer follows up. Two legislators have weighed in on the controversy over Texas’ refusal to grant birth certificates to some children of undocumented families. On Wednesday, Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, vice chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, sent a letter to Texas Department of State Health Services Commissioner Kirk Cole, referencing an […]

Revisiting birth certificates

This is one of those next steps that needs to be taken. After the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage, some gay and lesbian couples in Texas have raised questions about another legal document – birth certificates. They want Texas birth certificates to list two parents’ names, even if a child has two moms or […]

Lawsuit filed over state refusal to issue birth certificates

I’m sure this won’t be contentious at all. For nearly 150 years, the United States, under the 14th Amendment, has recognized people born here as citizens, regardless of whether their parents were citizens. But Texas has other plans. In the last year, the state has refused to issue birth certificates to children who were born […]

Clinics consider reopening

There’s a lot of uncertainty in the decisionmaking process, that’s for sure. Abortion providers cheered a move by the U.S. Supreme Court to temporarily block part of a Texas law that would have closed more than half the state’s 19 remaining abortion clinics. Now they are studying whether it could also allow them to reopen […]

Don’t expect the Harris County Clerk to be ready for the SCOTUS same sex marriage ruling

The Press follows up on a question that we have examined before. [Harris County Clerk Stan] Stanart isn’t planning on staying open later or doing anything to prepare to handle an influx of same-sex couples should the Supremes decide in favor of gay marriage, and he doesn’t seem concerned about getting the right application forms […]

Getting ready for the SCOTUS same sex marriage ruling

Travis County is prepped and raring to go. If the U.S. Supreme Court rules that same-sex couples have the right to marry, Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir plans to be ready. The clerk’s office, which issues and records marriage licenses from its location at 5501 Airport Blvd., plans to offer extended evening and weekend hours […]

Let the budgetary games begin

The House takes up the budget today, with over 300 amendments and riders queued up for votes. A couple of things to watch for as the debate goes on: Killing vouchers. Lawmakers in the Texas House will have a chance to draw a line in the sand over private school vouchers during the upcoming battle […]

Diabetes

What happens when you expand access to health care in America? More people with previously undiagnosed illnesses can get the diagnosis and treatment that they need. Putting off visits to the doctor because you don’t have insurance is common, says Dr. Vivian Fonseca, a professor of medicine and endocrinology at Tulane University, in New Orleans. […]

Measles

We haven’t had an outbreak in Texas. Yet. Measles has replaced Ebola as the infectious disease threat of the moment, but the only recent case in Texas occurred in Fort Worth in mid-January and was unrelated to the current outbreak that originated in Disneyland. The Houston health department has tested two suspected cases and both […]

It’s skunk vaccination time

Again. Fresh from victories over rabies strains in the coyote and gray fox, Texas [launched] its annual aerial assault on one of the state’s top remaining carriers: skunks. The state health department Wednesday [began] dropping 1.4 million doses of edible rabies vaccines over a 17-county area between Houston and Austin, where laboratories have consistently confirmed […]

Why would you want to regulate that?

I mean, what are a few fiery explosions among friends? Members of the state House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee have been struggling for several months over how to respond to last year’s massive explosion at the West Fertilizer Co. that killed 15 and devastated the nearby city of West. On Tuesday, committee Chairman […]

Medicaid expansion: Still a great deal, especially for cities

So many uninsured people could get covered if Medicaid expansion were universal instead of just here and there. Expanding Medicaid under the new health care law would do a lot to slash the number of uninsured people, at least in some of the nation’s largest cities, according to a new report. A review of 14 […]

Vaccinating skunks

To prevent rabies, of course. Texas, which has long campaigned for family pets to be vaccinated against rabies, is now attacking from the sky one of the state’s foulest carriers of the disease: skunks. Skunks would obviously put up quite a stink if caught and hauled in to a veterinarian’s office for shots. So the […]

A reduction in funding for women’s health leads to fewer women getting health care

Shocking, I know. The number of claims filed for medical and family planning services in the new state-run Texas Women’s Health Program has dropped since the state ousted Planned Parenthood from it and set up its own program without federal financing, according to figures from the Health and Human Services Commission. Stephanie Goodman, a spokeswoman […]

Senate begins omnibus abortion bill hearings

Remember, it’s all about women’s health. Senate Bill 1, and its companion, House Bill 2, would ban abortion at 20 weeks post-fertilization and recognize that the state has a compelling interest to protect fetuses from pain; require doctors performing abortions to have hospital admitting privileges within 30 miles of the facility; require doctors to administer […]

Feds bypass the state on Title X funds

Very interesting. The federal government announced [Monday] that it would no longer award a large slice of federal family-planning funds to the state of Texas. Instead, the feds will award the $6.5 million grant to the Women’s Health and Family Planning Association of Texas, a coalition of providers led by Fran Hagerty, to distribute to […]

No injunction in state lawsuit for Planned Parenthood

Bummer. Travis County District Judge Stephen Yelenosky on Friday refused to grant Planned Parenthood’s request for a temporary injunction to be included in the Texas Women’s Health Program. “Probable injury is not really sufficient,” said Yelenosky, who ruled in favor of Planned Parenthood at a hearing in December, “… because it is unlikely that the […]

A family planning end run?

This is interesting. Texas lawmakers have spent the past two years attacking family planning services in the state, cutting funds for programs that provide women with birth control and wellness exams. Now family planning advocates are fighting back. A coalition of providers plans to bypass Gov. Rick Perry and the Texas Legislature and apply directly […]

Psych hospital privatization rejected

Good. The Department of State Health Services has rejected a bid by Geo Care to privatize Kerrville State Hospital. Last year, legislators told State Health Services it had to solicit proposals from mental health providers that wanted to run one of the state-run psychiatric hospitals. Those proposals had to show that the bidder could run […]

Health care access continues to shrink in Texas

Who needs family planning services? I mean, every kid is born to people who want and can care for them, am I right? About 15 percent of Houston-area clinics that received state funding for family planning services closed their doors because of budget cuts last fiscal year, and another 30 percent have reduced service hours, […]

Why are we paying for a privatized psych hospital?

Makes no sense to me. The Department of State Health Services has spent more than $2 million on bond interest for a psychiatric hospital that it doesn’t own and that was championed by Senate Finance Chairman Tommy Williams. But that’s not all the state is paying for, said Montgomery County Commissioner Ed Chance, who spearheaded […]

Testifying about the Women’s Health Program

More hearings like this, please. The Texas Department of State Health Services got an earful today from lawmakers and women’s health advocates at a public meeting in Austin to discuss proposed rules for the Texas Women’s Health Program — specifically, the state’s plan to sacrifice 90 percent of federal funding for the program in order […]

Opposing the privatized psych hospital

Some pushback on a bad idea. A coalition of influential Texas organizations is pushing back against the proposed privatization of a state psychiatric hospital by Geo Care, a subsidiary of a prison operations group that has a troubled history in Texas. The Department of State Health Services is preparing to privatize one of the state […]

Privatizing psych hospitals makes as much sense as privatizing prisons

Especially when it’s the same outfit doing the privatizing in each case. Sixteen months after the Montgomery County Mental Health Treatment Facility opened in Conroe, the state’s first publicly funded, privately run psychiatric hospital is facing at least $53,000 in state fines for serious shortcomings in patient care. The private operator, Geo Care, is a […]

Rick Perry’s vision for women’s health in Texas

More talk than action, and the numbers don’t add up. Are we surprised? Texas health officials have delivered a proposal to the federal government that outlines their plans for transitioning the Women’s Health Program from a program primarily supported by federal funds to one that runs on state money. They want the federal government to […]

The teen birth rate in Texas

The good news is that it’s declining. The bad news is that as with so many other things, Texas ranks among the lowest in the country. Despite a slight improvement from 2009, Texas still had one of the nation’s highest teen birth rates in 2010, data released Tuesday show. Texas took a baby step in […]

The next battleground for cottage foods

You may recall that last year home bakers were able to get a law passed that allowed them to legally sell their products in the state. (See here for all the background.) Now that the legislative work is done, the next step is to deal with the rulemaking, and the regulations that have been proposed […]