— AARP Texas today lauded a proposal by Texas Sunset Advisory Commission Vice Chair Representative Chris Paddie — and approved by the commission — to ensure the safety of vulnerable Texans during natural disasters by taking steps to immediately fix some of the issues that plagued the State of Texas Emergency Assistance Registry (STEAR) during Hurricane Harvey a year ago. STEAR was intended to help local emergency management to identify and locate persons needing assistance during a natural disaster. Currently, 57,000 …

— As Hurricane Harvey ravaged Southeast Texas last August, one Texas assisted living facility (ALF) became infamous when a photo of elderly residents sitting in waist-deep water went viral. This image and other stories led AARP to examine complaints made to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) about the safety of residents in Texas’ assisted living facilities during and after the hurricane. Records show that a number of assisted living facility residents faced harm, neglect or abandonment during Harvey …

— Medicare is 53 years old today. The Congress elected during this year’s midterm elections will likely determine what Medicare’s future is, including whether it will continue meeting the promise made to those who have paid into the system over the years. That’s why it is in the best interest of every American voter to find out whether their member of Congress will work to improve Medicare on behalf of beneficiaries or cut Medicare and pass the costs on to the …

— By Thomas Korosec When Elizabeth Ellis, a nurse practitioner, opened the B.I.S. Community Clinic last year, she became the first primary care provider based in the small town of Bedias in more than 80 years. “Rural health is why I became a nurse practitioner,” said Ellis, 53. During flu season this past winter, she saw about 160 patients a month—most either under 15 or older than 50, and mostly from rural Grimes County (pop. 26,000). Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) …

— Texans living in rural areas continue to struggle with access to broadband internet, a utility that is increasingly essential to everyday life. As connectivity becomes mandatory for the requirements of everyday life, including access to education, health care, job applications and bill pay, more people are being forced to choose between the high cost of at-home service or being cut off from the modern world. To help develop community-driven solutions, Glasshouse Policy recently hosted a town hall and stakeholder event …

— By Tom Korosec On a chilly day late last October, Bob Bonilla and other AARP volunteers grabbed brooms and paintbrushes and went to work making their Fort Worth neighborhood more walkable and age-friendly. They painted curbs and crosswalks and created a “pop-up” traffic circle to slow vehicles and make their gentrifying neighborhood safer for pedestrians. “Earlier we did a walking tour to identify some of the problems,” said Bonilla, 67, a retired schoolteacher. They noted that residents of a nearby …

— Utility regulators in Texas have been sending positive signs they will make sure consumers get their fair share of savings from the recent corporate tax cuts — but let’s hold the applause until we start seeing lower monthly bills. For the sake of millions of families, this needs to happen sooner rather than later. In many states, regulators protect the public interest by making sure utility rates are fair and reasonable. But in many parts of Texas, the Legislature deregulated …

5 States

— The favorite holiday of our proud state falls on Friday, March 2. While a weekend trip to the San Antonio Southside Missions is a popular way to commemorate our state’s independence, as a Texan, you’re probably not too keen on following the herd. Here are three rebellious ways that you can embrace your Texan identity and keep community close to your heart. Explore the Multicultural Lone Star State Houston was listed in 2017 as the most culturally diverse city in …

— In recognition of his work during the 2017 Regular Texas Legislative Session, we recently presented State Rep. John Frullo (R-Lubbock) with a Texas Legislative Achievement Award. Rep. Frullo authored and fought for successful passage of legislation – SB 507 – that increases Texans’ access to mediation after being hit with a surprise medical bill. Specifically, SB 507 makes mediation available regardless of physician or facility type. It also gives current and retired teachers this right. The legislation was signed into …

— In recognition of his work during the 2017 Regular Texas Legislative Session, state Rep. Four Price (R-Amarillo) was presented today a Texas Legislative Achievement Award from AARP Texas. Rep. Price authored and fought for legislation – House Bill 2425 – known as the CARE Act to help Texans when their loved ones go into the hospital and as they transition home. The CARE (Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable) Act ensures that family caregivers receive consultation in medical tasks, such as how …