— AARP is here to help you take on today – and every day. From sharing practical resources, to holding fun activities and events, AARP is providing opportunities to connect and help build an even stronger Texas for all ages to live, work and play. We hope you’ll join us!

— How will Fort Worth’s next mayor continue the city’s progress towards becoming a more livable community for people of all ages and ethnicities? This key question will frame the upcoming mayoral forum on the campus of Tarrant County Community College on Thursday, April 11. The Fort Worth mayoral forum will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. in the South Campus Rotunda of Tarrant County Community College, located at 5301 Campus Drive, Fort Worth, TX 76119. The event is free …

— Sweeping bipartisan legislation to end surprise medical billing in Texas was filed in the Legislature today, garnering high praise from AARP Texas as a monumental step toward protecting consumers from often sky-high unexpected medical charges. The reaction pertains to Senate Bill 1264 by Senator Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) and a soon-to-be-filed companion bill by Representative Trey Martinez Fischer (D-San Antonio). The measures would remove patients from the center of billing disputes and would prevent consumers from receiving debilitating charges …

— State lawmakers have filed bills to help bring high-speed internet to rural Texas. Senator Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) and Reps. Charles “Doc” Anderson (R-Waco) and Four Price (R-Amarillo) have sponsored bills that seek to improve broadband access in areas of Texas that are currently underserved. Broadband refers to high-speed internet access that is always on and is faster than a dial-up connection. It includes technologies like Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) and cable modem. While broadband access is a problem in many …

— With thousands of Texans getting hit by surprise medical bills, eight organizations representing consumers, businesses, and health insurers have joined forces in support of legislative action to protect patients from unexpected and excessive health care costs. The leading organizations, including AARP Texas, have come together to advance five key principles to ensure that patients get the care they need at costs they can afford. “Too often, Texans are getting slammed with surprise, out-of-network bills due to no fault of their …

— They’re back! Texas lawmakers have returned to Austin for the start of a 140-day legislative session in which they’ll craft a new two-year state spending plan, deliberate over hundreds of bills, and work through a long list of issues on behalf of the state’s 28 million residents. On this opening day of ceremonies at the Capitol, the House elects a new speaker, Angleton Republican Rep. Dennis Bonnen, and the Senate gavels in under the leadership of Dan Patrick, the state’s …

— The number of freestanding emergency rooms in Texas has grown from zero to more than 200 in less than a decade. In fact, Texas is home to more than half of all the freestanding ERs in the country. An AARP Texas investigation has found that many of these facilities are using misleading language about whether they’re in-network for insurance, putting Texans in peril of receiving burdensome surprise medical bills. A state law passed in 2009 cleared the way for the creation …

— Por Tom Korosec Texas ha logrado avanzar en la reducción del uso de antipsicóticos en los hogares de ancianos. Esto fue gracias a la atención por parte de reguladores federales y estatales y de grupos de defensa del consumidor como AARP, además de debido a iniciativas de la industria. AARP Texas seguirá dándole prioridad a este tema cuando la legislatura estatal comience su sesión el 8 de enero. “Los médicos a veces recetan antipsicóticos para intentar sedar químicamente a una …

— By Tom Korosec Texas has made progress on reducing the use of antipsychotic drugs in nursing homes as a result of attention from federal and state regulators and consumer groups like AARP, as well as industry efforts. AARP Texas will continue to advance the issue as a priority when the state Legislature begins its session Jan. 8. “Sometimes physicians will prescribe antipsychotic drugs in an attempt to chemically sedate an individual in lieu of appropriate staff attention. This is a …

— A bill just pre-filed by Senator Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) and backed by several Republican co-sponsors would give Texas courts the additional resources they need to effectively oversee guardianships and protect many vulnerable Texans. Guardianship reforms are a key issue for AARP during the upcoming Texas legislative session. SB 31 would establish the Office of Guardianship Abuse, Fraud and Exploitation Deterrence, designed to provide additional resources and assistance to courts with jurisdiction over guardianship proceedings. The bill’s low number is an …

— An AARP poll released October 1 shows more than two-thirds of voters age 50 and older in Texas’ Seventh Congressional District believe Congress should strengthen Medicare and Social Security, address rising prescription drug costs, and strengthen and support family caregivers. “With Election Day less than 50 days away, candidates in the Seventh Congressional District would be wise to listen to the state’s most powerful voting group: those age 50 and older,” said Bob Jackson, AARP Texas director. “History shows older …