PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - March 5, 2021 


New rules should speed large-scale clean-energy projects in NY; Texas' Gov. Abbott tries to shift COVID blame to release of "immigrants."


2021Talks - March 5, 2021 


A marathon Senate session begins to pass COVID relief; Sanders plans a $15 minimum wage amendment; and work continues to approve Biden's cabinet choices.

“Death Panel” Accusations Hit Texas Senate

Downloading Audio

Click to download

We love that you want to share our Audio! And it is helpful for us to know where it is going.
Media outlets that are interested in downloading content should go to www.newsservice.org
Click Here if you do not already have an account and need to sign up.
Please do it now, as the option to download our audio packages is ending soon

March 28, 2011

AUSTIN, Texas - A Senate Finance panel has recommended restoring $4.5 billion for various health and human services in the next state budget. Notably absent from the subcommittee's priority list is a program that provides drugs to low-income HIV/AIDS patients.

One of two members who voted against the spending plan says it amounts to deciding who lives and who dies. AIDS Services of Austin Executive Director Paul Scott agrees.

"These medications are so critical, it's as if you're denying someone oxygen, and the consequence is death."

No one argues the program hasn't been successful. About 14,000 low-income Texans are currently benefiting from the free medications - and in today's rough economy, enrollment is rising.

Scott says alternative resources for the needy are already tapped out. He rejects arguments that, with a $24 billion shortfall, the state simply can't afford to spend $20 million maintaining the drug program's growth. Every community in Texas, he says, would feel an even greater financial impact if the state stopped helping poor people who are living with HIV.

"With the drugs, they can get a job, they can pay their taxes, they can live their lives and they don't carry an additional expense burden on our health system. That's the whole reason why this program is so effective, in terms of preventative care."

Senators who recommended against fully funding the HIV Medication Program say they're just trying to balance the budget, as state law requires. They expressed hope that additional non-tax revenues might be found for the drugs, sometime in the future.

Sens. Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) and John Whitmire (D-Houston) opposed the Subcommittee on Medicaid spending recommendations Thursday. The panel's five remaining members - all Republicans - endorsed the recommendations. The full Finance Committee takes up the measure next.

Peter Malof/Deb Courson, Public News Service - TX