New TPPF report documents dangers of government-run health care

September 11, 2009

AUSTIN – Texas patients face the prospect of longer wait times for medical procedures, inadequate and outdated medical equipment, and markedly higher mortality rates if the U.S. Congress follows through on its plans for a government-run health care system, according to a new report released today by the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

The report, “Nationalized Health Care: Cure Worse than the Disease,” compiles data on medical outcomes in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the European Union.  Among the findings:

* Five-year cancer survival rates for American women are seven points higher than the European Union average, while such rates are 19 points higher for American men;

* British women have nearly twice the breast cancer mortality rate as American women, while British men are three times as likely to die from prostate cancer;

* Patients in Britain’s National Health Service are more than seven times as likely to wait at least four months for a non-emergency surgical procedure; and

* Advanced diagnostic technology such as MRI machines and CT scanners are much more readily accessible to American patients than those in Britain or Canada.

“The evidence clearly shows that countries with nationalized health care systems engage in medical rationing and have poor medical outcomes compared to the United States,” said TPPF health care policy analyst Elizabeth Young.  “Our Congress should not follow countries like Britain and Canada down the path of poorer quality of care, decreased access to treatment, and increased costs.”


Federal Tax Savings Program for Employers Expanded

September 10, 2009

Employers who hire unemployed veterans or eligible 16- to 24-year-olds are now entitled to receive up to $2,400 in tax savings for each member of those groups added to their payrolls in 2009 and 2010. As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, these groups now are included among Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) target populations.

In order for employers to qualify for WOTC, new hires who are unemployed veterans must have been receiving unemployment benefits for at least four weeks and youth must not have been regularly employed or regularly attending school for six months prior to being hired.

“WOTC gives employers an incentive to hire from groups that face extra challenges in their efforts to find work,” said TWC Chairman Tom Pauken. “It’s particularly encouraging to me that unemployed veterans now are included in this program. By hiring job seekers from any of these groups, employers are able to receive tax credits and tax savings for their businesses.”

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) assists employers by certifying the eligibility of individuals for this federal employer tax benefit.

Other groups eligible for WOTC include:

• disabled veterans

• veterans receiving food stamps

• ex-offenders

• residents living within empowerment zones, renewal communities or rural renewal communities

• vocational rehabilitation referrals

• youth who live in empowerment zones or renewal communities and are hired for temporary summer work

• food stamp recipients

• supplemental security income recipients

• Temporary Assistance for Needy Family benefit recipients

Within each group, including the two new ones, additional conditions must be met. The tax credit amount is between $1,200 and $9,000 per employee, depending on which group the newly hired worker represents.

The addition of the two new eligible groups is retroactive to January 1, 2009 and employers have until October 17 to apply for certifications from TWC for applicants hired prior to September 17. More information on WOTC, including all the eligibility requirements and the forms employers need to apply for certification is available online at:, or by calling the TWC WOTC unit at 1-800-695-6879.

New Blog to Focus on Putting Texans Back to Work

August 29, 2009

The Texas Workforce Commission Chairman today announced the launch of a new weblog

“Our office is committed to openness, transparency, and authentic dialogue with the people we serve,” said Tom Pauken, Chairman of the Texas Workforce Commission. “This new blog will allow us to share important information in real time with the public and the media. Economic conditions can change on a daily basis. If we are going to keep people informed, we need a tool that can keep pace with the speed of events.”

The new blog will feature communications direct from the agency’s Chairman. Posts will be made that address important policy issues, statistics on economic conditions, and updates for citizens. Interested parties can read policy statements, sign up for RSS feeds, and request email notification of new posts. Over time, additional features will be added that will add timely resources for employers, job-seekers, and those interested in improving the Texas economy.

The new blog is available at and will be updated on a daily basis by the Chairman and members of his office. as the first step in a wider program to communicate information on the economy. The blog is the first of its kind in Texas state government and will help Texas job-seekers, employers, and the public at large stay informed during these difficult economic times.

Wednesday Evening Press Clips

July 9, 2009

Burkablog, Lots of talk that Perry will report giant fundraising numbers

Burnt Orange Report, TX-Sen: Florence Shapiro Has Support of 15 GOP State Senators

Burnt Orange Report, The Hill Marks 2 Texas House Seats a “Dark Horse Races”

Burnt Orange Report, The Future of Democrats in Texas

Burnt Orange Report, TX-10: Jack McDonald Raises $634,000 in First Four Months

Trail Blazers, Gun owners as political sheep

Kay vs. Rick, Gov. Perry claims $9.3 Million in Campaign War Chest

July 6 Press Clips

July 7, 2009

Burkablog, The Perry Fundraising Letter

Burnt Orange Report, John Cornyn, Rick Perry Booed at Fourth of July Tea Party Event

Eye on Williamson, Statewide News – SBOE, health care, and toll roads

The Huffington Post, Cornyn Booed, Called Traitor And “The Problem” At Tea Party Protest (VIDEO)

Daily Kos, Texas Tea … baggery

PoliTex, Cruz reports more than $1 million in fund-raising

Postcards, UPDATED: Cruz, attorney general hopeful, touts contributions and donors including President George H.W. Bush

Trail Blazers, Republican attorney general hopeful Ted Cruz raises $1 million; Dan Branch says, ‘me, too’           


Tuesday Press Clips

July 2, 2009

The Austin American-Statesman, Dewhurst: Senate could conclude business in two days

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Texas Legislature’s special session shouldn’t be rushed

The New York Times, Franken’s Victory Bolsters Democratic Grip in Senate           

The New York Times, Roberts Shifts Court to Right, With Help From Kennedy

The Houston Chronicle, Transportation leads agenda for session

The Austin American-Statesman, Zapata: Special session should include CHIP expansion

The Brownsville Herald, Legislators expecting short stay in Austin for special session

The Dallas Morning News, All ready for the special session? Lawmakers introduce bills responsive to Perry’s call

Wednesday Evening Press Clips

June 25, 2009


Burkablog, Roberts Rules: The Northwest Austin MUD case and the future of the Voting Rights Act

Burkablog, The Lyceum Poll: the issues (politics comes tomorrow)

Off the Kuff, Kirk Watson on the vetoes

Off the Kuff, Friends and foes

Trail Blazers, Hutchison says Gov. Perry has repelled people from the GOP

Three Wise Men, Poll has bad news for Texas GOP and opening for Dems

Monday Evening Press Clips

June 22, 2009

Burnt Orange Report, Schieffer to launch Gubernatorial Bid Wednesday; Declares state suffers from ‘Crisis in Leadership’

Off the Kuff, Bacarisse, too

Off the Kuff, Once more with the vetoes

Off the Kuff, Is there a problem with the stimulus funds?

PoliTex, Perry fires up the campaign troops

Texas Politics, Gov. Perry: A message to my foes — and you know who you are.

Texas on the Potomac, Cornyn, Hutchison’s reaction to Ensign scandal? Don’t ask

The North Texas Conservative, You Don’t Toss The CEO If The Company Has Been Going Strong

The Travis Monitor, Socialism by any other name still stinks

Daily Kos, SCOTUS Upholds Voting Rights Act — For Now, Anyway

Thursday Morning Press Clips

June 18, 2009

The Dallas Morning News, Texas Democrats try to block Perry’s use of stimulus funds

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, It’s time for Texas governor to put his stamp on Legislature’s action

The Austin American-Statesman, John Tower paved way for GOP’s rise to power in Texas

The Austin American-Statesman, Cornyn: Lower the cost of health care without sacrificing control to Washington

The Austin Chronicle, Gov. Perry: I SIGNED A TAX CUT (*and a tax increase too*)

The Austin Chronicle, Special Session Is the Only Thing That’s Certain

Wednesday Evening Press Clips

June 17, 2009

The Daily Texan, Affirmative reaction

Burkablog, Gallup: Conservatives are largest ideological group

Burnt Orange Report, TX-10: Republican Mike McCaul Named A Top Target for DCCC in 2010

Burnt Orange Report, Bill White, Twitter, & Social Media: Texas Democrats Adapt to Internet Organization

Daily Kos, Compassionate conservatism and the death of GOP empathy

Off the Kuff, The most important issue in the Republican gubernatorial primary

PoliTex, Local family, interest groups, hope to add their issues to special session

Trail Blazers, Perry signs bills, Hutchison assigns blame