Ashley Lopez | KERA News

Ashley Lopez

Ashley Lopez joined KUT in January 2016. She covers politics and health care, and is part of the NPR-Kaiser Health News reporting collaborative. Previously she worked as a reporter at public radio stations in Louisville, Ky.; Miami and Fort Myers, Fla., where she won a National Edward R. Murrow Award.

Ashley was also part of NPR’s Political Reporting Partnership during the 2016 presidential election. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

More than 5 million Texans didn’t have health insurance in 2018, according to figures released today from the U.S. Census Bureau. The year before, about 4.8 million Texans lacked coverage.

Former U.S. Housing Secretary Julian Castro, the only Latino seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, is struggling among likely Latinx voters in Texas.

Castro, the mayor of San Antonio from 2009-2014, had just short of 8% support among the voting bloc, according to a Texas Lyceum poll released Thursday.

Younger Texans are less likely to view democracy positively and more likely to want to significantly and structurally change American government, according to a Texas Lyceum poll released today.

Minorities and elderly voters will likely be the most affected by the elimination of straight-ticket voting in 2020, according to a new report from the Austin Community College Center for Public Policy and Political Studies.

Until somewhat recently, being a Texas Democrat was kind of a bummer.  

Jason Stanford, a longtime Democratic operative in the state, says he got data on the scope of that political melancholy in 2006 while running a gubernatorial race.

Large and small cities in Texas are becoming increasingly vulnerable to measles outbreaks as more parents exempt their children from required vaccinations, according to a new study from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.

The Trump administration is closer to banning some low-income, legal immigrants who are relying on public services like food stamps from legally entering the United States.

Democrats are hoping to flip six congressional seats in Texas in 2020. On Monday, Wendy Davis announced she’s running for one them.

Almost 40 child welfare and medical groups in Texas sent a letter to federal and state leaders Thursday expressing concern about the treatment of child migrants on the state’s southern border. They say poor living conditions are causing trauma among these children, which could have lasting effects.

The U.S. Census Bureau is having a tough time hiring workers in Texas for the 2020 Census, because the unemployment rate is so low – which means nonprofits and local governments may have to step in to make sure there's an accurate count.

Texas still has a lot of work to do to improve how it tracks deaths in the state, public health experts say.

Death certificates "give us snapshots of the health of the community and really helps us with our public health and health care priorities,” Dr. Umair Shah, executive director of Harris County Public Health, said.

Two Texas doctors are suing the state over a law prohibiting them from selling prescription drugs to their patients.

Texans who get their health insurance from a large employer are more likely to get a surprise bill in an emergency compared to people with similar plans in other states, according to research published Thursday.

Voting groups say a list of locations Texas lawmakers proposed for public hearings ahead of the next round of political redistricting will give smaller cities an outsized role in the process.

When lawmakers ended this year’s legislative session, they had addressed their biggest goals: They tamped down property taxes, overhauled school finance laws and gave teachers a pay raise. By various measures, the session was a success.

To health care advocates in the state, however, it was a missed opportunity.

Recently leaked documents could impact an ongoing federal lawsuit challenging Texas' redistricting efforts.

About 146,000 fewer children in Texas were enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program between the end of 2017 and the end of 2018, according to a study released Thursday by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families.

A version of this story was first posted by member station KUT in Austin.

Texas Secretary of State David Whitley, who was behind the botched effort to remove alleged noncitizens from the state's voter rolls, resigned Monday as the Texas Legislature's session came to a close.

Texas Secretary of State David Whitley, who was behind the botched effort to remove alleged noncitizens from the state’s voter rolls, reportedly resigned Monday as the 86th Legislature came to a close.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said it's releasing digital ads criticizing Austin-area Congressman Chip Roy after the Republican single-handedly delayed a disaster aid package Friday.

The DCCC announced the ads "will reach thousands of voters in Texas’ 21st Congressional District on Facebook and Instagram."

Texas has the highest percentage of uninsured women between the ages of 18 to 44, according to a new study from the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families.

A surprise medical bill may be a thing of the past for many Texans. In a unanimous vote, the Texas House approved a Senate bill banning health care providers from sending steep medical bills to insured Texans in emergencies.

Immigration is likely to be a key issue in the 2020 presidential election, but so far Democratic candidates have largely shied away from the issue in their campaigns.

Julián Castro hasn't.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is refusing to cooperate with two separate congressional investigations, arguing Congress lacks the authority to investigate the state. It’s a move that constitutional law experts say is both unprecedented and is likely inspired by President Trump’s recent refusals to comply with congressional investigations.

County judges and voting groups say they're concerned an update to a sweeping voting bill could reduce the number of countywide polling places in minority communities – particularly in larger metropolitan areas in Texas.

President Donald Trump announced ongoing bipartisan efforts in Congress to tackle surprise medical billing, during an event at the White House on Thursday.

“I don’t want to be a flash-in-a-pan candidate or someone who is hot for a month,” Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro said during a stop in Austin on Wednesday.

Kindergarten and seventh-grade students in Texas have slightly lower vaccination rates this school year, according to a new report from the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Wednesday that his office filed a brief with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional.

A federal judge in San Antonio will hear arguments Thursday over whether Texas should have to clear its political maps with the federal government in 2021.

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