Closing the Gap the "Texas Way"

Jo-Carolyn Goode | 3/16/2015, 11:45 a.m.
Today is the final day to file bills during the regular session of the 84th Texas Legislature. This afternoon I ...

NaS and Olu Dara - Bridging The Gap (complete with lyrics)

[Intro: Olu Dara singing] See I come from Mississippi I was young and runnin' wild Ended up in New York City, where I had my first child I named the boy Nasir, all the boys call him Nas I told him as a youngster, he'll be the greatest man alive [Verse 1: Nas] Let's go!... Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey -- Tribrary of these rap skits, styles I mastered Many brothers snatched it up and tried to match it But I'm still number one, everyday real Speak what I want, I don't care what y'all feel 'Cause I'm my own master, my Pop told me be your own boss Keep integrity at every cost, and his home was Natchez Mississippi Did it like Miles and Dizzy, now we gettin' busy Bridging The Gap from the blues, to jazz, to rap The history of music on this track Born in the game, discovered my father's music Like Prince searchin' through boxes of Purple Rain But my Minneapolis was The Bridge, home of the Superkids Some are well-known, some doin' bids I mighta ended up on the wrong side of the tracks If Pops wouldn't've pulled me back an said yo [Olu Dara singing] Greatest man alive (Nas: Yeah, turn it up!) Gre-Gre-Gre-Gre-Greatest man alive! [Verse 2: Nas] The blues came from gospel, gospel from blues Slaves are harmonizin' them ah's and ooh's Old school, new school, know school rules All these years I been voicin' my blues I'm a artist from the start, Hip-Hop guided my heart Graffiti on the wall, coulda ended in Spoffard, juvenile delinquent But Pops gave me the right type'a tools to think with Books to read, like X and stuff 'Cause the schools said the kids had dyslexia In art class I was a compulsive sketcher of Teachers in my homeroom, I drew pix to mess them up 'Cause none'a them would like my style Read more books than the curriculum profile Said, "Mr. Jones please come get your child 'Cause he's writin' mad poems and his verses are wild" [Olu Dara singing] Greatest man -- The great-greatest man alive [Verse 3: Nas] Hey-Hey-Hey -- My Poppa was not a Rollin' Stone He been around the world blowin' his horn, still he came home Then he got grown, changed his name to Olu Come on, tell 'em 'bout the places you gone to [Olu Dara singing] I been to Saudi Arabia, Mozambique Madagascar, Paris, Greece The Middle Africa is where we lived Better known as Queenbridge [Nas] Nas, Nas you don't stop Olu Dara in the house, you don't stop Muddy Waters' Howling Wolf you don't stop From the Blues to Street Hop you don't stop Tell 'em Pop [Outro: Olu Dara singing / Nas adlibbing] See I come from Mississippi (Let 'em know) I was young and runnin' wild (Runnin' wild) Ended up in New York City (Yeah!) Where I had my first child (That's me) I named the boy Nasir (Yeah, Daddy!) All the boys call him Nas (Luh ya, boy) I told him as a youngster He'll be the greatest man alive (You the greatest, Pop) Greatest man alive (You the greatest, Pop)Gre-Gre-Gre-Gre-Greatest man alive! Rest In Peace Ray Charles

Today is the final day to file bills during the regular session of the 84th Texas Legislature. This afternoon I filed a bill proposing a "Texas Way" to expand health care coverage for low-income Texans that will include a request for a block grant from the federal government. If adopted, it would mark the first time a state has formally requested a block grant under the 1115 waiver process.

Over a million Texas residents currently fall into a health care coverage gap because they don't qualify for Medicaid and don't earn enough to qualify for assistance in obtaining coverage under the Affordable Care Act. What I'm proposing would allow newly eligible Texans to purchase private insurance plans through a combination of subsidies and cost-sharing provisions.

State Rep. Garnet Coleman

State Rep. Garnet Coleman

The "Texas Way" I've suggested addresses conservative concerns about expanding coverage by providing the state with flexibility to tailor the program to encourage personal responsibility by beneficiaries with such provisions as premium sharing. It also includes stipulations to reduce the cost of emergency room care, to protect Texans currently insured from potentially losing their federal tax credits, and more effectively use the state's healthcare resources.

Texas has unique needs, needs that merit finding a distinctly Texas solution to closing the coverage gap for our most vulnerable residents. My proposal comes on the heels of coverage expansion plans in Republican-controlled states like Indiana, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.

While other states are finding ways to expand coverage to those who need it, we have yet to provide the federal government with a plan they can even respond to. We should explore all options - including a block grant - that would finally allow uninsured Texans to purchase health insurance. We have the highest rate of uninsured and the highest number of uninsured children. That's why this week's song is "Bridging the Gap" by Nas. It's time to start that conversation about bridging the coverage gap in Texas.

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