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DA Expands Investigation Of Deadly Drug Raid, Texans’ Healthcare Wish List Includes Protecting Pre-Existing Conditions, And Flu-Related Death In Galveston County

These are some of the stories Houston Public Media is covering.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Top afternoon stories:

The Pecan Park house where two people died and five police officers were wounded on January 28, 2019 while they were serving a search warrant.

DA To Review 800 Cases Linked To Second Houston Cop Suspended Over Drug Raid

The Harris County District Attorney’s Office is expanding its investigation of the January 28 deadly drug raid that left two people dead in Houston and five police officers wounded.

District Attorney Kim Ogg said on Monday that prosecutors will review at least 800 cases linked to Houston Police Officer Steven Bryant, who has been suspended with pay.

Bryant first claimed to have witnessed the drug buy that led to the botched search warrant. But he later told investigators that he didn’t directly witness the drugs being purchased, but was instead directed by HPD Officer Gerald Goines to retrieve two bags of heroin from Goines’ patrol car.

Ogg announced on February 20 that prosecutors are reviewing more than 1,400 cases tied to Goines, who led the operation and has also been suspended.

Protections For Pre-Existing Conditions On Texans’ Healthcare Wish List

A majority of Texans support expanding Medicaid in the state and protecting coverage of pre-existing conditions, according to an Episcopal Health Foundation poll.

The annual opinion survey found Texans’ top priority for the state legislature is tied between lowering the cost of prescription drugs and lowering the amount individuals pay for health care. Other priorities included increasing funding for mental health programs and reducing maternal mortality.

A sweeping majority of respondents, 88 percent, said insurance companies should be required to cover pre-existing conditions even as Texas officials have fought against the Affordable Care Act. A Texas judge ruled the law unconstitutional in late 2018.

This illustration depicts a 3-D computer-generated image of a group of Gram-negative, Haemophilus influenzae, bacteria.

Galveston Cty. Health Officials Confirm Flu-Related Death Of 6-Year-Old Girl

The Galveston County Health District confirmed on Monday its first flu-related death of the flu season. The district reported that a six-year-old girl passed away on February 5 while being treated at an area hospital for an existing medical condition. She developed flu symptoms and local health officials believe the virus was a factor in her death.

The patient developed flu symptoms on February 2 and was tested on February 3. Results were positive for Influenza A and the child was not vaccinated for the flu, according to a news release from the Galveston County Health District.

The child wasn’t from the United States and had been hospitalized in Galveston County since October of 2018. The Department of State Health Services lists her flu-related death as the first this year in Galveston County.