Horns Up, Horns Down for Nov. 15

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Horns Down: New bike share forgot students

On Wednesday, city officials announced that Austin would introduce its first bike-sharing program on Dec. 21. The bike program, officials promised, will benefit even non-users by helping reduce Austin’s notoriously horrible downtown traffic. We’d love to celebrate this new initiative, but unfortunately, it does a very poor job of including students like us in the bike-sharing fun. While officials professed a wish to engage students, those of us at UT shouldn’t expect to find bike-sharing stations on campus when we return from the holidays, and the city does not plan to move the program out to UT anytime soon. If the program’s organizers really want to include students as part of their target demographic, they should have backed that claim up by putting some of the new bikes near campus.

Horns Up: Abbott's policy points spur ethics discussion

Texas Attorney General and 2014 gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott released a proposal Monday that would significantly reform the Texas Legislature’s conflict-of-interest rules. The proposed reform would require greater disclosure of campaign donations and private financial dealings and would also strengthen the enforcement of those laws — even to the point of criminal penalty. There is no good reason not to have strict restrictions of lawmakers’ unethical behavior, and we hope Abbott’s proposal makes its way into state law.

Horns Down: Agreement needed for cancer patient care

As the Austin American-Statesman reminded us Thursday, Central Texas cancer patients are likely to see longer wait times if private treatment centers don’t work out their issues with the Affordable Care Act. The fear is that Texas Oncology, the largest private cancer care provider in Texas, won’t join the federal health insurance marketplace rolled out over the past six weeks. If Texas Oncology opts out, the Seton Shivers Center at University Medical Center Brackenridge will likely have to shoulder the burden of the additional patients, an unneeded strain on the already overworked employees there. As the Statesman article points out, the delay isn’t entirely the fault of Texas Oncology and other similar companies; there are other complicating factors originating with insurers that will have to be worked out to save patients from having to wait longer for care. With that in mind, we believe all parties involved should work together so local cancer patients can get the care they need in a timely manner.