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Sunday, February 25, 2018

House Republicans Gut Americans With Disabilities Act

Proponents argue that the bill, The ADA Education and Reform Act, or H.R. 620, is necessary to stem the flow of “drive-by lawsuits” brought by lawyers who only wish to line their pockets. The bill would require those filing suit in federal court against businesses for not complying with the ADA to first give that business 60 days to devise a plan to fix the issue, and another 120 days to implement the changes.

February 16, 2018

Trump’s Budget Doubles Down On The Drug War

The Trump administration released its proposed Fiscal Year 2019 budget Monday, and it looks like a return to last century’s failed law-and-order drug war policies. While paying lip service to the nation’s opioid crisis, the administration shows its priorities by asking for more money for Trump’s quixotic border wall than to actually address opioids.

February 14, 2018

Americans Are Dying Because They Can’t Afford Medicine

A 38-year-old second-grade teacher and mom in Texas died of the flu this week after she’d delayed picking up her prescription medication because couldn’t afford the $116 copay. By Friday night, Heather Holland’s condition had worsened and she was taken to the hospital. She died Sunday morning.

February 13, 2018

Trump’s Drug War Rhetoric Masks Inaction On Opioid Crisis

The omens are not good. In a pair of speeches this week, the president and his attorney general made some very menacing comments about drug policy. While their last-century drug warrior rhetoric has not, for the most part, translated into regressive, repressive drug policy prescriptions—yet—it’s probably not safe to assume that will continue to be the case.

February 12, 2018
Kellyanne Conway

What Is Opioid ‘Strategist’ Conway Doing About Crisis? Evidently Nothing

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway wears a wide variety of hats in Donald Trump’s administration, one of the most visible of which is going on cable news to sing Trump’s praise and threaten journalists who don’t unconditionally agree. One of her lesser known but more important roles is heading up the administration’s strategy to combat the opioid crisis.

February 7, 2018
Trump VOA

Will Trump’s First Checkup Assess Mental Health?

President Donald Trump will undergo his first presidential physical exam on Friday as questions surrounding his mental health swirl. However, the White House has been tight-lipped as to whether the checkup will assess his mental acuity.

January 8, 2018
Sessions, Department Of Justice

America Prepares To Resist Sessions’ War On Weed

With his announcement that he is freeing federal prosecutors to go after marijuana operations in states where it is legal, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has excited strong bipartisan opposition, splitting the Republicans, providing a potential opening for Democrats in the 2018 elections, and energizing supporters of just ending marijuana prohibition once and for all.

January 7, 2018
Trump, Authoritarian

President Trump Is Very Overweight, Still Eats Junk

The White House announced Thursday that Trump will undergo his first physical since becoming president on January 12. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the appointment will happen at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

December 31, 2017
Trump yells at media

Trump Fires HIV/AIDS Council In Its Entirety

The mass dismissal of the advisors marked another nadir in the administration’s dealing with the council. In June six members resigned from PACHA writing in an open letter, published in Newsweek, saying the Trump White House was pushing for legislation that would harm people living with HIV.

December 30, 2017
black women protest

How Hospitals Are Failing Black Mothers

Researchers have found that women who deliver at these so-called “black-serving” hospitals are more likely to have serious complications — from infections to birth-related embolisms to emergency hysterectomies — than mothers who deliver at institutions that serve fewer black women.

December 28, 2017
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks following a news conference, at his Turnberry golf course, in Turnberry, Scotland, Britain June 24, 2016. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

Trump Will Permit Abuse Of Elderly In Nursing Homes

Reacting to the demands of lobbyists, the Trump administration has struck down several regulations that have governed the nursing home industry. The New York Times reports that this now means several common citations that used to result in fines will either see reduced penalties or no penalties at all.

December 27, 2017
Health Care, Obamacare

GOP Tax Plan Will Send Health Costs Soaring

Of all the reasons the Republican tax bill will be a mugging of the majority of non-wealthy Americans, one reason stands out above all else—the bill will seriously set back everyone who has struggled to pay for health insurance and medical expenses.

December 20, 2017

The Crisis Ahead: The U.S. Is No Country For Older Men And Women

The news is not good for millions of aging Baby Boomers and Gen Xers in the United States who are moving closer to retirement age. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s annual report on retirement preparedness for 2017, only 18 percent of U.S.-based workers feel “very confident” about their ability to retire comfortably.

December 14, 2017
Test tubes with blood samples from patients who have been tested for Zika are seen at the maternity ward of the Hospital Escuela in Tegucigalpa, Honduras April 15, 2016. REUTERS/Jorge Cabrera

For-Profit Medical Companies Are Making Tons Of Money Taking Poor People’s Blood

Here’s another example of wealthy corporations sucking poor people dry—literally. While many good samaritans donate blood or bone marrow out of good will, others sell their bodily fluids on a biweekly basis just so they can make ends meet. Multimillion-dollar medical companies know this, and eagerly take advantage.

December 13, 2017

The Atrocious Big Pharma Record Of The New HHS Nominee

It should come as no shock that Trump has nominated Alex Michael Azar II, a former Pharma executive and lobbyist, to head the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). After all, Trump named Scott Gottlieb, a Pharma consultant and stock speculator FDA Commissioner and EPA opponent Scott Pruitt to be head of the EPA.

December 4, 2017
drug policy

Opioid Users Are Building A Movement For Public Health Solutions To The Epidemic

The opioid drug epidemic is the largest public health crisis facing our country right now, taking the lives of 64,000 people in the U.S. last year. Each day, 90 Americans overdose on painkillers like Oxycontin and Percocet, heroin, and synthetic opioids like fentanyl.

November 30, 2017

A Hospital Charged $1,877 To Pierce A 5-Year-Old’s Ears. This Is Why Health Care Costs So Much.

Two years ago, Margaret O’Neill brought her 5-year-old daughter to Children’s Hospital Colorado because the band of tissue that connected her tongue to the floor of her mouth was too tight. The condition, literally called being “tongue-tied,” made it hard for the girl to make “th” sounds.

November 29, 2017

Americans Flocking To Obamacare Sign-Up Site

Despite the Trump Administration’s promises to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, enrollment for health insurance under the program is quite healthy with less than a month to go in the current sign-up period, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, a federal agency.

November 25, 2017

The GOP’s Tax Cut Bonanza Is A Major Attack On Medicare

Do you trust Paul Ryan to protect your Medicare benefits? How about White House budget director Mick Mulvaney, a former member of the House Freedom Caucus, and like Ryan, a longstanding foe of Medicare? If the just-passed House tax bill, its Senate counterpart or some compromise of the two is signed into law…

November 22, 2017

Pharma Family That Pushed Opioids Is Behind Charter Schools, Too

The notoriously secretive Sackler family, also known as the OxyContin Clan, has been the subject of much scrutiny of late, including lengthy exposés in the New Yorker and Esquire shining a harsh light on the connection between the drug that made the Sacklers wealthy and their philanthropic giving.

November 14, 2017

Harvard And Yale Should Stop Playing Football

Harvard and Yale are among the premier educational institutions in the world. They have spent centuries at the task of strengthening and elevating young minds. But on Saturday, Nov. 18, they will join together in a ritual guaranteed to damage young brains: the Harvard-Yale football game.

November 13, 2017

In White House Opioid Plan, Advocates See A Major Puzzle Piece Missing: Naloxone

The Trump administration’s designation of the opioid crisis as a public health emergency on Thursday paves the way for officials to increase access to inpatient addiction treatment, redirect some federal resources, and launch a major public education campaign.

October 28, 2017

Legal Marijuana Is Becoming The Norm

The war on drugs has been going on since 1971, and we have a winner: marijuana. Back then, possession of pot carried heavy penalties in many states — even life imprisonment. Today, 29 states sanction medical use of cannabis, and eight allow recreational use. Legal weed has become about as controversial as Powerball.

October 22, 2017

How Legal Cannabis Is Improving Public Health

Changes in the legal status of cannabis is associated with significant reductions in opioid-related mortality. Data published in 2014 in JAMA Internal Medicine reports that medical cannabis regulation is associated with year-over-year declines in overall opioid-related mortality, including heroin overdose deaths.

October 22, 2017

Uninsured Rates Grow During Trump Presidency

The Gallup poll behind this finding selected 500 people at random and asked them daily if they were insured. During the third quarter of 2017, July 1 to September 30, the adult uninsured rate was 12.3 percent. That was 0.6 percent higher than the rate from the second quarter of 2017, and 1.4 percent higher than the rate at the end of 2016.

October 21, 2017