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Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

From WTOP.com:

Actor Blair Underwood cut the ribbon Thursday on an HIV/AIDS clinic bearing his name.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation opened the AHF Blair Underwood Clinic on K Street in Northwest D.C.

“It’s not about having your name on a building — it’s very flattering and I am truly honored — but it is about the work that needs to be done,” Underwood says.

He says it’s important because D.C. “has the highest rate of HIV in the nation.”

The actor, who has had great success in movies and on television, is the face of American Healthcare Foundation’s “Man Up” campaign, which encourages everyone to know their HIV status.

Underwood says he wants to go to college campuses and discuss AIDS with men “who are out there dating women and think this doesn’t concern them.”

“It concerns them — we are dying,” he says.

Underwood, a longtime AIDS advocate, has previously been featured in AHF media campaigns.

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art.obama.gun.poolThe presence of guns has entered the health care debate. This could easily get out of hand. And what’s crazy, is so far, the media is acting like this is OK. How do health care reform and gun rights correlate? This is disturbing in so many ways and shouldn’t just be seen as people exercising their Second Amendment rights. I wish these all these angry folks would own up to what they’re really angry about because it sure isn’t health care.

From the Associated Press:

PHOENIX – About a dozen people carrying guns, including one with a military-style rifle, milled among protesters outside the convention center where President Barack Obama was giving a speech Monday — the latest incident in which protesters have openly displayed firearms near the president.

Gun-rights advocates say they’re exercising their constitutional right to bear arms and protest, while those who argue for more gun control say it could be a disaster waiting to happen.

Phoenix police said the gun-toters at Monday’s event, including the man carrying an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle slung over his shoulder, didn’t need permits. No crimes were committed, and no one was arrested.

The man with the rifle declined to be identified but told The Arizona Republic that he was carrying the assault weapon because he could. “In Arizona, I still have some freedoms,” he said.

Phoenix police Detective J. Oliver, who monitored the man at the downtown protest, said police also wanted to make sure no one decided to harm him.

“Just by his presence and people seeing the rifle and people knowing the president was in town, it sparked a lot of emotions,” Oliver said. “We were keeping peace on both ends.”

Last week, during Obama’s health care town hall in Portsmouth, N.H., a man carrying a sign reading “It is time to water the tree of liberty” stood outside with a pistol strapped to his leg.

“It’s a political statement,” he told The Boston Globe. “If you don’t use your rights, then you lose your rights.”

Police asked the man to move away from school property, but he was not arrested.

Fred Solop, a Northern Arizona University political scientist, said the incidents in New Hampshire and Arizona could signal the beginning of a disturbing trend.

“When you start to bring guns to political rallies, it does layer on another level of concern and significance,” Solop said. “It actually becomes quite scary for many people. It creates a chilling effect in the ability of our society to carry on honest communication.”

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President Obama is now saying that the public option is only a sliver of health reform. The administration is suggesting some type of co-op option instead. Err??? Where did this come from? Over the weekend, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the public option is “not the essential element” for reform.  Then the administration came out saying that Sebelius “misspoke.” Uh huh. It seems like this is the Obama Administration’s way of backing down on health care reform, without just saying, um, yeah, we’re backing out of the public option.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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In the week since the House began its break, several town hall-style meetings have been disrupted by demonstrators. These episodes have drawn widespread media attention, and Republicans have seized on them as well as polls showing a decline in support for Obama and his agenda as evidence that public support is lacking for his signature legislation. St. Louis Post Dispatch

When I read about the town hall meetings across the country getting out of hand last week, my first reaction was whealth-care-meetinghat’s going on? Why are people coming out of a Tampa health care town hall meeting looking like they just left an unruly club “let out” where the police had to be called to the scene? —>

Adults can’t sit down and act civilized to actually discuss an issue anymore?

An overflow crowd outside of a forum on aging in St. Louis led to confrontations and arrests. Link here.

On Friday, a Democratic lawmaker from Washington received a faxed death threat a day after he described angry town hall demonstrators as “a lynch mob.” Rep. Brian Baird of Washington, who supports President Barack Obama’s push to overhaul the health care system, said that he also received threatening phone calls. He canceled the rest of the town halls he’d scheduled during Congress’ August recess.

A few Democratic congressional offices also have received threats connected to the health care debate. The U.S. Capitol Police has advised all of them to cancel their town halls.

“President Obama underestimated the free-fall the nation had already taken in partisan hostility when he talked about bringing change to Washington,” said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., who supports reform. “It has gotten worse. There is something at play here that is indescribable.” Miami Herald

How did this issue get so volatile so quickly? And why are the protesters sooo angry? They just want to be angry, I thought. Just like the Tea Party protests, it’s more than just health care – they’re just angry at the administration and want people to know they’re mad as hell and aren’t taking this mess anymore! (more…)

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The commercial below was shown over and over again during CNN’s BIA2:

Puh-leaze. The United States is not even one of the best countries for health care. If some Canadians do want to go somewhere else for better treatment, the U.S. is not the better option. (See World Health Report).

“..Patients are denied care because government says they aren’t worth it,” PUN says in the ad. Well, in the United States, people are denied coverage if they have certain pre-existing conditions because insurance companies running off profit say they’re not worth it. I see that’s not in the ad…

 As one of the millions of uninsured Americans who had to save for months to afford to go to two doctor’s visits, I’d gladly trade with someone who lives in Canada. A giant Boo to Patients United Now for this ad.

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Off topic, but not really, here’s a good post on the Obama administration’s recent pledge on food safety.

The battle on the national health-care system is clearly heating up in Washington. Although the term health-care reform has been used often by the new administration, to me it’s unclear exactly what type of reform – if any – will take place.  Or how the country will pay for it. And from this week’s events if the administration is really on the same page instead of just in the same book regarding the issue.

Washington — In an effort to help pay for a potential $1-trillion dollar health care reform bill, Vice President Joe Biden announced a new deal with three major hospital associations.

Those groups agreed to take about $155-billion dollars less from Medicare, Medicaid and subsidies over the next decade to help bring down health care costs.

The Obama administration is still hoping to gain support for a public option for health care.

Tuesday, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel hinted the public option was negotiable; only to be shot down quickly by President Barack Obama in Moscow.

The president released a statement saying, “One of the best ways to bring down costs, provide more choices, and assure quality is a public option that will force the insurance companies to compete.”

Democratic lawmakers are facing their own battles in Congress over another suggestion to raise cash by taxing health care benefits.

The White House is pushing Congress to deliver a health-care bill the president can sign before lawmakers leave for August recess. ABC News

There are three big reasons why I don’t see major reform or a form of universal health care entering the American society any time soon – let alone reaching Capitol Hill by August. (more…)

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I caught Robert Kenner, the filmmaker of “Food Inc.,” giving an interview over the weekend. “Food Inc.” is a film about the nation’s food industry and its impact on our health. It comes to theaters in select cities this summer. I am so going to see this when it comes to Atlanta in late June. I love these types of books/movies. But even though I know this stuff I still battle with eating healthy. Stuff that’s full of chemicals/unhealthy is sooo addictive. And the food companies know it.

In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation’s food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government’s regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation’s food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. We have bigger-breasted chickens, the perfect pork chop, insecticide-resistant soybean seeds, even tomatoes that won’t go bad, but we also have new strains of E. coli—the harmful bacteria that causes illness for an estimated 73,000 Americans annually. We are riddled with widespread obesity, particularly among children, and an epidemic level of diabetes among adults. Hungry for Change

Check out the trailer:

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