LGBTI News and Politics

Archive for the ‘Health/Mental Care’ Category

WHO: Ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup ‘Probably Carcinogenic’

Roundup. (photo: Daniel Acker/Getty Images)
Roundup. (photo: Daniel Acker/Getty Images)

Renee Lewis | Al Jazeera America | ReaderSupported News | March 22, 2015

Glyphosate, found in world’s most widely used herbicide, classified as probable carcinogen by cancer research experts


he most widely used herbicide in the world, glyphosate, the active ingredient in the Monsanto product Roundup, was classified as “probably carcinogenic to humans,” in a report released Friday by cancer researchers affiliated with the World Health Organization.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) announced its assessment of glyphosate after convening a meeting this month of 17 cancer experts from 11 countries. They looked at the available scientific evidence on five different pesticides, including glyphosate, to determine whether to classify them as carcinogens. Carcinogens are substances that can lead to cancer under certain levels of exposure.

Glyphosate caused DNA and chromosomal damage in mammals, and in human and animal cells studied in laboratories, the report said. Studies of workers who had been exposed to the chemical in the U.S. Canada, and Sweden found “increased risks for carcinogensthat persisted after adjustment for other pesticides,” the report said.

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‘Finally Normal': How A New Medical Landscape Is Changing Life For Trans Youth


Cristina Pippin is seen with Kammie Johnson and her three brothers. | Tim Roberts Photography

 | Huffington Post | March 18, 2015


Nell Gaither, who grew up in Fort Worth, Texas, didn’t figure out that she was transgender until she was 40.

“It was just not something that you even knew how to put into words, or how to discuss,” she told The Huffington Post. “There was not any good language for it, or much information at all about it.”

Over the last two years, a quiet but significant change has occurred in nearby Dallas, where Gaither, now 54, lives today. The Children’s Medical Center in Dallas has launched a program for transgender adolescents, and this spring, the clinic will get its own space within the hospital. It is the first and only transgender pediatric program in the Southwest.

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Obamacare Triggers Massive Drop in Americans Without Health Insurance

Obamacare supporters at the Supreme Court. (photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
Obamacare supporters at the Supreme Court. (photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Dan Roberts | Guardian UK | Reader Supported News | March 17, 2015

he proportion of Americans without health insurance has fallen by more than a third since the start of the Affordable Care Act, according to new government estimates that are likely to strengthen efforts to prevent Barack Obama’s flagship domestic reforms being rolled back by political opponents.

A total of 14.1 million adults are thought to have gained insurance since the act – known as Obamacare – went into full effect in October 2013, with a further 2.3 million younger adults benefitting from new rules that allow those aged 19-25 to remain on their parents’ insurance plans.

Together these net gains have reduced the national uninsured rate from 20.3% to 13.2%, or a total of 16.4 million people, based on government analysis of recent survey data.

Though tentative, the statistics may help the White House argue that its reforms are too well entrenched for future administrations to unpick – something many leading Republicans in Congress have called for due to their fierce opposition to the compulsory elements of the scheme.

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Lawmakers Introduce First-Ever Senate Measure Authorizing Medical Marijuana

NORML | March 13, 2015

“Today we join together to say enough is enough”

Lawmakers Introduce First-Ever Senate Measure Authorizing Medical Marijuana

Washington, DC: Members of the US Senate for the first time have introduced legislation to amend the classification and regulation of cannabis for therapeutic purposes.

On Tuesday, Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act, which permits qualified patients, doctors, and businesses to engage in state-sanctioned behavior involving the production, sale, and use of medical cannabis without fear of federal prosecution. It states, “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the provisions of this title relating to marihuana shall not apply to any person acting in compliance with State law relating to the production, possession, distribution, dispensation, administration, laboratory testing, or delivery of medical marihuana.”

Although Congress enacted spending legislation in December seeking to similarly halt the Justice Department from interfering in state-sanctioned medical marijuana operations, that appropriation measure is set to expire in September.

Separate provisions in the Senate proposal reschedule marijuana at the federal level and remove the compound cannabidiol (CBD) from the Controlled Substances Act altogether. Additional provisions in the bill allow for financial institutions to legally provide services to medical marijuana businesses, permit VA doctors to authorize medical cannabis, and remove existing bureaucratic barriers that limit investigators from clinically studying the plant’s safety and therapeutic efficacy.

“Our federal government has long overstepped the boundaries of common sense, fiscal prudence, and compassion” in regard to its marijuana policies, Sen. Booker stated at a press conference. “Today we join together to say enough is enough.”

While numerous House measures have previously been introduced to amend federal marijuana policy, members of the US Senate have never before considered such reforms.

Commenting on the new measure, NORML Communications Director Erik Altieri said: “It is indicative of how far the movement to reform our nation’s failed marijuana policies has come when a Republican presidential hopeful partners with two high profile Democrats to undo the war on cannabis consumers. While we ultimately believe marijuana should be descheduled from the Controlled Substances Act entirely, this legislation provides an excellent opportunity for Senate leaders to begin engaging in this broader discussion.”

For more information about this measure, please visit NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here: or contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500(202) 483-5500.

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Opposition Grows Against Cutting Medicare Program that 16 Million Seniors Rely On

Protester holds Medicare sign. (photo: Fifth World Art)
Protester holds Medicare sign. (photo: Fifth World Art)

Sarah Ferris | The Hill | Reader Supported News | March 13, 2015

ore than 200 members of Congress are lobbying the Obama administration not to make cuts in a popular Medicare program that covers about 16 million seniors nationwide.

“We strongly believe that cuts to [Medicare Advantage] would be deeply unfair to millions of constituents,” a bipartisan group of 239 lawmakers wrote in a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on Thursday.

Federal health officials announced last month that they planned to reduce rates by just under 1 percent next year for Medicare Advantage, which covers about one-third of Medicare beneficiaries.

While the drop is more modest than past years, the proposed cuts have again triggered a back-and-forth funding fight between lawmakers and the federal government. Fierce lobbying to protect the Medicare Advantage has so far been successful, with the government softening its rate hikes every year.

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VA hospital manager mocks veteran suicides in email to employees

Pensive military woman (Shutterstock)

 | Raw Story | March 9, 2015

A  Veterans Affairs hospital manager in Indianapolis is under fire for an email containing photographs that mock the suicidal tendencies of the veterans in her care, The Indianapolis Star‘s Tony Cook reports.

The email sent by Robin Paul — a social worker who manages the Seamless Transition Integrated Care Clinic () at Roudebush Veterans Affairs Medical Center — contains photographs of a toy Christmas elf posing in one of the hospital’s clinics under the subject line, “Naughty Elf in the STICC clinic.”

In one of the photographs, the elf is pleading for the anxiety and panic relief drug Xanax. “Out of XANAX — please help!” the caption to that photograph reads. “Self-medicating for mental-health issues when a CNS would not give him his requested script.”

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Air Force veteran’s suicide sheds light on female soldiers and PTSD

Bianna Golodryga | Yahoo News | March 5, 2015

It’s a chilling statistic: Twenty-two United States veterans commit suicide a day, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. One recent victim: Thirty-year-old Air Force Reserve Capt. Jamie Brunette.

Capt. Brunette, the youngest of five children from Milwaukee, had served two tours of duty in Afghanistan during her 11-year Air Force career. On Feb. 9, police in Tampa, Fla., found her dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Her family and friends came together this week to honor Brunette’s memory and raise awareness about posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), something Brunette’s friends say was hard for her to talk about.

“Our whole friendship was based on conversations,” says Brunette’s friend Jessica Aguiar. “She never really opened up about her professional life. She’s actually extremely humble about it and all of her achievements.”

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