Health & Wellness

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Cassidy vs. Sanders headed to CNN Sept. 25

Posted By on Thu, Sep 21, 2017 at 6:00 PM

Sens. Bernie Sanders and Bill Cassidy join Lindsey Graham and Amy Klobuchar to debate health care legislation Sept. 25 on CNN. - PHOTOS BY AFGE & GAGE SKIDMORE/CREATIVE COMMONS
  • PHOTOS BY AFGE & GAGE SKIDMORE/CREATIVE COMMONS
  • Sens. Bernie Sanders and Bill Cassidy join Lindsey Graham and Amy Klobuchar to debate health care legislation Sept. 25 on CNN.


CNN will air a "town hall" Monday, Sept. 25 with U.S. Sens. Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham debating Sens. Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar over proposed health care legislation.

Anchor Jake Tapper and chief political correspondent Dana Bash will moderate the 90-minute event, aired live at 8 p.m.

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Music for Mental Health concert brings storytelling and songs to destigmatize mental illness

Posted By on Thu, Sep 21, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Kathryn Rose Wood joins a lineup at the U.S. Mint Sept. 22 for Music For Mental Health.
  • Kathryn Rose Wood joins a lineup at the U.S. Mint Sept. 22 for Music For Mental Health.
As part of National Suicide Prevention Month, several New Orleans songwriters have banded together for an intimate performance with a focus on mental health to end stigma surrounding mental illness — with musicians as a medium for discussion. The inaugural Music for Mental Health: An Evening of Song and Discussion on Sept. 22 sidesteps the silos in which people typically discuss mental health and centers it among five artists trading stories and songs in a stripped-down, candid storytelling performance.

"One of the best ways of doing that is music. It’s not confrontational — you don’t meet anyone who doesn’t like music," says singer-songwriter and concert organizer Kathryn Rose Wood, who lost her brother following his suicide two years ago. "That medium where people feel a bit more comfortable or expressive."

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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Jimmy Kimmel: 'Bill Cassidy just lied right to my face'

Posted By on Tue, Sep 19, 2017 at 10:23 PM

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U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy got lots of publicity in the last few months for saying any GOP health care plan would have to pass the "Jimmy Kimmel test" — a term he coined after talking with the late night talk show host, whose son needed open-heart surgery shortly after birth. Cassidy, a physician, promised Kimmel and others that any Republican replacement for the Affordable Care Act would include coverage for all; no discrimination for pre-existing conditions; lower premiums for families; and no lifetime caps on coverage.

The new Graham-Cassidy health care bill, unveiled this week, does none of these things, as many medical groups have pointed out — as have Gov. John Bel Edwards and Louisiana Health Secretary Rebekah Gee, who wrote letters objecting to the proposed legislation. Kimmel chimed in tonight on his talk show, saying, "Bill Cassidy just lied to my face."
"Before you post a nasty Facebook message saying I'm politicizing my son's health problems, I want you to know: I am politicizing my son's health problems. Because I have to."
"There's a new Jimmy Kimmel test for you," Kimmel concluded. "It's a lie detector test, and you're welcome to stop by the studio and take it any time."

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Monday, September 18, 2017

NOAF hosts annual 'sex ed bingo' night Sept. 20

Posted By on Mon, Sep 18, 2017 at 1:00 PM

KATHLEEN DAGOSTINO / CREATIVE COMMONS 2.0
  • KATHLEEN DAGOSTINO / CREATIVE COMMONS 2.0

New Orleans Abortion Fund (NOAF) hosts its annual sex ed bingo night fundraiser at Bayou Beer Garden Sept. 20.

NOAF is the local organization which raises money to assist low-income women who need an abortion; its bingo night features four rounds of bingo (obviously), fun sex trivia, comedy performances and networking for people interested in women's health care issues. If you're a bingo fanatic it's possible to buy extra cards with an additional donation. There are prizes for game winners.

This fundraiser also spotlights the Hyde Amendment, the 1976 law that prohibits federal funds from being used to pay for abortion care in most cases — a regulation women's health advocates say disproportionately penalizes poor women.

Tickets are $20 and are available online. Extra bingo cards are $5. The event begins at 6 p.m.

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Friday, September 8, 2017

'Deafening Sound,' gallery show about domestic and sexual violence, opens at NOPA Sept. 9

Posted By on Fri, Sep 8, 2017 at 2:15 PM

COURTESY ANNIE FLANAGAN
  • COURTESY ANNIE FLANAGAN

Photographer Annie Flanagan made the first image in her upcoming show about misogyny, domestic violence and sexual violence when she was 14.

She's been photographing one of her central subjects, a close friend who spent five years in an abusive relationship, for most of her life. "Deafening Sound," a show of photographs, artifacts and more documents that friend's experience and recovery. It also creates a larger narrative about gender-based violence and the experiences of American women.

"There's so much silence around rape, and there's so much silence around intimate partner violence," Flanagan says. "[The show is about] the deep roots of misogyny and rape culture in the United States."

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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Report: Cassidy-Graham health care plan could cost Louisiana $2.3 billion in health care funding; Cassidy's office responds [updated]

Posted By on Thu, Aug 24, 2017 at 1:45 PM

Bill Cassidy. - PHOTO BY GAGE SKIDMORE/CREATIVE COMMONS
  • PHOTO BY GAGE SKIDMORE/CREATIVE COMMONS
  • Bill Cassidy.

It's been almost a month since a dramatic, wee-hours vote July 28 felled so-called "skinny repeal," the Senate's most recent bill intended to roll back the Affordable Care Act (ACA) . The Senate officially returns from summer recess Sept. 5; though Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has suggested tax reform will be his top priority for fall, Sen. Bill Cassidy met with Health & Human Services Secretary Tom Price July 31 to continue advocating for his health care ideas.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, released a new analysis this morning evaluating the effects of the Cassidy-Graham amendment attached to the Senate's most recent health care plan. Should Cassidy-Graham form the basis of a new ACA repeal effort, as some have speculated it might, the report warns it may share many problems with earlier Senate plans. According to the analysis, under a Cassidy-Graham plan, Louisiana could lose $2.3 billion in health care funding by 2026.

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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

New Orleans Musicians' Clinic's 'Tropical Blood Drive' party returns Aug. 27

Posted By on Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 11:46 AM

DAN ZINK / CREATIVE COMMONS 2.0
  • DAN ZINK / CREATIVE COMMONS 2.0

New Orleans Musicians' Clinic & Assistance Foundation, The Organ Grinders and The Blood Center host their annual free party, concert and blood drive at Tipitina's from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. There's a bunch of entertainment and the party has an enjoyably tacky Hawaiian theme.

Five Blood Center buses will park outside the venue in an effort to collect 250 pints of blood from donors, which hospitals can use for as many as 3,000 blood transfusions, a release about the event said. Inside, there are music performances from a list of acts including Soul Brass Band, Bonerama, Nick Name & the Valmonts and DJ Fayard Lindsay. There also are appearances by several of the better-known marching groups, including Krewe of Rolling Elvi, Camel Toe Lady Steppers, Roux La La, The MuffALottas, NOLA Cherry Bombs, Cosmonaughties and others, plus raffles and a limbo contest.

If you'd like to donate blood, you can pre-register with The Blood Center. Theme-appropriate costumes (your best grass skirt, perhaps?) are encouraged.

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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Editorial: Paging Dr. Cassidy — move on from health care repeal

Posted By on Wed, Aug 2, 2017 at 1:46 PM

Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy takes questions about health care at a town hall forum in Metairie earlier this year. - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy takes questions about health care at a town hall forum in Metairie earlier this year.

Congressional Republicans began trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) literally the day after it was passed in 2010. The GOP-controlled House has voted to repeal it many times in a series of completely symbolic exercises that tossed red meat to their supporters without actually accomplishing anything. Now, with the GOP in control of both houses of Congress and the White House, it’s abundantly clear that Beltway Republicans have no idea how to follow through on their promise of “repeal and replace” — even though they’ve had seven years to figure it out.

“We Republicans have looked for a way to end it and replace it with something else without paying a terrible political price. We haven’t found it yet, and I’m not sure we will,” said Arizona Sen. John McCain on the Senate floor, shortly before three attempts at repeal failed in late July. “All we’ve managed to do is make more popular a policy that wasn’t very popular when we started trying to get rid of it.”

McCain is correct. During the last seven years, the ACA has continued to rise in public opinion polls. Even its detractors praise some of its provisions, including coverage for pre-existing conditions and letting young people stay on their parents’ policies until age 26. A Gallup poll conducted in April found 55 percent of Americans now approve of the ACA, while only 30 percent want a complete repeal.

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Friday, July 28, 2017

Louisiana senators support failed attempt to repeal ACA: what's next

Posted By on Fri, Jul 28, 2017 at 12:00 PM

Bill Cassidy. - PHOTO BY GAGE SKIDMORE/CREATIVE COMMONS
  • PHOTO BY GAGE SKIDMORE/CREATIVE COMMONS
  • Bill Cassidy.

Louisiana Sens. Bill Cassidy and John Neely Kennedy supported the Senate's latest attempts to gut the Affordable Care Act, including a late-night vote on a so-called "skinny" repeal, amid Republicans' failed efforts to dismantle the health care plan.

In its latest vote held early Friday morning (on the week of the 52nd anniversary of the passage of Medicaid), the Senate failed to pass a "skinny" repeal measure that the Congressional Budget Office estimated would increase the number of uninsured people in the U.S. by 15 million in 2018. Premiums for people buying their own insurance would likely rise by 20 percent.

The "skinny" repeal plan — an eight-page bill dubbed the Health Care Freedom Act, unveiled just hours before senators voted on it — would strike the individual mandate from the ACA, roll back requirements for employers to offer insurance to employees, cut funding to Planned Parenthood and increase funding to community health centers, and cut funds to numerous public health programs earmarked by the ACA.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Cassidy and Kennedy join Senate in vote to debate repeal of ACA

Posted By on Tue, Jul 25, 2017 at 5:25 PM

Demonstrators marched against cuts to the Affordable Care Act in New Orleans earlier this year. - PHOTO BY KAT STROMQUIST
  • PHOTO BY KAT STROMQUIST
  • Demonstrators marched against cuts to the Affordable Care Act in New Orleans earlier this year.

Vice President Mike Pence broke a tie vote in the U.S. Senate July 25 to begin debate over some form of repeal of the Affordable Care Act, though senators still haven't revealed which version it will ultimately consider. Senators will debate this week and consider a long list of amendments, following a byzantine drafting process that has kept voters in the dark.

Also voting "yes" were Louisiana Sens. John Neely Kennedy and Bill Cassidy, who until today had not publicly committed to a position on any repeal or replace measure, other than his proposed version with Sen. Lindsey Graham. Cassidy — who called today's vote a "first step" — applauded the move in a statement sent after today's Senate vote.

“Nothing changes until the first step is taken," he said in a statement. "There will be many others. But we must replace Obamacare with something which fulfils President Trump’s campaign pledges to maintain coverage, protect those with preexisting conditions, and lower premiums without mandates. Power needs to be returned to the patients and states."

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