Tag Archives: healthcare

How Kentucky’s Members Of Congress Are Responding To The CBO’s Health Bill Score


Originally published on May 25, 2017 10:08 am

The Republican legislation that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act – also known as Obamacare – would reduce the federal deficit by $119 billion. But that would come at the expense of 23 million people who would not be able to afford health insurance over the next decade.

That’s according to a new analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released Wednesday.

In Kentucky, almost half a million people gained health insurance via the law — most of them through the state’s expansion of Medicaid to people making around $15,000.

What would the House GOP bill do?

The American Health Care Act would do away with subsidies for those who purchased health insurance plans via state-based and federal exchanges, and allow states to let insurers to once again deny insurance to people who are already sick or have had a lapse in coverage.

People without a health problem would be able to buy insurance based on their health. As a result, insurance for sick people would become even more expensive. The House Republican bill would also put in place tax credits for health insurance premiums based on age.

“If you start to make changes to make premiums more affordable, you get back to the original outline of the ACA,” said Sara Collins, vice president of health care coverage and access at research group The Commonwealth Fund.

One in six people in the U.S. would live in an area where there are no insurers left or premiums would be so high that it would be unaffordable, according to the CBO report.

What about the 10 Essential Health Benefits?

States could also apply to do away with the 10 essential health benefits that people are now required to have covered. That includes mental health treatment, maternity coverage, prescription drugs and doctor’s visits. Kentucky would likely be one of those states, as Gov. Matt Bevin has already asked to make some benefits in Medicaid harder to get.

That would result in premium decreases because insurance companies could pay for less. But since insurance companies would be able to charge based on age and health status, premiums wouldn’t decrease by much for older, sicker people.

What does this mean for Congress’ repeal and replace effort?

Because such a large number of people would become uninsured, the Senate will likely not use much of what the House version had. What might be similar is doing away with the Medicaid expansion program. But that will likely be a gradual tapering off, according to Mark Alderman, a Democratic campaign strategist.

As for the House bill: “It’s going absolutely nowhere,” according to Alderman. House Republicans have said as much.

What does this mean for Kentucky legislators who voted for the AHCA?

The Democratic Party in Kentucky will likely use Republican yes votes as ammunition during the next campaign season.

“This is about politics for my Republican colleagues, but it has life-or-death consequences for far too many Americans,” said U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth of Louisville. Yarmuth is also ranking member of the House Budget Committee.

While Republicans might say that a reduction of national debt is the responsible thing to do, it’s important to look at where that reduction comes from. Part is rolling back Medicaid expansion – that would save money.

But the bill also does away with a tax on people making more than $200,000 a year that helps pay for the expansion.

Fourth District U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, a Republican who voted against the AHCA, had no comment. Three other Republicans from Kentucky — Reps. Andy Barr, James Comer, Brett Guthrie — did not respond to a request for comment.

U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, a Republican who represents Kentucky’s 5th District, focused his comments on the CBO’s prediction that the bill would lower the deficit.

“As predicted, the CBO score confirms that the American Health Care Act moves the nation toward a more affordable health care system that lowers health insurance premiums and reduces the federal deficit by $119 billion,” Rogers said. “However, there is still work to do as the bill moves on to the U.S. Senate.”

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Milwaukee Inmate Died After Being Deprived of Water for 7 Days


Milwaukee Inmate Died After Being Deprived of Water for 7 Days

By DANIEL VICTORAPRIL 25, 2017

 

Terrill Thomas had bipolar disorder, a lawyer for his estate said.

Inmates, correction officers and investigators are testifying in Milwaukee this week to help determine whether jail employees will be charged with abuse in the dehydration death of an inmate who the authorities say was deprived of water for a week.

Prosecutors and a lawyer representing the estate of the inmate, Terrill Thomas, say that correction officers turned off the man’s water supply in an isolation cell in April 2016, and that he was unable to ask for help because he was having a mental health crisis. He died on April 24, 2016.

In March, the Milwaukee County district attorney’s office requested an inquest, a relatively uncommon legal procedure in which a cause of death is examined for possible criminal charges. After a week of testimony, jurors will decide whether to recommend charges against jail employees, though the district attorney is not bound by the recommendation.

Erik Heipt, the lawyer representing Mr. Thomas’s estate, said in an interview on Monday that Mr. Thomas, 38, had bipolar disorder, and that “he was not operating in a world of reality” when he was jailed.

 

“He needed mental health treatment, but instead of the jail treating his very serious mental health needs, they responded by punishing him for acting out,” he said. “They treated his mental illness as a behavioral problem and disciplined him.”

Mr. Thomas was arrested on April 15, 2016, on charges that he shot a man and later fired two gunshots inside the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, according to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

He was placed in a cell at the Milwaukee County Jail with no mattress, blanket or pillow, Mr. Heipt said. There was a toilet, but it wouldn’t flush after the water was turned off, he said.

Mr. Thomas was not given drinks with his food, which was an unsavory, brick-shaped dish called “Nutraloaf” that some states have banned. He did not eat the meals and lost at least 30 pounds, Mr. Heipt said.

While other inmates told correction officers that Mr. Thomas needed water, Mr. Thomas could not advocate this himself, Mr. Heipt said. On April 24, Mr. Thomas was found dead on the floor of his cell.

 

“Inmates are at the mercy of their jailers for basic life-sustaining necessities like water, food and medical care,” a court filing signed by Kurt Benkley, an assistant district attorney, said in March. “When a mentally ill inmate, like Mr. Thomas, is locked in solitary confinement without access to water, his life is totally in his jailers’ hands.”

The sheriff’s office did not respond to messages on Tuesday seeking comment.

Mr. Benkley said at the opening of the inquest on Monday that video showed three officers turning off the water in Mr. Thomas’s cell as punishment for flooding another cell, The Journal Sentinel reported. The officers did not notify supervisors or document the cutoff, Mr. Benkley said.

“This order to shut off Mr. Thomas’s water was highly irregular and contrary to standard operating procedure in the jail,” the assistant district attorney said, according to the newspaper.

Two correction officers who testified on Monday said they were unaware that the water in Mr. Thomas’s cell had been turned off, according to Fox 6, a Milwaukee television station.

Mr. Heipt said he planned to file a federal civil rights case on behalf of Mr. Thomas’s estate, and one of Mr. Thomas’s children has filed a separate federal civil suit against Sheriff David Clarke of Milwaukee County and his staff. Mr. Clarke gained national prominence last year as one of President Trump’s most enthusiastic supporters in law enforcement, delivering a speech at the Republican National Convention in which he declared, “Blue lives matter.”

Mr. Heipt praised the district attorney’s office for “really digging deeply into this,” which he described as unusual for abuse that’s reported behind bars. Families who believe their loved ones were abused often have trouble getting prosecutions, and typically rely more on the civil court system, where they can obtain monetary damages, he said.

While public interest in police shootings has grown in recent years, abuse in the prison system is more likely to remain hidden from the public, he said. That’s partly because police shootings in public spaces are often captured by videos that go viral and stoke widespread calls for justice, he said.

“That type of evidence doesn’t always exist in jail-related deaths, and so the people are often not demanding the same level of accountability,” Mr. Heipt said. “These things are often poorly investigated and get swept under the rug, and the citizens don’t even know it’s happening.”

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Teen denied double-lung transplant after smoking marijuana


Riley Hancey, 19, was denied a double-lung transplant because of his marijuana use. (Source: KSL via CNN)

 

Salt Lake City, UT (KSL/CNN) — Up until Thanksgiving, Riley Hancey led a pretty normal life; the 19-year-old was an avid skier, river runner and biker. But then a severe form of pneumonia left him with failing lungs and nowhere to turn for help.

Within 10 days of being hospitalized, Riley Hancey’s lungs collapsed and his doctors told him he needed a double-lung transplant to live.

But Mark Hancey, Riley Hancey’s father, said because his son tested positive for THC – the chief intoxicant in marijuana – he was denied a spot on the transplant list at University of Utah Hospital.

“Riley did smoke marijuana on Thanksgiving night with his friends,” Mark Hancey, told KSL Monday. “It’s not like he’s a smoker for 30 years and (had) deteriorating lungs because of that.”

In fact, Mark Hancey said his son had been drug-free for a year prior to his illness.

Officials at the University of Utah could not talk specifically about Riley’s case, but they issued a written statement to KSL saying University Hospital follows international guidelines for transplants and evaluates cases individually.

“We do not transplant organs in patients with active alcohol, tobacco or illicit drug use or dependencies until these issues are addressed, as these substances are contraindicated for a transplant,” the statement said.

Age and other medical conditions may also exclude patients from the list, the statement said.

According to Mark Hancey, a doctor told his son, “You will die. You better get your affairs in order,” and the young man broke down in tears.

Family members set about scouring the country for a hospital willing to do the transplant. Two months ago, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania agreed.

Mark Hancey said his son was flown to Philadelphia on medical transport.

“I looked at Riley and I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, this poor soul looks like death,'” Mark Hancey said.

Twelve days ago, doctors gave Riley Hancey two donor lungs.

“He looked so healthy,” Mark Hancey said. “It made all the difference, and he still looks healthy. … He still fighting, and he’s doing well.”

Riley Hancey remained under sedation Monday and hasn’t communicated a lot with anyone yet. Mark Hancey said his son will recover at the hospital in Philadelphia for a year, with family members visiting for support.

Mark Hancey said doctors are optimistic that Riley Hancey will be able to return to many of his favorite activities after a lot of recovery.

CONTINUE READING…

Kentucky congressman says ‘Hell No’ to Obamacare replacement bill


Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., listened during a committee session in 2013.

By Fernando Alfonso III

falfonso@herald-leader.com

A tweet from a Northern Kentucky congressman went viral Wednesday afternoon after he used his voting card to double down on his disdain for the American Health Care Act, the Republicans’ attempt to replace Obamacare.

Rep. Thomas Massie’s tweet features a photo of his “new” voting card and the words “HELL NO” on it. Within two hours after sending the message, Massie, who manages his own Twitter account, could not believe it had collected more than 8,200 likes and 3,000 retweets.

“I didn’t expect it to go viral. I thought maybe we’d get 5 percent of that,” Massie said over the phone in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday afternoon. “It’s another version of Obamacare, in my opinion, and it’s not as well thought out. We need to leave the socialism to the socialists. If I thought the bill were a glass half full proposition, better than the status quo, I’d vote for it. But I think it will make insurance premiums go up.”


Sen. Rand Paul predicts House will vote down GOP health plan

“It’s important for Republicans to understand that once we pass something, we will own it,” Sen. Rand Paul said of the GOP health care plan. “If what we pass is not going to work, it’s a bad thing to own.”

jbrammer@herald-leader.com


The AHCA would replace the subsidies in Obamacare, otherwise known as the Affordable Care Act, with a flat tax credit that would not account for income or local insurance prices. The new law would also allow insurers to charge older people five times what they charge younger customers, compared to three times under Obama’s health care law, according to the Associated Press.

Massie, a Republican, has made his displeasure over AHCA clear on Twitter over the past week through hashtags like #sassywithmassie.

“(The proposal) just won’t work and Republicans will get blamed for escalating health insurance costs,” Massie said. “The bill doesn’t do enough to reduce the cost of health care. I feel the momentum is against the bill. I don’t see any of my colleagues changing their votes and they’ve had 24 hours to switch people from a no to a yes to no avail.”

Angry constituents confront U.S. Rep. Andy Barr about GOP health care bill

U.S. Rep Andy Barr faced angry constituents in Richmond, Ky., during a town hall on Saturday, March 18, 2017. Barr was defending the Republican proposal to replace the federal Affordable Care Act.

Daniel Desrochers ddesrochers@herald-leader.com

Fernando Alfonso III: 859-231-1324, @fernalfonso

Related content

5 things to know about the CBO’s report on Paul Ryan’s ACA replacement

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Can we make humans healthier by growing healthier places?


Image may contain: 1 person

Narina Walls

2 hrs ·

From Harvard University Healthcare and quite an interesting read. Also as it is related to women can explain why so many women flourish in Tepoztlan where I lie and where we are at a higher altitude , though on ground and not up the mountain, lower to Mexico City’s altitude level some way. Something I am sure going to research as soon as time allows! Time spent in “green” places linked with longer life in women.

Elizabeth Pegg Frates, MD

POSTED MARCH 09, 2017, 9:30 AM
Elizabeth Pegg Frates, MD

I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.
– John Burroughs

Can we make humans healthier by growing healthier places?

A 2016 analysis found that women living in areas with higher levels of green vegetation had lower rates of mortality. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health conducted a nationwide study of approximately 100,000 women from the Nurses’ Health Study. Those women that had homes in areas with the highest level of greenness in the surrounding 250 meters (roughly 820 feet, or a little over 1/10 of a mile) had a 12% lower rate of death compared to the women whose homes had the lowest level of greenness. Specifically, there was a 13% lower rate for cancer mortality, 35% lower respiratory disease-related mortality, and 41% lower rate for kidney disease mortality in the women living in the areas with the highest levels of green vegetation.

Just how does being in green spaces increase longevity?

When trying to figure out just how the greenness was protecting women against death, researchers found a combination of factors that came into play. These included lower levels of depression, increased social engagement, higher levels of physical activity, and lower levels of pollution. There are probably many reasons why being in green spaces might decrease depression. Perhaps people who live in greener areas are more likely to go outside. Exposure to sunlight helps people to make vitamin D, and low levels of vitamin D are associated with depression. Spending time with friends and participating in social activities were also associated with greener areas, and these things can decrease feelings of loneliness and depression. Being outside and experiencing nature has been known to increase feelings of well-being. In fact, some research suggests that even images of nature can lead to increased positive mood.

Exercise is medicine, and the more physically active a person is, the more fit they will be and the healthier they will be. Green spaces invite people to enjoy the outdoors and encourage people to walk, bicycle, or jog for physical activity. When the space around a home is green and full of vegetation, there are likely paths or trails that are in safe and beautiful places. In this study, those women that lived in greener spaces were more physically active.

Living among trees, plants, grass, and flowers provides an environment with less pollution than one with low levels of vegetation. The plants can reduce levels of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter, which lowers the level of pollution. In this study, death from respiratory disease was reduced by about one third in those women who lived in the homes with the highest amount of vegetation. Breathing clean air matters, and plants help to clean the air.

Take advantage of green spaces.

If you live in an area with heavy vegetation, this is good news for you. Take the opportunity to improve your health. Get outside and breathe the clean air, walk around the neighborhood, find some friends to walk with you, and enjoy the great, green outdoors. If you do not live in an area with a lot of greenery around you, consider planting some trees, plants, or shrubs. If you live in a highly urban area, you can get involved with local policy to work to encourage your community to increase green spaces. Spend time with friends who live in areas with lots of trees and greenery, consciously seek out green areas as often as you can, and consider vacationing in areas with lots of vegetation.

And for those of us still in the throes of winter… spring isn’t all that far away.

CONTINUE READING…

In chaotic scene, Rand Paul demands to see the House GOP’s Obamacare repeal bill


By Lauren Fox and Phil Mattingly, CNN

Updated 3:25 PM ET, Thu March 2, 2017

Rand Paul 3.2.17

Senator demands to see ‘secret’ Obamacare bill 01:59

Story highlights
  • Some House Republicans were being granted a chance to review an Obamacare repeal draft
  • GOP leadership has taken a new level of caution with their Obamacare legislation

(CNN)  Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul marched to the House side of the Capitol Thursday morning, knocked on a locked door and demanded to see a copy of the House’s bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, which he believed was being kept under lock and key.

Aides in the room told the senator — before dozens of reporters in a crowded hallway — that there was no bill to see. In fact, it wasn’t the room where GOP members of the Energy and Commerce Committee were told to meet with staff to review the current draft of their bill at all. But that did little to dissuade Paul, openly critical to the House Republican leadership’s preferred path on the process, from making his underlying point.

“This should be an open and transparent process,” Paul said. “This is being presented as if it were a national secret, as if this was a plot to invade another country, as if this were national security. That’s wrong.”

    Paul ventured to the House Thursday afternoon after reports surfaced that House Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee were being granted an opportunity to review the current draft of the Obamacare repeal legislation and ask questions behind closed doors.

    Opposed to the House legislation’s principles, Paul said he wanted to see the bill himself even though he didn’t serve on the committee.

    “I’m not allowed to read the working product so I can comment on it?” he said.

    Outside the small House office, the chaotic scene continued with a handful of Democrats demanding they, too, see the legislation, which aides continued to say was not even in the room. Two Democrats on the Energy and Commerce Committee and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, a Democrat from Maryland, asked aides if the bill was ready, only to be rebuffed.

    “I want to see the bill. I want to read the bill,” New York Democrat Paul Tonko said, noting that as far as he knew, Republicans were still planning to move forward with a markup on the legislation next week.

    At one point, the GOP staff allowed Hoyer, Rep. Joe Kennedy and a dozen or so reporters into the room to inspect it themselves. It was, in fact, bill-less.

    Hoyer proceeded to hold an impromptu news conference near a bust of President Abraham Lincoln a few feet away from the misidentified room. He then held an imaginary conversation with the 16th president about what Hoyer said was the poor state of the Republican Party.

    Rep. Greg Walden, the chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, downplayed perceptions of secrecy in a statement Thursday.

    “Reports that the Energy and Commerce Committee is doing anything other than the regular process of keeping its members up to speed on latest developments in its jurisdictions are false. Simply put, Energy and Commerce majority members and staff are continuing to discuss and refine draft legislative language on issues under our committee’s jurisdiction.”

    Leadership has taken a new level of caution with Obamacare repeal and replace reconciliation drafts after a leaked version of the bill in progress was circulated to news outlets last week.

    House aides told CNN that the review process was simply part of regular procedure of giving their members an opportunity to review the current draft and ask committee staff questions. The committee — along with a second panel responsible for the repeal legislation — is tentatively shooting to consider their respective pieces of legislation as soon as next week.

    The leaked draft — which aides say was outdated — drew condemnations from conservatives who pledged to oppose any final bill and set off a new round of internal divisions that threatened to endanger the repeal process before it even gets off the ground.

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    Democrats Call For Attorney General Sessions To Resign


    Image result for SESSIONS RESIGN

    March 2, 20175:08 AM ET

    Heard on Morning Edition

    Democratic leaders want Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign after news reports that he met with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. twice last year.

    STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions is defending his meetings with a Russian diplomat The Washington Post reports Sessions met twice with Russia’s ambassador during the presidential campaign and did not disclose it.

    RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

    Now some Democrats want the attorney general to resign or at least keep away from the FBI investigation he’s overseeing into Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election.

    INSKEEP: Here’s what we know. Sessions was a senator at the time of the reported meetings, and he was also advising presidential candidate Donald Trump.

    MARTIN: The Post found Sessions met twice with Russia’s ambassador, including once in September, the height of the campaign. After the election, at his Senate confirmation hearing to become attorney general, Sessions said he didn’t know of any Trump campaign meetings with Russia.

    (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

    JEFF SESSIONS: Senator Franken, I’m not aware of any of those activities. I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign, and I didn’t have – not have communications with the Russians, and I’m unable to comment on it.

    INSKEEP: Sessions was answering Senator Al Franken, who now says if The Post report is true, Sessions must recuse himself from any decisions about the Russia probe. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said the same last night on CNN.

    (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

    LINDSEY GRAHAM: If there is something there and it goes up the chain of investigation, it is clear to me that Jeff Sessions, who is my dear friend, cannot make this decision about Trump. So they may be not – there may be nothing there, but if there is something there that the FBI believes is criminal in nature, then for sure you need a special prosecutor.

    MARTIN: Attorney General Sessions and other officials do not appear to explicitly deny meeting Russia’s ambassador. They do suggest the meetings were not relevant to the election. In a statement last night, Jeff Sessions said he has, quote, “never met with any Russian officials to discuss issues of the campaign. I have no idea what this allegation is all about. It is false.”

    Subscribe to the NPR Politics Podcast

    CONTINUE READING AND TO AUDIO!

    Morgellons Disease Scientifically Proven to Occur in Dogs


    Charles E. Holman Morgellons Disease Foundation Announces Collaborative Study Linking Skin Condition to Canine Lyme Disease

    The finding of skin lesions similar to Morgellons disease, first in cattle and now in dogs, confirms that the skin disease is not a delusion, as some have maintained. Marianne Middelveen

    AUSTIN, TX (PRWEB) OCTOBER XX, 2016 (PRWEB) (PRWEB) December 07, 2016

    Man’s best friend may help solve another mystery. A new study entitled “Canine Filamentous Dermatitis Associated with Borrelia Infection” reveals that a condition similar to human Morgellons disease can occur in dogs. The study was published in the prestigious Journal of Veterinary Science & Medical Diagnosis.

    Morgellons disease is an unusual skin condition associated with Lyme disease in humans. It is characterized by skin lesions containing unusual multicolored fibers and symptoms such as fatigue, joint and muscle pain and neurological problems that are typical of Lyme disease. Similar skin lesions have previously been reported in bovine digital dermatitis, an infectious disease of cattle.

    The dog study was partially funded by the Charles E. Holman Morgellons Disease Foundation (CEHMDF) and was conducted by an international team of researchers, including Calgary microbiologist Marianne Middelveen, San Francisco Internist Dr. Raphael Stricker, molecular biologists Dr. Eva Sapi and Dr. Jennie Burke, and Calgary veterinarians Dr. Gheorghe Rotaru and Dr. Jody McMurray.

    The dogs in the study presented with unusual fiber-containing skin lesions that lacked other explanations and that failed to respond to non-antibiotic treatments. “Generally-speaking, the fibers we have seen are teal and pink,” explains Dr. Rotaru.“Dogs are hairy, so fibers can be hard to see. Fortunately the fibers fluoresce under UV light, so we have used that diagnostic tool to identify dogs with the skin condition.”

    Analysis performed by five different laboratories detected the corkscrew-shaped agent of Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi, in canine skin tissue by special staining and DNA analysis. Culture studies showed that the Lyme bacteria in skin were alive. Further analysis of the canine skin fibers showed that they were made of the same proteins as human Morgellons disease fibers.

    Most of the owners of the study dogs were healthy and were not familiar with Morgellons disease or Lyme disease; however, two of the owners also had Morgellons disease. “In those cases, we do not have evidence of contact transmission from human to animal or animal to human,” says Dr. Stricker, “it may be that both owner and dog were exposed to the same disease vector.”

    “The finding of skin lesions similar to Morgellons disease, first in cattle and now in dogs, confirms that the skin disease is not a delusion, as some have maintained,” said Ms. Middelveen. “We need to learn much more about this mysterious skin condition.”

    About the Charles E. Holman Morgellons Disease Foundation:
    The Charles E. Holman Morgellons Disease Foundation based in Austin, TX, is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization committed to advocacy and philanthropy in the battle against Morgellons. Director, Cindy Casey-Holman, RN, leads the foundation, named for her husband, Charles E. Holman, a pioneer in the fight against MD. The CEHMDF is the recognized authority and primary funding source for Morgellons Disease medical-scientific research. There are neither grants, nor any other public or private funding to support research for Morgellons. Donations are tax deductible in the US. To learn more about Morgellons disease go to http://www.MorgellonsDisease.org

    SOURCE LINK

    RELATED:

    Has KY been infected with “Morgellons Disease”, or is there another type parasite that is being seen in the area?

    Mother fighting to save daughter through medical marijuana


    marijuana

    By MELISSA REINERT

    The Kentucky Enquirer

    WILLIAMSTOWN, Ky.

    Tiffany Wigginton Carnal is in the fight of her life to save her daughter.

    Lyndi Carnal, 17, has Crohn’s Disease, an inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract, which can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss and malnutrition. Lyndi was diagnosed when she was 14. Since that time, she and her mother have spent three Christmases, three New Year’s Days and countless other days at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

    The medications Lyndi has taken to control the Crohn’s and subsequent pain have negatively impacted her heart, kidneys and liver. Lyndi has also had her colon and rectum removed. The medications to control the pain keep Lyndi sedated and unable to function. One of her medications, Dilaudid, is a strong opiate that can be addictive.

    “These medications are making children drug addicts. Lyndi has gone through withdrawals,” Tiffany Carnal said. “Lyndi was once a cheerleader and a beauty pageant winner, she won all over the state. Now she is bed-ridden and not able to function. As a parent, I have to ask, ‘How can I help my child?’ ”

    The answer, according to Carnal, is illegal.

    “I started doing my own research and learned that medical marijuana can help children who have Crohn’s Disease,” she said. “However, this is illegal in our state.”

    The Carnals reside in Williamstown, Kentucky, where the use of marijuana, even for medical purposes is against the law. In 2016, Sen. Perry Clark introduced Senate Bill 13, a bill that would end marijuana prohibition for adults in the Commonwealth and create a regulated and taxed system. The legislature adjourned, however, without taking action on the bill. The bill — Cannabis Freedom Act — to legalize medical marijuana use in the state, will be presented to the legislature in 2017.

    Carnal has been busy writing and calling her state representatives to encourage passage of the bill.

    “I’m not at all for recreational use of marijuana, but there are facts that marijuana oil helps children with epilepsy, Crohn’s and cancer,” Carnal said.

    According to the Mayo Clinic, medical marijuana is marijuana used to treat disease or relieve symptoms. Marijuana is made from the dried leaves and buds of the Cannabis sativa plant. It can be smoked, inhaled or ingested in food or tea. Medical marijuana is also available as a pill or an oil.

    Also according to the Mayo Clinic, studies report that marijuana has possible benefits for several conditions. Crohn’s is on that list.

    “It’s so frustrating that I can’t give my child a natural oil that could help her and not cause her other organs to fail or for her to be on a constant high,” Carnal said. “I can’t do that, but I can give her drugs that are killing her. There’s got to be a better way. There is. Things… the law… just have to change.”

    This last bout with complications from Crohn’s almost took Lyndi’s life. She has been at Children’s for two months and was recently taken off life support. She’s on the mend, but the road ahead will be tough. She’s looking at two more months at Children’s.

    “She has survived,” Carnal said. “She’s still here and for a reason. And that reason is not to spend her life in the hospital. Me? I’m going to fight to make sure she can get a natural treatment that will help her and not bring harm to her. That is my job as a parent.”

    Read more here: http://www.heraldonline.com/news/article126600394.html#storylink=cpy

    The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research (2017)


    THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS HAS RELEASED A NEW RESEARCH BOOK REGARDING THE HEALTH EFFECTS OF CANNABIS.  PLEASE USE LINK PROVIDED TO REVIEW.

     

    The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research

     

    Description

    Significant changes have taken place in the policy landscape surrounding cannabis legalization, production, and use. During the past 20 years, 25 states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis and/or cannabidiol (a component of cannabis) for medical conditions or retail sales at the state level and 4 states have legalized both the medical and recreational use of cannabis. These landmark changes in policy have impacted cannabis use patterns and perceived levels of risk.

    However, despite this changing landscape, evidence regarding the short- and long-term health effects of cannabis use remains elusive. While a myriad of studies have examined cannabis use in all its various forms, often these research conclusions are not appropriately synthesized, translated for, or communicated to policy makers, health care providers, state health officials, or other stakeholders who have been charged with influencing and enacting policies, procedures, and laws related to cannabis use. Unlike other controlled substances such as alcohol or tobacco, no accepted standards for safe use or appropriate dose are available to help guide individuals as they make choices regarding the issues of if, when, where, and how to use cannabis safely and, in regard to therapeutic uses, effectively.

    Shifting public sentiment, conflicting and impeded scientific research, and legislative battles have fueled the debate about what, if any, harms or benefits can be attributed to the use of cannabis or its derivatives, and this lack of aggregated knowledge has broad public health implications. The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids provides a comprehensive review of scientific evidence related to the health effects and potential therapeutic benefits of cannabis. This report provides a research agenda—outlining gaps in current knowledge and opportunities for providing additional insight into these issues—that summarizes and prioritizes pressing research needs.

    Topics

     

    CONCLUSIONS FOR: THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS
    There is conclusive or substantial evidence that cannabis or cannabinoids are effective:
    • For the treatment for chronic pain in adults (cannabis) (4-1)
    • Antiemetics in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (oral cannabinoids) (4-3)
    • For improving patient-reported multiple sclerosis spasticity symptoms (oral cannabinoids) (4-7a)
    There is moderate evidence that cannabis or cannabinoids are effective for:
    • Improving short-term sleep outcomes in individuals with sleep disturbance associated with obstructive sleep apnea
    syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, and multiple sclerosis (cannabinoids, primarily nabiximols) (4-19)
    There is limited evidence that cannabis or cannabinoids are effective for:
    • Increasing appetite and decreasing weight loss associated with HIV/AIDS (cannabis and oral cannabinoids) (4-4a)
    • Improving clinician-measured multiple sclerosis spasticity symptoms (oral cannabinoids) (4-7a)
    • Improving symptoms of Tourette syndrome (THC capsules) (4-8)
    • Improving anxiety symptoms, as assessed by a public speaking test, in individuals with social anxiety disorders (cannabidiol)
    (4-17)
    • Improving symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (nabilone; one single, small fair-quality trial) (4-20)
    There is limited evidence of a statistical association between cannabinoids and:
    • Better outcomes (i.e., mortality, disability) after a traumatic brain injury or intracranial hemorrhage (4-15)
    There is limited evidence that cannabis or cannabinoids are ineffective for:
    • Improving symptoms associated with dementia (cannabinoids) (4-13)
    • Improving intraocular pressure associated with glaucoma (cannabinoids) (4-14)
    • Reducing depressive symptoms in individuals with chronic pain or multiple sclerosis (nabiximols, dronabinol, and nabilone)
    (4-18)

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