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Daily Archives: February 16th, 2018


Jane C. Timm 14 hrs ago

In the wake of a deadly school shooting in Florida, President Donald Trump called the suspected gunman “mentally disturbed” in a tweet and vowed his administration would “tackle the difficult issue of mental health.”
Here’s what Trump’s administration has done or proposed so far that would impact mental heath care in America.
This month, the president signed a two-year funding bill hammered out by Congressional leaders that included $6 billion for opioid and mental health care. Days later, the White House’s budget proposal — a suggestion to Congress, which will ultimately decide how to divvy up the government’s money — said the president wanted to allocate $13 billion in mental health and opioid funding.

Mental health care experts say those big dollar amounts obscure a dangerous reality: that same budget proposed massive cuts to Medicaid that they say would devastate the nation’s mental health care system.
“Medicaid pays for about a quarter of mental health and substance abuse treatment in this country,” said Rebecca Farley David, vice president for policy and advocacy at the National Council for Behavioral Health.
Slashing Medicaid means taking mental health care from vulnerable populations, David said, even if grants elsewhere are tacked on.
“By and large, if we make major cuts to Medicaid, we lose any progress that we might make elsewhere,” she told NBC News.
Trump, in his brief remarks at the White House Thursday morning, spoke about securing the nation’s schools — and underscored the need for meaningful action.
“We are committed to working with state and local leaders to help secure our schools, and tackle the difficult issue of mental health,” he said in brief remarks at the White House Thursday morning. “Later this month, I will be meeting with the nation’s governors and attorney generals, where making our schools and our children safer will be our top priority. It is not enough to simply take actions that make us feel like we are making a difference. We must actually make that difference.”
Andrew Sperling, the director of legislative and policy advocacy at National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI), noted that the White House has also allowed states to add work requirements to Medicaid coverage, something that undermines those seeking care for addiction or mental health requirements that could temporarily land them out of work, but not rise to the level of a permanent disability, which are excluded from work requirements.
“They’d lose access to the very treatment they need to get better,” Sperling told NBC News.
The president also quietly rolled back a controversial Obama-era regulation early last year that made it harder for people with mental illnesses to buy guns. Gun control and mental health advocates nationwide were split on this, with many in the latter group arguing that mental illness does not correlate with violence, while gun control supporters argued it was necessary.
Paul Gionfriddo, president and CEO of Mental Health America, said the country needs to rethink its approach to mental health entirely. Suicide rates keep rising as the mortality rates of other major killers like cancer dips because the nation invested in early, preventative care to catch symptoms early, he said.
“We never did that with mental illness. Here, we wait, and we wait, and we wait until we have crises,” he told NBC News. “The lesson of yesterday is not what we’re going to do about the shooter, it’s what we’re going to do about all the victims of the shooting: 3000 people in that school—they’ve all experienced a profound trauma, and yet we have no level one trauma centers for mental health in this country. We have no plan.

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Considering all of the political news and ongoing Tweet “governing”, we are still no closer to proper legislation of any sort. We have 1 cabinet member complaining about his treatment by  the voters while he flying (now he wants to fly first class on our dime). We have TOTUS still earning from his businesses while serving(?). We have a Congress who seems to be afraid to anger the “Child”. We have well known  and documented misogynist (possible pedophile) sitting in the Oval office. I cannot see what there is to hide since the intentions of this administration and the complicit Congress are clear. They have no moral responsibility to us and it seems will not do anything for us. This ongoing stream of lies from Washington is hotter than a lava flow and unfortunately hardens into what appears true. It is as always incumbent on the voters to be educated on activities in Government and understand that our current Government leaders from Municipal to Federal appear to be consummate liars. They make proposals that sound good but like an onion you have peel back the layers to get at the truth. Every bill, proposal or law making activity is steeped in the tired practice of inserting “other” issues into them that will be passed along with the major or public part of the proposal. These “secret insertions” are sometimes items that will bite us (the voters) down the road while we coast along not seeing the warning signs.

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Apparently Mr. Pruitt feels ill used by the people he is supposed to advocate for, I guess his rollback of environmental protections for the country’s health should not be a flash point for the voters. Suppose he did the job he is supposed to do (serve the people) maybe his travel experience would improve. His actions along with a few other cabinet minister’s travel habits explain why this administration’s policies do not bode well for us.MA

EPA: Pruitt faced profanities from fellow passengers when he flew coach
Brandon Carter 8 hrs ago

© Provided by The Hill
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revealed that Administrator Scott Pruitt faced profanities and confrontations while traveling after controversy surrounding his use of first-class flights.

The director of the EPA’s Office of Criminal Enforcement, Henry Barnet, told Politico that Pruitt was “approached in the airport numerous times” and had profanities “yelled at him” during his travels.
Barnet told the publication that one specific incident saw a person approach Pruitt and shout “Scott Pruitt, you’re f—ing up the environment” while recording it on a cellphone.
“The team leader felt that he was being placed in a situation where he was unsafe on the flight,” Barnet told Politico.
“We felt that based on the recommendation from the team leader, the special agent in charge, that it would be better suited to have him in business or first class, away from close proximity from those individuals who were approaching him and being extremely rude, using profanities and potential for altercations and so forth,” he continued.
The EPA’s defense of the administrator’s traveling habits comes after The Washington Post reported Sunday that Pruitt frequently flies first class on official trips, costing taxpayers thousands of dollars.
CBS News reported late Tuesday that Pruitt flew business class in June on an Emirates flight back from Italy after obtaining a waiver to rules that require official travel to be on United States-flagged airlines.
On Tuesday, Pruitt blamed his first-class flying on interactions that have “not been the best.”
He told the New Hampshire Union Leader that his security detail dictated his travel choices, and he played no role in the decisions.
“We live in a very toxic environment politically, particularly around issues of the environment,” Pruitt said.
“We’ve reached the point where there’s not much civility in the marketplace and it’s created, you know, it’s created some issues and the [security] detail, the level of protection is determined by the level of threat.”
Pruitt and his family have received far more threats than previous EPA leaders. E&E News reported that the EPA’s inspector general opened about 70 investigations into threats in 2017, about double the previous year.
In response, Pruitt and the EPA have taken additional security measures that his predecessors didn’t.

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