Teens are still having sex, most use contraception

http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/22/health/teen-sex-contraception-study/index.html

 

(CNN) American teens’ sex habits and contraceptive use haven’t changed much over the past decade, according to a new report from the National Survey of Family Growth, which is administered by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Since 1988, the CDC has been tracking the sexual activities and behaviors of US teens age 15 to 19. The latest numbers from the report released Thursday involved information gathered in interviews with 4,134 teens from 2011 to 2015.
In that time period, 42% of female teens and 44% of male teens reported having had sex at least once, a 1% decrease for females and a 2% increase for males over the previous four years, spanning 2006 to 2010. These differences are not statistically significant.
However, there was a significant decrease in teens who reported having sex in 2011 through 2015 compared to those who reported doing so in 1988. Contraceptive use has also significantly increased over the years. Ninety percent of females now report using contraceptives, compared with 80% in 1988. Males also reported more contraceptive use, from 84% in 1988 to 95% from 2011 to 2015.
Compared with the 2006-2010 report, the latest survey found that reported contraceptive use increased from 86% to 90% in females and 93% to 95% in males, respectively. But these rate differences were also not statistically significant.
The report also found that condoms, withdrawal and the birth control pill were still the most commonly used forms of birth control, with percentages staying steady over the years.
Aligned with these results, the rates of teen pregnancy and births in the US have been steadily decreasing since the early 1990s. In 2015, a historic low of 22.3 births per 1,000 teens was recorded.
Joyce Abma, lead author of the report and a demographer at the CDC, said it’s important to understand these trends because teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections are public health issues.
“Teen sexual activity and contraceptive use are the direct mechanisms that lead to teen pregnancy” and sexually transmitted infections, Abma said. “So knowing how prevalent, how common, those behaviors are and how they differ according to different subgroups, demographically, helps policy makers and practitioners know where and how to apply intervention.”
The CDC survey is conducted annually and involves face-to-face interviews in participants’ homes. Teens’ responses are gathered in complete privacy. And the questions have not been changed since the survey first asked teens about their sexual activity and contraceptive use in 1988.
Nicole Cushman, executive director of Answer, a national organization that provides sex education training to teachers and resources to young adults, said the survey results are more good news for teens.
“This new data really confirms the continuation of trends that we’ve been seeing for many years now in teen sexual health,” she said. “My take-away message from these trends over the years is that young people are doing a great job at making responsible decisions about their sexual health. I think it really shows that when we equip young people with the knowledge and the skills to protect their sexual health, they’re capable of making decisions best for them.”
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But Cushman also thinks there may be room to expand the scope of questions on the annual surveys.
“Very often, when we look at reports like this, we get focused on the clinical details around pregnancy prevention and STD prevention. And those are certainly important topics,” she said. “But when we work with actual teens, what they often remind us of is that these behaviors take place in the context of relationships. And teens really are concerned with the emotional aspects of those relationships. So that’s something we need to consider when crafting our sex ed and public health programs.”
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These few things may help stave off dementia, scientists say

Scientists think there may be a few things you can do to keep dementia at bay: train your brain, keep your blood pressure under control and stay active.

According to a report published Thursday by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM), there is promising evidence that cognitive training, managing your blood pressure if you have hypertension and increasing your physical activity may help prevent age-related cognitive decline and dementia.

The report’s findings line up with the Alzheimer’s Association’s findings from two years ago, said Keith N. Fargo, the association’s director of Scientific Programs and Outreach. In 2015, the organization published its own review and identified two things that could help minimize the risk of cognitive decline.

“They were increasing physical activity and improving cardiovascular health,” he said.

“The ideas were there before the report,” said Dan G. Blazer, a member of the NASEM committee that conducted the study and the J.P. Gibbons Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus at Duke University Medical Center. “What is good for the heart is good for the brain. Therefore, exercise and controlling high blood pressure are good for the brain.”

And cognitive training is getting a lot of attention now, said Blazer. Cognitive training refers to programs or exercises aimed at improving reasoning, problem-solving, memory and processing speed. Sometimes they can be computer-based.

In one randomized control trial of 2,832 participants that the committee reviewed called the Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly (ACTIVE) trial, those who had received cognitive training in reasoning and speed-of-processing showed less decline in those areas than those who didn’t — after ten years.

“(Cognitive training) is an area worthy of looking forward,” said Blazer.

The evidence is encouraging, but not enough to embark on a public health campaign, said Alan I. Leshner, the chair of the NASEM committee and CEO Emeritus of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In the report, the findings were described as “encouraging, but inconclusive” evidence.

Further research needs to be done, the report added.

Even so, Fargo of the Alzheimer’s Association said the public should understand one thing.

“There are things that you can do to reduce your risk,” he said.

“You can take your own cognitive health and brain health in your hands,” he said. “You can affect it in a positive way.”

Follow Sarah Toy on Twitter: @sarahtoy17

Shifting Dollars From Poor to Rich Is a Key Part of the Senate Health Bill

The Affordable Care Act gave health insurance to millions of Americans by shifting resources from the wealthy to the poor and by moving oversight from states to the federal government. The Senate bill introduced Thursday pushes back forcefully on both dimensions.

The bill is aligned with long-held Republican values, advancing states’ rights and paring back growing entitlement programs, while freeing individuals from requirements that they have insurance and emphasizing personal responsibility. Obamacare raised taxes on high earners and the health care industry, and essentially redistributed that income — in the form of health insurance or insurance subsidies — to many of the groups that have fared poorly over the last few decades.

The draft Senate bill, called the Better Care Reconciliation Act, would jettison those taxes while reducing federal funding for the care of low-income Americans. The bill’s largest benefits go to the wealthiest Americans, who have the most comfortable health care arrangements, and its biggest losses fall to poorer Americans who rely on government support. The bill preserves many of the structures of Obamacare, but rejects several of its central goals.

Like a House version of the legislation, the bill would fundamentally change the structure of Medicaid, which provides health insurance to 74 million disabled or poor Americans, including nearly 40 percent of all children. Instead of open-ended payments, the federal government would give states a maximum payment for nearly every individual enrolled in the program. The Senate version of the bill would increase that allotment every year by a formula that is expected to grow substantially more slowly than the average increase in medical costs.

 

Avik Roy, the president of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity, and a conservative health care analyst, cheered the bill on Twitter, saying, “If it passes, it’ll be the greatest policy achievement by a G.O.P. Congress in my lifetime.” The bill, he explained in an email, provides a mechanism for poor Americans to move from Medicaid coverage into the private market, a goal he has long championed as a way of equalizing insurance coverage across income groups.
States would continue to receive extra funding for Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid to more poor adults, but only temporarily. After several years, states wishing to cover that population would be expected to pay a much greater share of the bill, even as they adjust to leaner federal funding for other Medicaid beneficiaries — disabled children, nursing home residents — who are more vulnerable.
High-income earners would get substantial tax cuts on payroll and investment income. Subsidies for those low-income Americans who buy their own insurance would decline compared with current law. Low-income Americans who currently buy their own insurance would also lose federal help in paying their deductibles and co-payments.

The bill does offer insurance subsidies to poor Americans who live in states that don’t offer them Medicaid coverage, a group without good insurance options under Obamacare. But the high-deductible plans that would become the norm might continue to leave care out of their financial reach even if they do buy insurance.

The battle over resources played into the public debate. Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, said the bill was needed to “bring help to the families who have been struggling with Obamacare.” In a Facebook post, President Barack Obama, without mentioning the taxes that made his program possible, condemned the Senate bill as “a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America.”

In another expression of Republican principles, the bill would make it much easier for states to set their own rules for insurance regulation, a return to the norm before Obamacare.

Where Senators Stand on the Health Care Bill
Senate Republican leaders unveiled their health care bill on Thursday.

Under the bill, states would be able to apply for waivers that would let them eliminate consumer protection regulations, like rules that require all health plans to cover a basic package of benefits or that prevent insurance plans from limiting how much care they will cover in a given year.

States could get rid of the online marketplaces that help consumers compare similar health plans, and make a variety of other changes to the health insurance system. The standards for approval are quite permissive. Not every state would choose to eliminate such rules, of course. But several might.

“You can eliminate all those financial protections,” said Nicholas Bagley, a law professor at the University of Michigan. “That would be huge.”

Americans with pre-existing conditions would continue to enjoy protection from discrimination: In contrast with the House health bill, insurers would not be allowed to charge higher prices to customers with a history of illness, even in states that wish to loosen insurance regulations.

But patients with serious illnesses may still face skimpier, less useful coverage. States may waive benefit requirements and allow insurers to charge customers more. Someone seriously ill who buys a plan that does not cover prescription drugs, for example, may not find it very valuable.
There are features that would tend to drive down the sticker price of insurance, a crucial concern of many Republican lawmakers, who have criticized high prices under Obamacare. Plans that cover fewer benefits and come with higher deductibles would cost less than more comprehensive coverage.

But because federal subsidies would also decline, only a fraction of people buying their own insurance would enjoy the benefits of lower prices. Many middle-income Americans would be expected to pay a larger share of their income to purchase health insurance that covers a smaller share of their care.

The bill also includes substantial funds to help protect insurers from losses caused by unusually expensive patients, a measure designed to lure into the market those insurance carriers that have grown skittish by losses in the early years of Obamacare. But it removes a policy dear to the insurance industry — if no one else. Without an individual mandate with penalties for Americans who remain uninsured, healthier customers may choose to opt out of the market until they need medical care, increasing costs for those who stay in.

The reforms are unlikely to drive down out-of-pocket spending, another perennial complaint of the bill’s authors, and a central critique by President Trump of the current system. He often likes to say that Obamacare plans come with deductibles so high that they are unusable. Subsidies under the bill would help middle-income consumers buy insurance that pays 58 percent of the average patient’s medical costs, down from 70 percent under Obamacare; it would also remove a different type of subsidy designed to lower deductibles further for Americans earning less than around $30,000 a year.
Out-of-pocket spending is the top concern of most voters. The insurance they would buy under the bill might seem cheap at first, but it wouldn’t be if they ended up paying more in deductibles.

Mr. McConnell was constrained by political considerations and the peculiar rules of the legislative mechanism that he chose to avoid a Democratic filibuster. Despite those limits, he managed to produce a bill that reflects some bedrock conservative values. But the bill also shows some jagged seams. It may not fix many of Obamacare’s problems — high premiums, high deductibles, declining competition — that he has railed against in promoting the new bill’s passage.

State Dept.’s anti-Semitism monitoring office to be unstaffed as of July 1

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The U.S. State Department’s office to monitor and combat anti-Semitism will be unstaffed as of July 1.

A source familiar with the office’s workings told JTA that its remaining two staffers, each working half-time or less, would be reassigned as of that date.

The Trump administration, which has yet to name an envoy to head the office, would not comment on the staffing change. At full staffing, the office employs a full-time envoy and the equivalent of three full-time staffers.

The State Department told JTA in a statement that it remained committed to combating anti-Semitism – and cited as evidence the tools, including the department’s annual reports on human rights and religious freedom, that existed before Congress mandated the creation of the envoy office in 2004.

“We want to ensure the Department is addressing anti-Semitism in the most effective and efficient method possible and will continue to endeavor to do so,” the statement said.

“The Department of State condemns attacks on Jewish communities and individuals. We consistently urge governments around the world to address and condemn anti-Semitism and work with vulnerable Jewish communities to assess and provide appropriate levels of security.

“The Department, our Embassies, and our Consulates support extensive bilateral, multilateral, and civil society outreach to Jewish communities,” the statement continued. “Additionally, the State Department continues to devote resources towards programs combating anti-Semitism online and off, as well as building NGO coalitions in Europe. We also closely monitor global anti-Semitism and report on it in our Country Reports on Human Rights Practices and International Religious Freedom Report, which document global anti-Semitism in 199 countries.”

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told Congress in testimony earlier this month that he believed special envoys were counterproductive because they provided an excuse to the rest of the department to ignore the specific issue addressed by the envoy.

Congressional lawmakers from both parties have pressed the Trump administration, in letters and proposed bills, to name an envoy and to enhance the office’s status. They have noted that unlike other envoys, whose positions were created by Trump’s predecessors, the office of the envoy on anti-Semitism is a statute and requires filling.

“As the author of the amendment that created the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, I remain hopeful that these critical positions will be filled,” Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., who authorized the 2004 law, said in a statement to JTA.

Jewish groups have lobbied President Donald Trump to name an envoy, saying that despite Tillerson’s testimony, the position has been key to encouraging diplomats and officials throughout the department to focus on anti-Semitism. Hannah Rosenthal, a special envoy on anti-Semitism in the Obama administration, instituted department-wide training on identifying anti-Semitism.

“The idea of having a dedicated envoy who can travel around the world to raise awareness on this issue is critical,” the Anti-Defamation League CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, told JTA in an interview.

“That doesn’t mean there isn’t value for all ambassadors and every embassy in addressing issues of anti-Semitism and bigotry in countries they operate,” he said. “But if the administration is truly committed” to combating anti-Semitism, “maintaining the special envoy for anti-Semitism seems like a no-brainer.”

The ADL, coincidentally, launched an online petition Thursday to the White House to fill the position.

Officials of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which has enjoyed a good relationship with the Trump administration, said that if the unstaffing was coming ahead of a reorganization of the office, that was understandable. But positions remain unfilled in all of the major federal departments and agencies since Trump took office.

“However, we are almost in July and there is still no one of proper rank at the State Department whom the Wiesenthal Center and others can work with to re-activate US leadership in the struggle against anti-Semitism at a time when global anti-Semitism is rising,” said an email from Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean of the center, and Mark Weitzman, its director of government affairs.

Jason Isaacson, the American Jewish Committee’s director of government and international affairs, said the position was essential.

“It’s not as though the need for a special envoy has diminished,” he told JTA in an interview. “If anything it has increased.”

ADL: KKK STILL ACTIVE IN 33 STATES

 

The organized Ku Klux Klan movement remains active in 33 states, according to a report released on Thursday by the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, which tallied 42 affiliated groups across the United States.

This is a slight increase from early last year, when according to ADL, there were 37 groups.

 

Titled “Despite Internal Turmoil, Klan Groups Persist,” the report examines trends within the movement, recent activity across the country and current tactics. It found that the movement’s most consistent activities continue to be the distribution of racist, antisemitic, homophobic and Islamophobic fliers.

The report describes groups affiliated with the movement as ephemeral – their stability challenged by infighting, the perception among adherents that they are not authentic and competition from other rising white-supremacist movements, such as the alt-right and white-supremacist prison gangs.

“The Ku Klux Klan movement is small and fractured but still poses a threat to society,” ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt said. “These hardened racists and bigots are looking to spread fear, and if they grow dissatisfied with the Klan, they move on to other groups on the extreme far-right. There’s lots of instability and unpredictability in the Klan movement.”

Oren Segal, director of ADL’s Center on Extremism, said: “For a number of years, the Klan has tried to regain its standing among the hodgepodge of hate groups but have largely failed to maintain the notorious status they once had.

“Despite the decline, we are still seeing the same extremist ideology manifesting itself into violence from some of its purported membership. The somewhat new collaboration with some of the most vehement white supremacists out there is a concerning trend we will continue to monitor and expose.”

JOHNNY DEPP JOKES ABOUT ASSASSINATING DONALD TRUMP

Johnny Depp

Actor Johnny Depp poses on a Cadillac before presenting his film The Libertine, at Cinemageddon at Worthy Farm in Somerset during the Glastonbury Festival in Britain, June 22, 2017.. (photo credit:DYLAN MARTINEZ/REUTERS)

Fifty-four-old-actor Johnny Depp is no stranger to controversy, but he found himself in hotter water than usual on Thursday for a remark against US President Donald Trump, The Telegraph reported.

“I think Trump needs help,” he said while promoting his film The Libertine at Glastonbury Festival. “There are a lot of dark places he could go.”
He continued, “I’m not insinuating anything – by the way, this will be in the press and it will be horrible – but when was the last time an actor assassinated a president?”

Johnny Depp: “When was the last time an actor assassinated a President?”

Crowd reaction? Cheers & laughter

GOP reps targeted/shot days ago

In response to cheers, Depp added, “Don’t worry, I’m not an actor, I lie for a living.”

American actress Kathy Griffin recently lost a contract with CNN due to a failed attempt at comedy in which she was photographed holding a model of Trump’s bloody and decapitated head.

In ‘incredible feat,’ Canadian sniper kills IS fighter from 2 miles away

A Canadian special forces sniper killed an Islamic State fighter in Iraq from 2.1 miles away, in what was feted as a new world military record for a confirmed kill from that distance, Canadian media reported on Thursday.

The shot, which took under 10 seconds to hit the target, thwarted jihadists from dropping a bomb on Iraqi forces, according to The Globe and Mail.

“This is an incredible feat. It is a world record that might never be equaled,” the paper quoted a military insider as saying.

The previous record, unchallenged since 2009, stood at 2,475 meters (1.5 miles) when British sniper Craig Harrison targeted a Taliban gunman. In 2002, another Canadian sniper, Rob Furlong, broke the record at 2,430 meters (1.5 miles).

“The Canadian Special Operations Command can confirm that a member of Joint Task Force 2 successfully hit a target at 3,540 meters [2.1 miles],” the elite forces said in a statement, according to the Canadian paper. “For operational security reasons and to preserve the safety of our personnel and our Coalition partners we will not discuss precise details on when and how this incident took place.”

The sniper used a McMillan TAC-50 rifle and fired from a high-rise building, according to the report. The incident was said to take place in the past month.

A military source told The Globe and Mail the “shot in question actually disrupted a Daesh [Islamic State] attack on Iraqi security forces.”

“Instead of dropping a bomb that could potentially kill civilians in the area, it is a very precise application of force and because it was so far way, the bad guys didn’t have a clue what was happening.”

Canadian forces are part of the US-led coalition to combat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

‘We don’t need them’: Austrian FM wants to end Islamic kindergartens to boost integration

Shutting down Islamic kindergartens where children have little or no command of German would be an efficient way to ensure the integration of migrants, Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said.
The comment was made at a public event set up by Kurier newspaper.

“Of course, we don’t need them. There should be no Islamic kindergartens,” Kurz said when asked whether he would agree to completely get rid of such facilities.

According to the foreign minister, proficiency in German must become a gateway to Austrian society.

Immigrant children and others “who have little or no command of German” would have to attend kindergarten one year longer than their Austrian peers, he said.

Consequently, many Arab or Chechen kindergartens will fail to meet the requirements for state benefits and will be left with no choice but to close, Kurz said, adding, “This is the easiest way in terms of the law.”

In the meantime, the government “does very much” to improve integration efforts, Kurz said. He added, however, that success “depends very much on the number of those [who should be] integrated.”

Opposition parties say it is the policy of the current government, which Kurz is a part of, that has led to a situation in which the state sponsors childcare facilities that contribute to the creation of parallel societies.

It was Kurz’s Austrian People’s Party (OVP) that “always voted for more subsidies for those kindergartens and it was his party and his [policy] that tried to cater all these Muslim and radical Islamist movements in Austria,” Johann Gudenus, the Vice Mayor and a City Council of Vienna, told RT.

Gudenus, who is a member of the far-right Freedom Party of Austria (FPO), went on to say that the current “sudden” change of heart of the Austrian government is just an attempt to gain more support ahead of parliamentary elections which are scheduled for October 2017.

The foreign minister’s initiative also drew criticism from the Austrian Muslim community, which called it “institutionalized discrimination.”

If one “just forbids a religious minority, the Muslims, [to establish kindergartens] but allows other [communities] to do that … than this is a very clear institutionalized discrimination of a religious community,” Tarafa Baghajati, the chairman of the Austrian Muslim Initiative group, told RT.

Baghajati further accused Kurz of using Islamophobia to advance his political interests.

Controversy regarding Muslim kindergartens was recently stirred when a study by Austrian-Turkish Professor Ednan Aslan found more than 10,000 children aged from two to six attend around 150 Muslim preschools in Vienna which teach the Koran and pave the way for “parallel societies,” according to AFP.

“Parents are sending their kids to establishments that ensure they are in a Muslim setting and learn a few suras (chapters from the Koran),” Aslan, who researches Islamic education at Vienna University, told AFP.
“But they are unaware that they are shutting them off from a multicultural society,” the scholar said. According to his estimates, up to a quarter of Islamic kindergartens were being sponsored or supported by ultraconservative Salafist groups or organizations.

The study, published last year, resonated widely in the community, but some rejected the findings citing the unreliability of Aslan’s methodology. Biber, a local magazine, dispatched an undercover reporter who posed as a Muslim mother looking for a place for her son at an Islamic kindergarten.

She found no evidence of Aslan’s claims that Islamic preschools were nurturing future Salafists, but acknowledged many of those kindergartens were cutting off or isolating children from mainstream society. There were also questions about the “openness” of some staff and their command of German.

Kurz, the youngest foreign minister in the EU at the time of his swearing-in back in 2013, has previously advocated putting more curbs on immigration. In March, he proposed the opening of refugee centers outside the European Union, suggesting the Republic of Georgia and countries of the Western Balkans as possible locations.

Last year, he also made some incendiary remarks on refugees being rescued on their way across the Mediterranean, saying a rescue from a boat in distress should be “no ticket to Europe.”

Refugees who are rescued from boats in the Mediterranean Sea “must be returned immediately, ideally to their country of origin,” Kurz vowed at the time.

Trump’s staff blew him off when he demanded they ‘do something’ about veterans being deported

Among the many of people being deported to their country of origin are a number of veterans who have served in the United States military. Democrats approached President Donald Trump about the problem at a private dinner but his staff rebuffed his interest in helping.

“We should do something about this,” Trump said, sources familiar with the meeting told BuzzFeed.

According to the report, a staffer promptly told Trump that the veterans committed crimes and that was why they were being deported. Trump then told Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX) he should send the request in writing and Gonzaez said that he already has sent two letters.

“These veterans fought for our country and many suffer PTSD caused by their service,” Gonzalez wrote in his letter to Trump. “I hope to work with you and your administration to create an executive order that stops the deportation of veterans who served in combat.”

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) announced that it would work to help veterans being deported. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) is leading a delegation of members of Congress to meet deported vets now living in Mexico. Members of the caucus requested a meeting with the Department of Veterans Affairs to discuss the matter and Attorney General Jeff Sessions denied a meeting request.

BuzzFeed reports that some Democrats think it’s a waste of time to approach Trump on this issue.

“I find it amazing that after someone calls you a rapist, a drug dealer and a murderer, you can just sit down with him and have dinner without him apologizing first,” said Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL). “To me, that seems like turning your back on the kids and the families who are in harm’s way.”

According to numbers released in May, immigration arrests are up 38 percent nationwide under Trump. Arrests of undocumented immigrants whose only crime is coming into the United States illegally have increased by an even greater number. Between Jan. 22 and April 29, ICE did 10,800 “non-criminal arrests.” That number was less than half in 2016 at just 4,200, which marks a more than 150 percent increase.

Thomas Homan, ICE’s acting director, claimed the spike in arrests come from “agents and officers have been given clear direction to focus on threats to public safety and national security.”

“I don’t think you sit down and break bread with Trump until there is a cease-fire,” he continued. “The attorney general has refused to meet with the CHC, so I don’t see avenues for productive dialogue until this administration changes its tune.”

Another Texas Democrat agreed with Gonzalez’s attempt at doing whatever is possible to help veterans.

“The president of the United States invites you to dinner at the White House, you go,” he told BuzzFeed. “But there’s a right way and a wrong way to handle it. The meeting made him look weak, it made him look like the president was using him, and he didn’t help himself with that fucking letter.”

American carnage: Here are 7 ways the Senate’s Trumpcare bill will screw over patients

The Senate Republican Party released its proposed health care bill on Thursday — and while it had significant differences with the bill that passed the House, it will keep much of the original bill’s same architecture.

From higher deductibles to massive cuts to Medicaid to higher premiums for older Americans, the Senate bill will make life worse for patients from the minute it’s enacted.

Below, we go through the seven biggest ways the Senate Trumpcare bill screws over Americans.

1. American insurance companies will charge higher deductibles. One of the bill’s key provisions is repealing Obamacare’s cost-sharing subsidy program that is used to better fund insurers so they don’t have to pass added costs off on their patients in the form of higher deductibles. Eliminating this program will mean higher deductibles for patients.

2. Medicaid beneficiaries in the northeast will see funding for their treatments cut. States that exceed average per-patient Medicaid spending by 25 percent will be penalized by having their allotted funding slashed by up to 2 percent per year.
However, it turns out that rural states like Alaska and North Dakota might not be affected, as Weismann notes that the bill contains a special carve out for “low density states” that would exempt them from penalties.
3. All people who got their coverage through the Medicaid expansion will see it wiped out by 2025. Starting in 2020, the bill will start reducing the amount of money allotted to Medicaid, which significantly expanded under the Affordable Care Act. After 2024, the extra amount allotted to Medicaid will be gone completely, effectively repealing the entire expansion.

4. States will be able to deny you Medicaid if you’re unemployed. The bill allows states to set “work requirements” for Medicaid beneficiaries, meaning that if you’re out of a job, you won’t be able to get assistance.

The bill makes a few exceptions for this rule, as elderly people, pregnant women, and children cannot be denied access to Medicaid if they are unemployed.

5. Older Americans will see their premiums go up. The bill makes major adjustments to Obamacare’s regulations about what constitutes an “affordable” health care plan for individuals of different income brackets. In the new bill, the affordability thresholds are lowered for younger, healthier Americans — and are increased for older Americans who have greater risk of health problems.

Additionally, the bill repeals Obamacare’s provisions that bar insurers from charging more than three times as much money to older patients as they do to younger patients. Under the new bill, older patients can be charged up to five times as much as younger patients.

6. Your employer is no longer required to offer you affordable insurance. Under Obamacare, employers with 50 or more employees are required to offer their workers health plans whose costs do not exceed a certain percentage of their income.

Under the Senate bill, those protections are gone — meaning employers don’t have to offer you coverage, and they have no limits on how much money can be charged for the coverage they do offer.

7. Planned Parenthood would get completely defunded for a year. The bill proposes completely eliminating federal subsidies to Planned Parenthood for a year, which would reduce the organization’s ability to offer critical care to women who need it.

“Slashing Medicaid and blocking millions of women from getting preventive care at Planned Parenthood is beyond heartless,” Planned Parenthood boss Cecile Richards said in response to the bill. “One in five women in this country rely on Planned Parenthood for care. They will not stay silent as politicians vote to take away their care and their rights.”