Dr. Leana S. Wen: Graham-Cassidy Health Care Proposal Is Detrimental to Nation’s Health

The Graham-Cassidy bill scheduled to be voted by the Senate next week is even more detrimental than previous attempts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It will take away health insurance coverage from millions of people, devastate Medicaid, and eliminate protections for patients, including coverage for pre-existing conditions. Cloaked under auspices of giving autonomy and flexibility to the states, this bill proposes to reallocate funding from the federal government to states. Such a block grant approach sounds good in theory, but when there is $299 billion less federal support, states will have far less funding. Maryland alone stands to lose more than $2 billion in state and federal funding in FY2020 through this proposal, and would lose $4.8 billion in federal Medicaid dollars by 2026. States will have to make difficult choices about which programs to cut, and will be on the hook for all unexpected costs, including hikes in... Continue reading
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Wendy Davis Interview Series: Episode 1

KOFA Managing Partner Jamie Fontaine talks with Wendy Davis, former Texas State Senator and founder of the women’s advocacy initiative Deeds Not Words, about the opportunities and challenges facing today’s young women. Davis was propelled to national prominence in 2013 when she took to the Texas Senate floor for a 13-hour filibuster on an abortion restriction bill. In this first of a two part series, Wendy shares her story of overcoming adversity to achieve greatness; the mission of Deeds Not Words, an advocacy organization focused on providing the tools and information to help women engage in the process; and about her primary focus today: economic justice for women. Next week in part two, they discuss Betsy DeVos’ proposed dismantling of Title IX.... Continue reading
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Cory McCray's Story is Baltimore's Story

Baltimore has shaped Cory since the day he was born. Now Cory is working hand-in-hand with our neighborhoods to shape Baltimore. Cory is running for Senate so that he can continue expanding our opportunities, listening to our needs, and figuring out how to serve them. He asks for your support, as he continues to work on our behalf in Annapolis.... Continue reading
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Dr. Leana S. Wen: Five Issues for the White House Opioid Commission to Address

Yesterday, the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis issued its draft interim report on fighting the national opioid crisis. I support the draft recommendations included in the Commission’s report, especially the call for declaring a national state of emergency. Imagine if there were hundreds of people dying from a disease such as Ebola or a natural disaster every day—there would be no question about the necessity of such a declaration. I am also heartened to see that the recommendations follow the best available evidence, including support for medication-assisted treatment, which has been scientifically shown to be effective in treating opioid addiction. This is similar to the use of insulin for treating diabetes, and reinforces what we know in medicine to be true; addiction is a disease, treatment exists, and recovery is possible. In completing this report, I urge that the Commission focuses on the following five issues: ... Continue reading
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Jamie Fontaine: Fear 2.0

Trump’s Twitter announcement Wednesday that the U.S. will no longer “accept or allow” transgender people to serve in our military may well be his most blatant and outrageous attack on the LGBT community yet. Along with many peers in the political and LGBT communities, my immediate response to Trump’s win was to question what impact his presidency could have on my marriage, my children – my civil rights. Perhaps naively, I surmised the answer was likely very little. Of course, the LGBT community was not alone on November 9th in our forced calculation of the consequences of a Trump presidency on our lives and our families. We stood alongside a dizzying number of minority, ethnic and faith-based organizations and individuals in a surreal resurgence of collective fear – something that’s always been with members of the LGBT community to varying degrees, but in my adulthood, never so close to the surface.... Continue reading
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