Google Lobbyists Fighting Anti-Human Trafficking Legislation

Google lobbyists are blitzing members of the U.S. Congress to stop their efforts to combat online sex trafficking by amending section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) in the respective bills S. 1693 and H.R. 1865.

As currently interpreted by U.S. federal courts, Section 230 of the CDA grants broad immunity to Internet platforms for third-party posts, even to websites that intentionally facilitate sex trafficking online such as Backpage.com.

Research by Consumer Watchdog reveals that Google has provided millions of dollars to support Backpage’s legal defense. Much of that legal defense hinges on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA).

Moreover, a Harvard professor uncovered that in 2011 that Google earned over a billion dollars in revenue from unlawful advertising they had failed to block which included child sex trafficking.

Tech lobbyists are claiming that this law is an attack on free speech, but this is only an attack on criminal acts (read more myths vs facts about this legislation here.)

Google has an army of lobbyists and a trove of financial resources, so if you are fighting to defend women, children, and men from trafficking or prostitution or sexual violence then your voice is needed in this effort!

Ways you can take action:

  1.  Email your elected officials and ask them to support efforts to amend section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
  2.  Sign the petition to ask Google to stop defending websites that facilitate sex trafficking.
  3. Spread the word! Talk to your friends about this problem, ask any journalists you know to cover this story, and share the below graphics on social media.

Thank you for taking a stand!

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KEEPING YOUR KIDS SAFE IN THE INFORMATION AGE by The Carlson Law Firm

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Silencing ALL opposition voices: Inside The Media Matters Playbook | | Media Equalizer

These College Students Lost Access to Legal Pot – And Started Getting Better Grades

The most rigorous study to date shows that college students in the Netherlands who are denied access to “cannabis cafes,” do better academically than their peers who are allowed to frequent them.

The Dutch have permitted marijuana to be sold and consumed in cafes that are strictly regulated, may not sell other drugs or advertise, and are swiftly shut down if they fail to comply with regulations.

The Dutch town of Maastricht, which is close to the borders of Germany, Belgium, France, and Luxembourg, experienced a problem with drug tourism. People from those countries came to Maastrict to buy marijuana legally; those from Luxembourg and France created most of the problems. So Maastrict authorities denied citizens from Luxembourg and France access to the cafes.

But students from all five nations attend Maastrict University. The town’s policy change gave researchers a natural experiment to determine whether legalization vs. prohibition in the same student body makes a difference in their academic performance.

In fact, it does. Students banned from the cafes, who were less likely to use marijuana and suffer cognitive deficits from its use, experienced a 5 percent increase in their odds of passing their courses. The beneficial effect was even more pronounced for students at risk of dropping out.

The authors conclude:

We have investigated how restricting cannabis access affects student achievements, finding that the performance of students who lose legal access to cannabis substantially improves. Our analysis of underlying channels suggests that the effects are specifically driven by an improvement in numerical skills, which existing literature has found to be particularly impaired by cannabis consumption. This article provides the first causal evidence that restricting legal access to cannabis affects college students’ short-term study performance. We believe that our findings also imply that individuals change their consumption behavior when the legal status of a drug changes.

Read Washington Post article here. Read research paper here.

American Society of Addiction Medicine Faults Study Purporting to Show Marijuana is an Effective Substitute for Pain-Relieving Opioids

As the assertion continues that marijuana is a safe and effective alternate to opioids for pain relief, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) takes issue with the scientific validity of a new study that intensifies the claim.

“Cannabis as a Substitute for Opioid-Based Pain Relief,” a new study, “demonstrates several distortions that can and do arise with the current enthusiasm for cannabis as a panacea,” says William Haning, MD, editor-in-chief of ASAM Weekly.

Dr. Haning notes that Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research “is an online open access periodical published by an enterprise that captures specialty niches.”

He continues, “The article and the accompanying polemical editorial which asserts ‘that cannabis is a safe, non-addictive product,’ suffer from the illusion of balanced scientific inquiry.”

He goes on from there. Read his ASAM Weekly editorial here. Read Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research study here.

Economy Needs Workers, but Drug Tests Take a Toll

In an oddly titled article, which appears to blame drug testing rather than drug use, the New York Times reports that the middle-class factory jobs President Trump promised to bring back from overseas are going begging because applicants can’t pass drug tests.

“Indeed, the opioid epidemic and, to some extent, wider marijuana use are hitting businesses and the economy in ways that are beginning to be acknowledged by policy makers and other experts,” notes the article.

One expert says the drug issue keeps workers who are trapped in low-paying jobs from securing better-paying, blue-collar positions and a toehold in the middle class.

The Times, whose editorial board called for full marijuana legalization a few years ago, observes that “workplace considerations – not social conservatism or imposition of traditional mores – make employee drug use an issue.”

The owner of a boiler-making factory in Youngstown, Ohio, explains why. “The lightest product we make is 1,500 pounds, and they go up to 250,000 pounds. If something goes wrong, it won’t hurt our workers. It’ll kill them.”

Maybe traditional mores like safety concerns have value after all.

Read New York Times article here.

How the Legalization of Marijuana Affects Employee Drug Testing

Medical marijuana laws vary greatly from state to state. A few require employers to accommodate workers’ medical marijuana use when possible. Most don’t.

This map demonstrates the current status of the differing requirements of state marijuana laws.

Read blog entry here (second story).

Pattern of Marijuana Use During Adolescence May Impact Psychosocial Outcomes in Adulthood

Escalating marijuana use in adolescence may lead to higher rates of depression and lower educational achievement in adulthood, a new study published in Addictionfinds.

Researchers interviewed 159 boys and young men who were part of a longitudinal study of males at high risk for antisocial behaviors and other problems based on low income, family size, and gender.

At age 20, each participant reported whether and how much marijuana they used each year since they started. Their brains were also scanned.

The “boys who started occasionally using marijuana around 15 or 16 years old and had a dramatic increase in use by the time they were 19 had the greatest dysfunction in brain reward circuitry, the highest rates of depression, and the lowest educational achievements,” say the researchers.

“Though the results do not show a direct causal link,” they say, “it’s important to note that even though most people think marijuana isn’t harmful, it may have severe consequences for some people’s functioning, education, and mood.”

Read Science Daily article here. Read Addiction abstract here.

Marijuana and Vulnerability to Psychosis

Researchers at the University of Montreal, pictured above, find that going from occasional to weekly or daily marijuana use increases an adolescent’s risk of having recurrent, psychotic-like experiences by 159 percent.

Although marijuana causes many kinds of cognitive problems, “the development of inhibitory control was the only cognitive function negatively affected by an increase in marijuana use,” say the researchers.

“Our results show that while marijuana use is associated with a number of cognitive and mental health symptoms, only an increase in symptoms of depression — such as negative thoughts and low mood — could explain the relationship between marijuana use and increasing psychotic-like experiences in youth,” the lead researcher said.

Read Science Daily article here. Read Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatryabstract here.

Depression Among Young Teens Linked to Cannabis Use at 18

Young people (ages 12-15) with chronic or severe depression are at elevated risk of developing a marijuana-use disorder in later adolescence.

Researchers at the University of Washington, pictured above, collected data from 521 students recruited from four Seattle middle schools and conducted annual assessments of the students at ages 12-15 and then again at age 18.

The scientists found that a “one standard deviation increase” in cumulative depression during early adolescence produced a 50 percent higher likelihood of marijuana-use disorder at age 18.

They were surprised to see that the prevalence of both alcohol-use disorder and marijuana-use disorder were higher among their students than national averages. What effect marijuana legalization in Washington may have had on these outcomes is not clear.

They point out that a similar study in another state that has not legalized the drug would clarify the issue.

Read Science Daily article here. Read Addiction abstract here.

Note:

After publishing our story about Georgia Representative Allen Peake last week, we came across a video on Haleigh’s Hope Facebook page in which Rep. Peake explains how he is violating federal law by distributing a Schedule I drug throughout the state. We posted the video on The Marijuana Report’s Facebook page. You can see it here.

The Marijuana Report is a weekly e-newsletter published by National Families in Action in partnership with SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana). Visit our website, The Marijuana Report.Org, to learn more about the marijuana story unfolding across the nation.

SUBSCRIBE to The Marijuana Report.

SUBSCRIBE to Spanish edition of The Marijuana Report.

TAKE ACTION: Let Your Congress Members Know that You Support the Hearing Protection Act

As we’ve previously covered a number of times, the Hearing Protection Act (HPA) is a federal bill to reduce the burdensome and antiquated acquisition process for firearm suppressors.  The bill would eliminate the excessive wait times (sometimes as long as a year) and the burdensome tax on transferring or making a suppressor.

Support for the HPA among gun owners remains very strong.  The HPA has been one of the most viewed bills on Congress.gov since its introduction in January, and it has regularly been the most popular bill on the site.  But, now more than ever, Congress needs to hear this support.

As members of Congress return to their home states and districts for the August recess, they often focus on constituent services, so now is a very opportune time to contact your elected representatives.  

Please contact your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative and urge them to support and cosponsor the HPA

If they already are a cosponsor, please thank them for their support.

You can contact your member of Congress via our “Take Action” tool by clicking HERE, or use the Congressional switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

This is How You Make Health Care Affordable by Jay Bowen

As the debate continues to rage in Washington, D.C., and around the country regarding the fate of Obamacare, one elegantly simple concept that would have a dramatic impact on healthcare costs is being drowned out by inflammatory rhetoric.

The One Area of Health Care That’s Defying Massive Inflation

Out-of-pocket payment (OPP) by consumers for routine medical care would transform the system from one dominated by third party payers toward a model that would put consumers in charge of their healthcare dollars, and for the first time unleash market disciplines into the equation.

After all, we can all only imagine what our grocery carts would look like, not to mention our restaurant tabs, if a third party was paying for our food. Unfortunately, out-of-pocket payments have steadily trended down over the last 60 years and now account for only 10.5% of healthcare expenditures.

It is both stunning and disconcerting that the myriad of benefits that flow from a competitive, market driven system have never, in any substantial way, penetrated the healthcare and medical services arena. However, one striking exception to this competitive wet blanket is the $15 billion cosmetic surgery industry, the poster child for out of pocket payments, where innovation and price disinflation have been hallmarks for decades. Examples abound.

As Mark Perry has pointed out on his brilliant economic blog, Carpe Diem, over the past 19 years, the 20 most popular cosmetic procedures have increased at a rate 32% below the consumer price index (CPI) and 68% below the rate of medical services inflation.

Thus, the backbone of a productive reform plan must include a move away from third parties and employers controlling health care dollars toward individuals holding sway over their medical purse strings.

Removing Constraints

This would mean that the “employer contribution” that currently is used to fund corporate group policies would transition to an increase in an employee’s compensation, which would be funneled tax-free into a robust health savings account (HSA) that the employee would control for routine medical expenses.

As Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute has pointed out, “The employer contribution for health care is part of a worker’s earnings and averages $13,000 per family. Yet the tax code gives control over that money to employers rather than the workers who earned it.”

Importantly, this HSA would be paired with a high-deductible catastrophic policy and also be valid in the individual marketplace. Additionally, this would go a long way in helping to solve the portability issue that some employees face when changing jobs or careers.Essential to making these individual plans more attractive and affordable would be the abolition of both the “community rating” and “essential health benefits” mandates currently embedded in Obamacare policies. These concepts make a mockery of a legitimate, actuarially sound insurance market by shifting costs from older and sicker people to younger and healthier people, thus promoting adverse selection.

Without these constraints, families could focus on basic and affordable policies that would better match their needs and also begin building a “rainy day health fund” via their HSA accounts.

Regarding both Medicaid and pre-existing conditions, a strong dose of old fashioned, Tenth Amendment-oriented federalism is long overdue in dealing with these issues.

In fact, both from a philosophical and practical standpoint, they should never have come under the purview of the federal government and are best left to the individual states where diverse, vibrant, and innovative solutions could be implemented. This could include the establishment of reinsurance programs and high-risk pools for those with pre-existing conditions, and the phasing out of the open-ended federal entitlement status of Medicaid through a multi-year block grant program.

A Patient-Centered System

The current third party payment/community rating model for delivering healthcare is unsustainable and rapidly headed for the dreaded “death spiral,” which occurs when an escalation of sick people flock to the exchanges for insurance, while an increasing number of healthy people choose to leave the market. In fact, Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini has recently acknowledged as much.

Make no mistake, Obamacare was designed to invariably lead to a government-run, single-payer model, with its global budgeting, rationing of care, and long wait times for vital procedures in tow.

Without swift and decisive intervention with a system based on patient-centered choice and market mechanisms, the end result will be a Veterans Affairs (VA)-like model that would combine the worst aspects of government inefficiencies and substandard care.

A quick glance at the dismal state of Great Britain’s National Health Service (NHS), Canada’s single payer scheme, or our own insolvent Medicare and Medicaid plans provides Americans with an acutely unpleasant hint of what is in store if a single-payer model does indeed transpire.

Jay Bowen

Jay Bowen

Mr. Bowen joined Bowen, Hanes & Company, Inc. in 1986. As the firm’s Chief Investment Officer and economic strategist, Mr. Bowen is responsible for the formulation and implementation of the firm’s economic and investment strategies.

Are ‘Traitors’ Eligible for Reelection?

In 2018, all 435 U.S. House Members and 34 U.S. Senators are up for reelection. How many of them are “traitors” to their oath of office and why are they even eligible to run for reelection? Our laws are written to hold the political parties responsible for vetting their candidates. It’s up to “the people” to make sure they do it by filing a party challenge against anyone who shouldn’t appear on a primary ballot.

Every member of Congress is seated in power under this Oath of Office;

“I, AB, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

Every member of congress who violated this oath is a traitor to that oath, failing to bear true faith and allegiance to our Constitution and the people who elected them. No matter which party they claim as their political home, since when are traitors eligible for reelection? Once having violated their oath, are they in office legally, or are they just acting fraudulently under the color of law?

Traitor is defined in U.S. law as one who engages in acts of treason, sedition and/or subversion. Certainly, any elected or appointed official who proudly carries the banner of “Never-Trump” and works around the clock to undermine and subvert the will of 63 million Trump voters is engaged in sedition and subversion, especially when violating other laws in that process.

Every Governor, Mayor, State Legislator, City Council member, law enforcement agent and member of Congress who is acting to subvert Federal Immigration and Naturalization Laws, which have constitutional legal supremacy, is acting to undermine the Constitution in direct violation of their oaths of office. That is yet again, an act of sedition.

Through their criminal actions at all levels – subverting taxpayer funds by issuing drivers licenses (voter ID) to illegal aliens – creating sanctuary cities – giving free housing – financial aid, taxpayer funded health care, SSI and SSI disability to those without any legal right to be here, they undermine the Rule of Constitutional Law and violate their oaths.

These acts amount to a planned foreign invasion of the United States and if 63 million people show up for the 2018 primaries all over the country, they can end defacto immunity and begin to drain this sewer called government.

Article I of the U.S. Constitution grants Congress the sole power to legislate and regulate immigration and naturalization in the United States, under the enumerated powers of Congress. Congress has legislated and everyone else is held accountable for the enforcement thereof.

WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE THE “TERM LIMITS”

435 House members have a two-year term limit and all of them are up for reelection in 2018. 100 Senate members have a six-year term limit and 34 of them are up for reelection in 2018, 25 Democrats and 9 Republicans.

The people” are supposed to provide “term limits” for those who refuse to keep their oath of office. Those who act to undermine a duly elected President and subvert the will of 63 million voters have no business running for reelection. Those who have already violated their oaths can’t be eligible to seek that office again, unless “the people” do nothing.

The North American Law Center (TNALC.org) has launched a national drive to “REPEAL AND REPLACE CONGRESS.” The first announcement pertains to the U.S. Senate, wherein “the people” have an opportunity to finish off Democrat influence in the Senate in 2018. TNALC will offer campaign target information and opposition research to those working on the ground to REPEAL AND REPLACE Congress.

The Center will soon issue information on House Republicans who have been working with House Democrats to thwart the will of their voters.

63 Million Strong

63 million American voters can do anything they set out to accomplish. They proved that in 2016 by defeating a record sixteen GOP primary challengers and “sure thing” Hillary Clinton to seize the people’s White House.

The same 63 million voters can take full control of Congress in 2018, if only they will work together to accomplish that goal. Building frustration with Congress and their leftist “fake news” media may provide the motivation they need to do exactly that…

A revolution to regain American control of America started in 2016 at the people’s White House. The leftist backlash was entirely predictable. The globalist left represented in both political parties today, was never going to leave a hundred-year effort to bring America to her knees without a fight. Something as unimportant in D.C. as “the will of the people,” was never going to deter the globalists from pursuing their agenda.

The people who took back the White House in 2016 must follow up by taking total control of Congress in 2018. All the marbles are in play and the stakes couldn’t be higher. If “the people” fail their 2018 mission, they will leave Trump a sitting duck for the balance of his term and make his reelection nearly impossible in 2020.

LET THE REVOLUTION RAGE ON!

RELATED ARTICLE: 7 Republicans voted to keep Obamacare — what they said then and did now

Healthcare Debate Gets it All Wrong by Jim Ley

In my former career, I administered the acquisition of healthcare coverage for more than 5,000 employees at a cost of more than $30 million annually. It was one of the fastest growing components of our budget and competed directly with our ability to provide raises to our employees. So I dug into the associated dynamics, looking for strategic leverage to keep some downward pressure on cost growth.

I have some educated sense for this issue. And the problem is not what political leaders have been talking about.

Obamacare or Trumpcare? I don’t care what you call it; only the naïve or those afflicted with partisan bias believe that either has anything to do with better healthcare. Whether it is the Democratic approach or the putative Republican attempt, there is one thing that is so clear that it is hard for me to understand why it is not talked about more.

Insurance is not healthcare

This 10-year conversation is about the movement of money to the benefit of one interest group or another – it is definitively not about my healthcare.

Both “solutions” are nothing more than attempts to increase the amount of federal influence over the movement of money within one sixth of the U.S. economy, the maintenance of the status quo as to how that money flows (at best) and efforts on behalf of a variety of interests to advance the status quo — that is, the flow of money — on their behalf.

If this were about actual healthcare, the patient and the service provider would be the chief interest being served and talked about. That is the system that would be targeted for reforming to the best results. But they are rarely discussed except in some rhetorical fashion that suits the politics of the blabbering head that spews the rhetoric.

Special interests drive the healthcare laws

The real interests that gain from the healthcare laws, in their rough order of influence, are as follows:

  • The health insurance industry
  • The pharmaceutical industry
  • Trial lawyers
  • Congress
  • The hospital industry
  • Medical equipment manufacturers
  • The federal health system (Medicare and Medicaid)
  • (With Obamacare) the State Medicare oligarchy
  • Health experts
  • Those elevated to the status of poor by Obamacare’s Medicare expansion

The interests that are hurt by the healthcare laws, from least to most:

  • Doctors
  • Safety net Medicare patients
  • The employed but uninsured public dependent on the private market
  • Workers insured through their employer

Limited space keeps me from commenting on each of these interests so I’ll just pick a few as examples.

At the top of the heap sits the insurance industry, hiding behind their self-produced rhetoric of risk associated with instability in the system. Not only did they benefit from Obamacare’s requirement that everyone must buy insurance, but in 2009 their industry lobbying arm created enough fear in the political realm that they leveraged a $165 billion subsidy from the Obama administration. No appropriation was ever made by Congress, and to date, this administrative act of appropriation has been declared illegal by the courts.

Note that all you hear on TV is “instability” in the system and the need to maintain an insurance industry subsidy — working hard to include in law what is currently judged illegal. Their talking points, emanating from the mouths of Congressmen and Senators, once again lead the debate and harken for the need for the feds to further mine the taxpayer wallet and remove risk from insurance companies; making them the big winners.

After all it is easier to “sell” you a product with less concern as to a buyer’s normal demand for quality for his/her dollar spent, when someone else, in this case the federal government, creates a product and demands its use without ever having to pay for it. The only worse situation would be if the feds actually paid for a product — with other people’s money in the form of taxes — that they would never use themselves as a consumer. In economic  transactional terms, that is called a third party system, but we would know it as the single-payer proposal.

The most value laden economic transaction is when you buy something for yourself with your own dollar. In that way you consciously make the decision between the quality of the purchase and the dollar spent. These third-party purchasing transactions, read as “single payer,” always produce the least value for the highest cost in any economic transaction. But they do produce some degree of certainty for those interests capable of positioning themselves correctly within the flow of cash.

Broken Medicaid is the example of single payer

Another lunacy created by Obamacare, and now wanting to be protected jealously by state governors who hungrily ate the poison apple, is the expansion of Medicaid.

Here you have what is supposed to be a safety net system, which is indeed structured as a safety net system, trying to become a system of normal healthcare access for an expanded group of consumers who have now been declared “in need.”

The craziness is that — aside from the taxpayer who is paying for this system out of general revenues, unlike Medicare which is supported by a specific tax — the person getting hurt the most is the truly indigent patient who has no other recourse than to use Medicaid.

Medicaid is such a broken system that over half of the doctors in the country will not take Medicaid patients. Adding more patients to an already broken system only ensures that those most in need will be those most hurt. All that the Medicaid bureaucrats can be glad for is that there is another broken federal healthcare system, the Veterans Administration, which sucks up all of the outrage oxygen when it comes to poor patient treatment.

Despite this track record, the Medicaid budget for the U.S has risen from 2% of the federal budget in the early 90s to almost 10% today — a 400% rise. It is often suggested that Medicare works well, and is a good example of a single payer system. Proponents of single payer don’t want to admit that the real model would be Medicaid.

How to know when it is about healthcare

You will know when there is a serious healthcare discussion when patent protection and generic drug time-to-market is seriously discussed. When tort reform is seriously advanced as a necessary component of healthcare reform.

When Medicaid decision making is granted to the states — where healthcare is most efficient and most constitutionally accomplished. When efforts like Health Savings and Health Savings Retirement Accounts are supported by tax credits. When healthcare benefits provided by employers are taxed if tax credits are not given for the Health Savings Accounts. When the days of the $300 aspirin disappear because more first-party purchase transactions keep the system transparent.

Why do you think that it costs dramatically less in inflation adjusted dollars for cosmetic services or veterinary services than it did 30 years ago? Simple, because they cannot hide behind the market-killing fog of second- and third-party transactions as means of obfuscating the corruption in the healthcare pricing system.

When those with preexisting conditions are supported by all of us, through risk pools managed by the states, possibly funded by taxes on employer provided healthcare benefits, you’ll know we’re really talking about healthcare for Americans.

The more that we move toward a direct relationship between the doctor and patient, the better the system will be.

The rhetoric and fear mongering that you hear screaming at you from your TV, radio and newspaper are nothing more than talking points from special interests seeking to prop up their position in this complex system. They are fighting tooth and nail to maintain themselves — not you — as a winner in the movement of almost $3 trillion.

ABOUT JIM LEY

Jim Ley has more than 35 years in public service, the last 25 of which were in top level administrative positions in two of the more dynamic counties in the U.S. Jim served two terms as President of the National Association of County administrators and was a leading “small government” voice in the profession. His administrative focus has been on financial sustainability and accountability to the taxpayer.

Related Healthcare Articles in The Revolutionary Act

Both Parties Want Federal Government Control of Healthcare

A True American Healthcare System

EXPLAINED: Government Healthcare is not Christian

HEALTHCARE REFORM: Freedom Is Its Own Indispensable Goal

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Revolutionary Act.

On Technically Enhanced Man by James V. Schall, S.J.

James V. Schall, S.J. on the “progress” towards the integration of machines into humans. This seems very much a case of something we can do but shouldn’t.

Whether a technically enhanced Schall would be an improvement over the original version is probably something that I, though admittedly equipped with battery-powered hearing aids, do not have to worry about. But most other folks do. A nephew sent me a list of “The 50 Smartest Companies.” I did not quite know what to make of it.

So I sent a query to a friend who is up to speed on these things. He noted that a remarkable number of these “smartest” companies work on the human condition itself. The human “instrument” that is man’s body and mind can be radically improved.

Death of the automaton Talos, c. 350 B.C. National Archaeological Museum, Puglia, Italy.

Here is my friend’s summation:

“I think the big trend relative to tech innovation is technology as intertwined with human beings. And I don’t mean humans using technology. I refer to having technology inserted into our bodies – and brains – and even being directly connected with computers.”

People already have heart-pacers that need recharging every so often. Doctors today deftly perform operation with hand-extending robot devices. Presumably if a baby in the womb is diagnosed with a low IQ, some chip can be inserted into the little tyke to get him into Harvard when the time comes. We have watches that tell us how many miles we walk, calories we eat, and the vagaries of our blood pressure.

Computer mechanisms have become so small that they can be inserted anywhere from the brain to the big toe silently to perform the function for which they were designed. Soon, we can recharge our batteries by walking near an outlet. Batteries will last for decades. I had a watch battery that lasted five years.

Descartes thought that, while we could know nothing of reality outside of ourselves, we could construct even the human body so that we could not tell the difference between the real one and the one that was his own manufacture. How could he compare what he did not know with what he made?

Click here to read the rest of Father Schall’s column . . .

James V. Schall, S.J.

James V. Schall, S.J., who served as a professor at Georgetown University for thirty-five years, is one of the most prolific Catholic writers in America. Among his recent books are The Mind That Is Catholic, The Modern Age, Political Philosophy and Revelation: A Catholic Reading, Reasonable Pleasures, and, new from St. Augustine’s Press, Docilitas: On Teaching and Being Taught.

4th Annual Female Veterans Retreat

The 4th Annual Female Veterans Retreat will be held from September 14th to September 17th, 2017 at Day Spring Episcopal Conference Center, Ellenton, Florida.

This year’s retreat is being sponsored by Gold Coast Eagle Distributing Company/Budweiser, The Home Depot (Sarasota Store #0255 & Venice Store #0273), and BMW of Sarasota.  Without their assistance, our female veterans would be unable to attend this retreat for FREE!  If you would like to assist them in making these annual retreats and reunions happen for female veterans.

Please go to their GOFUNDME page (https://www.gofundme.com/femaleveteransunite) and donate or you may write out a check to FVU, P.O. Box 5403, Sarasota, FL  34237-5403.  All donations are tax deductible.

The founder of this event, Ms. Georgie Alfano-Cronk said that she is thrilled that the applications have recently come pouring in for this very important event. This retreat is a FREE event that is held annually at Day Spring Episcopal Conference Center in Ellenton, Florida in September for 4 days and 3 nights for our Women Warriors.

BMW of Sarasota

During this retreat, the women will do various projects and activities that will allow them to build the bonds of trust with other women veterans who have also “walked their same walk.”

Ms. Elizabeth Cereska, (Army, SP4), is now the secretary of this unique 501C3 corporation and became directly involved with these ladies after attending one of their retreats in 2015.  She said, “I have come such a long way myself.  I attended the retreat and I was amazed at how the facilitators were able to bring me out of my shell so quickly.  When I arrived at Day Springs for this retreat, I was very introverted.  I stayed to myself.  I turned my name tag around, and did not want to be in any of their pictures.  In looking back at the experience, I was probably a little bit angry.  I was angry that the VA had been unable to reach out to me and to resolve my individual concerns and I figured that these people would not be able to help me either. Boy; was I wrong.  Female veterans certainly are a different breed. We trained and served alongside the men, and then came home to become caregivers, wives, mothers, employees, and students.  Somewhere in that journey of a difficult and challenging transition, many of us lost our inner selves.  We have a tendency to be relentless and we want to be good role models within our communities…but where do we really fit in?  The “Vietnam Veterans” are truly the forgotten ones.

Dr. Jason Quintal

Dr. Jason Quintal & Associates, located at 5460 Lena Road, Suite 103, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34211 (941) 907-0525 provided me with better resources that I ever had access to within the VA system.  Female Veterans Unite gave me the opportunity to become a whole person again and that is why I have become a volunteer for this very rewarding corporation for women veterans.”

Ms. Georgie Alfano-Cronk, the founder of FVU, has been a volunteer in the Sarasota/Manatee community for over 17 years in many different capacities.  It was only during these last 8 years that Georgie has stepped up to the plate to focus all of her attention on “female veterans” and “homeless veterans” issues.  She is the “pit bull” behind the scenes.  She knows many of the issues that women veterans want to discuss because she herself served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.  “It has been extremely difficult for me.  When I got out of the service with my Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in 1976, there were no counseling services available to me.  I was 21 years old and knew that I had to step up to the plate in order to “survive and thrive” because if not, I was going to be left behind.  I had my entire life ahead of me and I had no idea how to face it while suffering from a major disability.

Because I did not want to just give up on my life, so then began my many trials and tribulations.  I absolutely know all of the various subject matter that female veterans want to discuss in our groups.  They include domestic violence, military sexual trauma, post-traumatic stress, substance abuse, healthy relationships, and VA benefits/resources.  And this is just some of what we cover at our retreats and reunions.   We want to be able to explore these topics in depth and to brainstorm solutions to our problems too.  Our veterans want to be able to have these discussions freely and to know that their issues will not be placed anywhere in their medical records!  Plus more times than I care to admit to; errors have been made in many of our VA medical records which just adds salt to our wounds.  Female Veterans Unite has strived to provide our attendees with a safe platform in order to address these sensitive issues.  Yes, we do expect to shed a few tears during our journey back home in September.   But I can guarantee to these women, that we will do more laughing and joking around, plus sharing lots of supportive hugs to get us through the rocky times!  Women Warriors are just that…we are surviving warriors who just refuse to give up.”

Left to right: Sponsor Hugh Shields, G. Alfano-Cronk, and Sponsor John Saputo

Ms. Jennifer Seybold, a former retreat attendee and Army veteran herself, is a volunteer who heads up the ladies Quilting Committee. Because of her dedication to the FVU cause, she makes each female veteran feel the “warmth of community love” by providing enough quilts so that each woman warrior will receive a quilt free of charge.  “It is important that our women military heroes feel important and appreciated by the community.  Along with the male soldiers, we also made that commitment to protect and defend our Country, and for many of us, we have paid a very high price for our years of enlistment.  Back in the earlier days, many of us women did not serve in combat or travel overseas as our younger female veterans are doing today; however we were the “support teams” back here in the States. Every day is a real challenge for me, but by being around other women veterans, I have more of a chance of continuing to build strong bonds that will last a lifetime for me”.

Patty Maybray, a former Air Force Veteran and the head of Human Resources at The Home Depot store in Venice (#0273), facilitates a special project that she chooses for the women each year. The Home Depot totally supplies all of the materials for her class, and because Patty is also a female veteran, she is able to get the women to open up and discuss their individual concerns while she teaches her DIY project.  The Home Depot (both the Sarasota & the Venice Store) has provided countless cases of water to keep the ladies completely hydrated during the retreat.  The Home Depot Stores are big supporters of our military personnel and the veteran organizations in our communities and can always be counted on to pitch in and help out our veterans!  If you have any questions about this event, please call (941) 266-2769 or (727) 807-6458.  And in the meantime, find a Women Warrior and thank her for her service to our Country.

This year’s retreat is being sponsored by Gold Coast Eagle Distributing Company/Budweiser, The Home Depot (Sarasota Store #0255 & Venice Store #0273), and BMW of Sarasota.  Without their assistance, our female veterans would be unable to attend this retreat for FREE!  If you would like to assist them in making these annual retreats and reunions happen for female veterans; please go to their GOFUNDME page (https://www.gofundme.com/femaleveteransunite) and donate or you may write out a check to FVU, P.O. Box 5403, Sarasota, FL  34237-5403.  All donations are tax deductible.

Trump Threatens to End Obamacare Bailouts

This past weekend, President Trump vowed to take administrative action to end two Obamacare bailouts if Congress doesn’t quickly repeal the failing healthcare law.

The first bailout is the exemption that President Obama helped give to Members of Congress and the second bailout is the subsidy program Obama created for health insurance companies.

And the best part about President Trump’s threat is that short of passing a new law, Congress can’t stop him.

Please show your support for this decision by sending a letter to President Trump urging him to end these bailouts.

There is no reason why Congress should have a special Obamacare exemption and there is no reason why the insurance companies that lobbied for Obamacare should get a taxpayer bailout.

If the DC establishment won’t take action to repeal Obamacare and provide true relief to the American people, then they should have to live under the law they passed and share the pain.

Many Republican lawmakers are afraid of what the Democrats and media will say about them if they repeal the law, but that pales in comparison to what the voters will do to Republicans at the ballot box if they allow it to continue.

Senator Ted Cruz was right when he said, “No party can remain in power by lying to the American people.” 

Please thank President Trump for being willing to end the Obamacare bailouts and urge him to make it happen.

These policies are unfair and should be terminated immediately.

Thank you for standing strong for freedom and for doing your part to make your voice heard in Washington.

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How Trump Could Force Congress and Its Staff to Live Under Obamacare

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Drug and Alcohol Addiction in the LGBTQ Community

30%

As much as 30% of the LGBTQ demographic abuse substances, compared to 9% in the heterosexual population.

In most cases, drugs and alcohol are a way for a person to deal with problems in their lives. The fact is – many people within the LGBTQ have to deal with way more problems than the average person. They for one can experience higher levels of stress, social stigmas, and discrimination. Therefore, this leads to much higher substance abuse rates compared to heterosexual people.

The Alarming Statistics Of LGBTQ Substance Abuse

As previously mentioned – substance abuse is a huge problem within the LGBTQ community and is much more common than in any other demographic. In fact, it is thought that around 20-30 percent of the LGBTQ demographic abuse substances, in comparison to about 9 percent that of the regular demographic.

Here are some more addiction statistics regarding the LGBTQ:

Tobacco

  • 200%
  • People within the LGBTQ are 200% more likely to use tobacco than heterosexual and non-transgender people.

Alcohol

  • 25 percent of people identified as LGBTQ abuse alcohol, in comparison to about 5-10 percent of the regular demographic.

Drugs

  • Men that have intercourse with men are over 3.5 times more likely to use marijuana
  • These same men are also 12.2 times more likely to use amphetamines than men who do not have intercourse with men.
  • They are also 9.5 times more likely to use heroin.

From the statistics shown, we can come to grasp that there is an obvious problem within the LGBTQ. From alcohol to drugs the issue is there, but what are we doing about it? If a person needs help for addiction, they usually go to rehab. However, for people within the LGBT, it can be a bit more difficult. Sometimes they’re denied treatment, and sometimes they might feel like an outcast and relapse. Fortunately, there are specific rehabs designed for LGBTQ people.

Why Are LGBTQ People More Likely To Become Addicted To Drugs And Alcohol?

Stress triggers that lead to addiction in LGBTQ people may include any or more of the following:

  • Fear of persecution which leads to living a stressful double life in order to conform
  • Isolation that arises from public ridicule and rejection
  • Emotional trauma caused by abuse by other people especially family members
  • Internalized homophobia, a deep self-loathing, feelings of shame and of being damaged
  • Religious intolerance and inability to join a particular faith
  • Social discrimination that prevents them equal access to healthcare and job opportunities
  • Frustration from an inability to pursue a love interest
  • Feelings of loneliness and lack of intimacy or someone to confide in

A fear of persecution leads to isolation, hiding who you are from all around you is a huge reason for someone to have a substance abuse problem.

Rejection from regular society is a big issue – not everyone is on their side, and discrimination can lead to a lack of chances with job opportunities. Taking the jump if the person on the other side of the table is for or against you can put much pressure on someone, leading again to substance abuse.

It is not always the public that contributes to substance abuse with someone within the LGBTQ community. Self-worth is also a big factor, always judging yourself, self-loathing and even shame of who you are can once again lead to abusing a substance.

Studies have been conducted in this area and their findings are:

  • LGBT youth is up to 300% more likely to succumb to drug addiction
  • A quarter of LGBT people abuse alcohol whereas the fraction is less than a tenth for the general populace
  • A larger percentage of LGBTQ people have experimented with harmful drugs: 63% have experimented with Ecstasy, 63% have experimented with marijuana, 48% have experimented with amyl nitrate and 45% smoke an average of more than 10 cigarettes daily.

Other Problems Caused By Drugs And Alcohol Addiction In The LGBTQ Community

Addiction is not only a problem in and of itself. It is also a cause or escalator of other psychological or health problems. The mental processes of people suffering from addiction are often clouded which leads them to make bad choices. It is also very probable that an addict will mostly interact with fellow addicts making it even more difficult to overcome the addiction as they are constantly surrounded by enablers. Their decision making is usually poor, especially while under the influence. Trying to cope with life’s issues by drug or alcohol use will likely cause even more life issues, and so the self-perpetuating vicious cycle goes on and on.

People who are addicts are often highly susceptible to:

  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Suicidal tendencies
  • Health risks such as liver cirrhosis or lung cancer
  • HIV contracted by sharing needles
  • Sexual dysfunction

Having a problem with an addiction usually leads to having even more problems. Depression is a big issue in the LGBTQ and can lead to an eating disorder. LGBT men are actually 3 times more likely to have an eating disorder. Not only that, an addiction to certain drugs could even lead to HIV when sharing needles or other drug use equipment.

Helping LGBTQ People Suffering From Addiction

Recognizing issues associated with addiction is quite important, for gay or transgender people getting help is a little different than a regular person suffering from addiction. For one, LGBT individuals can find help in specifically designed rehab centers just for them. There are treatment centers catered to the unique needs of lesbian women, bisexuals and even LGBTQ youth. Overall these individualized treatment options make a big difference in the ability for them to recover from an addiction.

Some issues treated at LGBTQ treatment centers are:

  • Managing discrimination from others
  • Dealing with depression, anxiety, and guilt that stem from sexual orientation or gender identity
  • Handling peer pressure
  • Guidelines for accepting their identity and coming out

The Advantage Of Specialized LGBTQ Rehab Centers

As more and more help centers spring up with more understanding of the specific needs of LGBTQ. Going to such rehabilitation centers will make the patient feel more at home and assist in the recovery process. Being around other people with the same struggles in itself is a great therapy which can tremendously help the patient’s feeling of self-worth and self-esteem. These people need to be cared for in a warm and welcoming environment where they do not feel the alienation that drove them into addiction in the first place. Rehabilitation in these types of places takes into account other disorders, whether they are innate or they have been developed over the years.

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EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on AddictionResource.com.

The Sordid History of Eugenics in America

By Christine Niles, M.St. (Oxon.), J.D. on ChurchMilitant.com.

“Three generations of imbeciles are enough”

During the so-called “Progressive Era,” the United States became the first country in the world to implement wholesale compulsory sterilization laws with the aim of weeding out “inferior stock,” i.e., eugenics, in order to produce a more “perfect” race.

Multiple states passed laws requiring forcible sterilization of inmates, with the American Eugenics movement gaining traction among intellectual elites in the early 20th century. The American Eugenics Society was founded in 1926 with the aim of “improving the genetic composition of humans through controlled reproduction of different races and classes of people.”

The American Birth Control League, headed by one Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, worked out of the same office as the American Eugenics Society, and pushed the same eugenic goals.

The American Eugenics Society published propaganda to persuade Americans that the “unfit” must be breeded out. Among those deemed “inferior stock” were individuals suffering from blindness, deafness, mental defects, disease, physical deformity and “feeblemindedness” (i.e., low IQ).

Image

U.S. eugenics propaganda

Sometimes promiscuous women, including women who got pregnant out of wedlock, were sent to homes for the feebleminded, where they could be subject to compulsory sterilization. One such woman was Carrie Buck, placed in a home for the feebleminded after she was raped by a neighbor, ending up pregnant. Under Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act of 1924, Buck was sterilized.

Even worse, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the compulsory sterilization as constitutional. In an 8–1 vote, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, writing for the majority in Buck v. Bell (1927), found:

It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. … Three generations of imbeciles are enough.

The women most affected by forcible sterilizations were from ethnic minorities, including Native Americans and African Americans. One study showed that 60 percent of African American women in Sunflower County, Mississippi were sterilized against their will or without their knowledge, some of these procedures taking place unbeknownst to them during childbirth.

American eugenics practices went on to influence the Nazi eugenics program, which ended up with about 350,000 compulsory sterilizations from 1934–1945, paving the way for the Holocaust.

Watch the panel discuss this dark history in The Dowload—Today’s Eugenics.

To learn more please visit ChurchMilitant.com.

EDITORS NOTE: Readers may sign up for a Premium Membership by CLICKING HERE.

7 Republicans voted to keep Obamacare — what they said then and did now

Seven Republican senators voted against Obamacare repeal this week after previously pledging to support it. Here’s a list of the seven senators along with their previous quotes supporting repeal.

Please help us replace them with true conservative leaders by making a contribution to the Senate Conservatives Fund.

Here are the seven Republicans who voted to keep Obamacare

LISA MURKOWSKI (R-AK)

THEN“This law is not affordable for anyone in Alaska. That is why I will support the bill that repeals the ACA and wipes out its harmful impacts.”
NOW: Voted Against Repeal

DEAN HELLER (R-NV)

THEN“The repeal of this law will not only reduce federal spending, but it will also allow Congress to address problems within the current health care system.”
NOW: Voted Against Repeal

SHELLEY MOORE CAPITO (R-WV)

THEN“I have consistently voted to repeal and replace this disastrous health care law, and I am glad that a repeal bill will finally reach the president’s desk.”
NOW: Voted Against Repeal

LAMAR ALEXANDER (R-TN)

THEN“Obamacare was an historic mistake, and should be repealed and replaced with step-by-step reforms that transform the health care delivery system.”
NOW: Voted Against Repeal

SUSAN COLLINS (R-ME)

THEN“I believe that we made – that Congress made – a real error in passing Obamacare, we should repeal the law so that we can start over.”
NOW: Voted Against Repeal

JOHN McCAIN (R-AZ)

THEN“It is clear that any serious attempt to improve our health care system must begin with a full repeal and replacement of Obamacare.”
NOW: Voted Against Repeal

ROB PORTMAN (R-OH)

THEN“[Obamacare] is fundamentally flawed. I do think we ought to delay … and then we’ve got to repeal this thing and start over.”
NOW: Voted Against Repeal

RELATED ARTICLE: John McCain and the Swamp – 1, the American people – 0

EDITORS NOTE: This column is based upon information provided by the Senate Conservatives Fund.

Would Baby Charlie Have Gotten Death Sentence if Not a White Male?

Would baby Charlie have gotten his death sentence were he not a white boy? It may seem an odd question, but there’s a good reason to pose it.

The poor child at issue is Charlie Gard, a British infant thus far denied medical treatment by the U.K. government — even though his parents can pay for it themselves. So much for death panels being a myth.

Charlie has a serious genetic condition called mitochondrial depletion syndrome, which causes progressive muscle weakness and brain damage. The details of it aren’t important here, however. What’s significant is that the boy’s parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, have raised $1.7 million via crowd-funding and can pay for travel and treatment themselves; this would allow them to bring Charlie to the U.S. for a novel therapy offered by a Dr. Michio Hirano.

“Would” is the operative word because the British medical establishment, bureaucracy and courts have, again, thus far said “No, you may not seek further treatment for your son. It doesn’t matter that you’re paying the piper; we’re calling the tune and say he must be allowed to die with ‘dignity’” (as if these statists have even the foggiest idea what that is).

And we’ll have to wait to see if it matters that, according to Dr. Hirano, the new therapy would give Charlie an 11 to 56 percent chance of meaningful improvement, which, even under Common Core math, is far better than the zero percent chance offered by Oceania. (Note: British authorities just recently granted Charlie an 11-day “stay of execution,” so to speak, so that Hirano can travel to the U.K. to evaluate him.) But on to my opening, eyebrow-and-doubts-raising question.

To illustrate why I ask it, here’s a little background. It was revealed in 2014 that British authorities had ignored Pakistani Muslim child sex-trafficking rings for 16 years — even though the perpetrators were responsible for the abuse (and sometimes torture) of at least 1400 girls, some as young as 12. In fact, when complaints were made, the girls were often dismissed as tramps to justify the inaction.

Of course, they were only white girls.

And this abuse is still occurring, we hear.

The reason for turning this blind eye has been absolutely established: The authorities, from police to bureaucrats to social workers, were afraid that pursuing Muslim criminals would get them branded “racist.”

In fact, some of the girls who went to the police “were told they were being racist,” reported The Federalist. And a Home Office researcher attempting to blow the whistle was warned by a colleague that she “must never [again] refer to Asian men” (“Asian” references Muslims in the U.K.). She also was forced into diversity indoctrination to raise her “awareness of ethnic issues.”

You see, better to allow young girls to be raped and brutalized than to, as one British politician put it, “rock the multicultural community boat.”

That is, in today’s (formerly) Great Britain — one of the more politically correct places on Earth.

Now back to poor Charlie. Would the powers-that-be have denied the opportunity for life if he were, let’s say, a Muslim female?

I believe the likely answer is no. They’d be too afraid of accusations of racism (yes, I know “Muslim” isn’t a race, but leftists use “racism” as synonymous with “bigotry”); they’d be worried about their reputations and careers. Their whole mindset would be different. Remember, again, the U.K. is a place where the rape of little white girls is preferable to the implicating of swarthy men.

Yet it’s not just fears of labeling, but also something far darker. In today’s world of identity politics — where we hear about mythical “white privilege,” “dead white males,” “the problem of whiteness” college courses, and prohibitions against whites expressing opinions — white males are lowest on the totem pole. They get the most grief and blame and the least consideration and charity — and compassion. Hey, given group voting patterns, Charlie could grow up to be a Tory or, perish the thought, even a Brexit supporter.

To be clear, I’m not saying the biases in question here are generally conscious. They are mainly, if not completely, those unconscious biases (you know, those things you leftists ever warn about but always get wrong). Man has a great capacity for rationalization, and Charlie’s grim-reaper judges have no doubt convinced themselves they’re acting in the “best interests of the child.” And were the baby a Muslim female, I suspect they would’ve rendered the opposite decision and deferred to the parents without prodding, again convincing themselves of their righteousness.

To those taking offense at my speculation, realize it’s similar to when activists respond to the shooting of a black criminal by claiming it wouldn’t have happened had the miscreant been white. The only difference is that they’re wrong — police are actually more likely to shoot white criminals than black ones — while my suspicion has a basis in today’s social reality.

And this reality is that with the current group spoils system, race and sex can determine one’s chance of enjoying college scholarships, good jobs, justice in court and, perhaps even, life itself.

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com

RELATED ARTICLE: How Britain’s Surrender to the UN Led to Charlie Gard’s Fate

VIDEO: Florida Senator Marco Rubio on what’s really going on in Washington, D.C.

In an email Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) sent out a video on what is really going on in our nations capitol.

Senator Rubio states:

I just recorded a short video for you to make certain you know the truth about what’s happening in Washington.

Right now we are seeing a large increase in false media reporting – everyone is quick to jump on what they think is happening in our government, and fast to point fingers/accusations.

Our country is on a path towards prosperity and success, but the left has put a target on my back with hopes of defeating OUR conservative voice. They hate how hard we are working and how determined we are to restore our nation and undo the damage done by Barack Obama.

Costly Dentist Visit: Some Ways to Save

At some point, everyone needs dental care. Millions of Americans are delaying their dental care for fear of having an appointment with the dentist or simply because it’s expensive. Avoiding dental chairs to save some penny will just cost you even more in the future.

If untreated, it can lead to bigger problems. Will you sacrifice your tooth over a small cavity? Will you just turn a blind-eye on your abscess and just let it become a major infection?

According to the 2013 US Survey of Dental Care Affordability and Accessibility, findings show that 56% of Americans without dental insurance get no preventive care at all. Additionally, 18% have been to the dentist only once or not at all in the past ten years.

Because of the lack of preventive care and dental visits, oral health is starkly poorer among those without dental insurance – 67% have at least one major unmet dental care need (e.g., missing teeth, bleeding gums, toothache). Even among the insured, a majority (57%) currently has at least one unmet dental need. The expensive costs of care and cost transparency are the top two factors that lead patients to withhold from a dental visit.

Nevertheless, if you are one of the millions of Americans keeping his or her dental care on hold out of fear of the cost tied to proper dental treatment, there are some solutions. Follow these tips for a cheaper dental trip.

Brush Your Teeth Regularly

Maintaining a proper routine in taking care of your oral health is essential to being healthy and at the same time money-wise. It may sound cliché, but it’s undeniably efficient in preventing tooth decay and other dental problems. Brushing your teeth is simply sweeping off the food debris left between the teeth. But by forcefully doing this, it will cause cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease.

Even though the enamel, toughest tissue of the human body, covers teeth, it can still be weakened and damaged by brushing staunchly. And once the damage happens, the body can’t fix it.

The recommended way of brushing your teeth is to position your toothbrush bristles at a 45-degree angle to the surface of the teeth and brush gently in small circles.

Also, be cautious when cleaning your gum line since tartar, plaque, and bacteria tend to accumulate in the area. Rinsing with a mouthwash and finishing with floss can be of great help too.

Compare

The cost for a particular dental treatment can vary by several hundred dollars or more. Try checking the average prices in your area, like dental billing in Houston or other states, for similar treatment by calling local dentists and see how much they charge for the treatment you want or you need. You can use websites like Fair Health to check online the average prices of dental procedures in your area.

Get Insured

Finding a way to balance your costs versus savings is possible as there are now more dental insurance options available than ever before. While dental insurance coverage does typically require a monthly or annual premium, and some upfront costs or co-payments, in most cases dental insurance lowers a person’s overall dental costs.

Average dental insurance policies usually operate on a basic 100-80-50 plan: 100 percent coverage for annual routine care; 80 percent of costs for initial procedures including fillings and extractions; and 50 percent cost reduction for major services like crowns, bridges, and others.

However, insurance plans normally have a spending cap. It means that you are only covered for a certain maximum dollar amount each year. A cap of $1,500, for instance, means that any charges incurred after the insurance carrier cover $1,500 in dental costs that year would be your responsibility entirely.

Try a Discount Plan

Another popular option is dental discount schemes. Designed for individuals, families, and groups, It is best when saving some penny on the dental care needs. Members of such plan can save 10% to 60% on the standard cost of dental care and treatments at a network of more than 100,000 dentists nationwide.

Some of the benefits of a dental discount plan include no deductibles, no co-pays, no waiting periods, no paperwork hassles, no restrictions on getting immediate treatment for pre-existing or expensive procedures, and no annual limit on how often you can use your plan to save at the dentist. Exclusions may vary per program.

Schedule Regular Cleanings and Exams

Just because you brush your teeth regularly and thoroughly, it doesn’t mean that you have fully cleaned your mouth. You might have missed tartar between your teeth, in tiny chips and cracks or just below the gum line. The plaque that has formed can result in oral infections if it remains untreated.

Removing plaque shouldn’t be forcefully done. Professional assistance and care are necessary to avoid undesirable consequences later on.

Recently, research shows that annual cleanings for an average dental patient are just as effective as visiting the oral doctor every six months. Moreover, this single appointment is essential as it aids to identify problems before they get serious and pricey. High-risk patients, like those with periodontal disease, may need additional frequent visits.

Ask Your Dentist for A Cash Discount and Negotiate

Image result for dentist

Discount plans aren’t insurance plans, but they are an affordable alternative to the uninsured. Many dentists out there are willing in giving discounts for cash customers. Some pay visits automatically discount up to 5% depending on the clinic. It can be pulled down further for an agreed specific plan.

Ask Questions

Communication is the key. Dentists are highly trained and are well-rounded in their field of expertise, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that your dentist will get to decide solely for you.

Ask questions about the purpose of any procedure that isn’t quite clear to you. Don’t hesitate to ask if the suggested action needs execution. For example:

  •    Is that operation medically compulsory or purely cosmetic?
  •    Is there a cheaper option that would work just as well?

Consider Going to a Local Dental School for Treatment

Dental students need exposure and hands-on practice especially those who are nearing their graduation. Under the supervision of the instructors, they perform cleanings and other procedures for the public at a steeply discounted price compared to those of dental clinics. You can check on the American Dental Association’s list of all the accredited dental schools across the country. Many of them offer services at an affordable price.

Be Part of Clinical Trials

Gray Metal Framed Red Dental Treatment Chair

Some institutes like universities and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research here and then need volunteers for their research. These study participants are often given free or low-cost dental services in trade for their voluntary involvement.

Takeaway

Taking into consideration all the major purchases and health care expenses; it will surely cost you several green bills. But by doing some research, comparing local clinics, getting insured, asking for discounts, etc. can make a huge difference in saving money. Well, you might be provoked to skip an appointment whenever you have a minor toothache, but this isn’t entirely a valid choice.

Dental care isn’t cheap, but the ways above will somehow help you in keeping your mouth healthy along with saving money. Remember, prevention is better than cure. Spending a few bucks is more worthwhile than waiting on dental problems over the long run.