SPLASH! News: Health Care Debate Rages on, Iowa Planned Parenthood to Close Clinics, Paid Family Leave, and More

Dive Into the News for May 19, 2017

Kiran Opal


Americans Die When They Have to Work at Being Healthy

Bloomberg – All over the world, people are dying from common diseases with well-known treatments.

The newly created Healthcare Access and Quality Index shows how well countries use their healthcare systems to stop preventable deaths. The inaugural version of the index finds huge disparities both between countries, and within them. Access to quality healthcare, the study shows definitively, is often the difference between life or death. For Americans, the results aren’t heartening.

“What we have found about health care access and quality is disturbing,” said Dr. Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington and senior author of the study, published in The Lancet. “Having a strong economy does not guarantee good healthcare.”

Meet the Rocket Scientist in Charge of the Girl Scouts

CNN Money – She’s an entrepreneur, a champion of STEM education for girls and a literal rocket scientist.

And now she’s in charge of the Girl Scouts.

Sylvia Acevedo is taking over as permanent CEO of the organization at a time when membership has just stabilized after years of decline. About 2.5 million girls are involved.

One of Acevedo’s jobs will be to get that number up. The sales pitch should be easy: Her own life story has proved that scouting can be life-changing.

Acevedo joined the Girl Scouts when she was 7. She grew up in New Mexico, in what she described as an insular family. Her grandparents had come from Mexico, and the family was strong and close, but “we didn’t fully assimilate into the community,” she said.

Planned Parenthood to Close Four Iowa Clinics After Funding Attack from Lawmakers

Mic – A string of political scandals eclipsing the Trump agenda, and by extension, the future of the Republican Party, have not distracted from Iowa’s GOP-led efforts to choke off funding to Planned Parenthood. As a result of a new state law preventing Medicaid patients from seeking health care through the family planning provider, Planned Parenthood announced on Thursday that it will have to close four of its Iowa clinics, the Huffington Post reported.

The clinic closures in Sioux City, Burlington, Keokuk and the Quad Cities will affect nearly 15,000 patients a year in Iowa, according to HuffPost. The health centers will shut down in June.
The affected cities are located in counties contending with higher than average rates of chlamydia — and women near two of the closing clinics will have to drive over an hour to reach an alternative family planning provider. A Planned Parenthood official said the clinics cannot afford to stay open without government funding.

US Could Get First Paid Family Leave Benefit Under New Budget Proposal

Washington Post – President Trump’s budget proposal next week will include a new benefit for America’s working parents, one Democrats have long championed and Republicans have long opposed: paid family leave.
The president’s first detailed budget request on Tuesday will seek funds for the creation of a program to grant mothers and fathers six weeks of paid leave after the birth or adoption of a child, two senior White House budget office officials said.
The proposal for a family leave program was one of the few relatively large ticket items in a budget which is expected to contain sweeping reductions in spending on nondefense measures.

A Grisly Day of Protests Across Venezuela Leaves at Least Four Dead

TIME – Business owners shuttered shops, a burned police station stood charred black and a state officer in western Venezuela was under arrest Tuesday following a spasm of violence that resulted in at least four deaths in anti-government protests.

An especially grisly 24 hours of turmoil coming after nearly two months of political unrest had nervous residents staying indoors in restive cities like San Cristobal near the border with Colombia.

Authorities announced Tuesday that four men ranging in age from 17 to 33 had died from gunshot wounds at separate protests over the preceding day. Diego Hernandez, 33, and Luis Alviarez, 18, were killed in Tachira, while Yeison Mora Castillo, 17, died near a protest farther east in the state of Barinas on Monday. Diego Arellano, 31, died during surgery Tuesday after being shot at a demonstration south of Caracas.

Friends and relatives of Arellano gathered outside the clinic where he died and sang the national anthem as his body was removed from the facility.

Written by Pamela Getz

Writer and Activist. Follow Pamela on Twitter @goddesspamela.

Pamela Getz is Editor of International Affairs for Progressive Army and a member of its Editorial Board.

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SPLASH! News: Health Care Debate Rages on, Iowa Planned Parenthood to Close Clinics, Paid Family Leave, and More