Inslee directs Washington state health board to ban flavored vape products | The Seattle Times

Gov. Jay Inslee directed state officials Friday to impose an emergency ban on flavored vaping products, one of several measures he announced in response to the mysterious, sometimes fatal lung illness linked to e-cigarettes that have rippled across the nation.

In an executive order, Inslee —noting the flavors’ particular appeal to children — directed the state Board of Health to use its emergency authority to ban all flavored vaping products, including those containing THC, when it next meets on Oct. 9. The ban would take place only after board action.

“These kids get hooked,” Inslee said at an appearance in Seattle morning. The governor and other state and King County officials took turns at the microphone lambasting an unregulated industry that draws in children as customers with flavors such as bubblegum and cinnamon.

“Look, when you addict a 12-year-old kid to nicotine, you’re just wrong,” Inslee said.

Washington joins at least two other states — Michigan and New York — to ban flavored vape products in response to the illnesses.

In his order, Inslee also called on the state Department of Health and the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board to ban the sale of any specific vaping products, if and when they are identified as the cause of the lung injuries.

The governor also directed those two agencies to develop warning signs to post in e-cigarette retail stores and require vaping manufacturers to begin disclosing ingredients involved in the making and processing of their products.

“Everyone deserves to know what’s in these vaping liquids,” Inslee said.

Among other things, Inslee directed the two agencies to develop proposals for the upcoming legislative session to better regulate vaping, including a permanent ban on flavors.

Friday’s executive order comes as health officials have struggled to pinpoint the exact cause of the illnesses, which have been linked to the use of e-cigarettes.

No link has yet been shown between a specific e-cigarette ingredient and the illnesses; all that is known is that the patients used vaping devices.

Given the lack of regulation and understanding of what is causing the illnesses, Inslee said, “If I had a loved one, I would just tell them you’re playing dice with your lungs.”

Inslee said he wished he could have come down harder on vaping — which has been “wrongfully seen as some safer alternative” to smoking — but was limited by statutory authority in Washington.

“I wanted to do more by this executive order,” Inslee said. Friday’s announcement, he added, should be considered the start of an ongoing process. “This is a floor not a ceiling.”

Some initial data has shown that most cases involved people who have used vaping products with THC, marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In other cases, people have reported using both nicotine and THC products, and some have said they only used nicotine.

E-cigarettes — like those produced by the company Juul — heat a liquid that creates an aerosol often containing nicotine, according to the CDC. Vaping devices can also be used to inhale THC or other cannabis products.

The devices have long been hailed as a healthier alternative by tobacco smokers trying to quit, since the products contain fewer toxic chemicals than conventional cigarettes.

Authorized flavored cartridges are sold for the devices. But people can buy unauthorized products off the street — or make their own.

The illnesses have now sickened at least 805 people across the nation and killed at least 13.

No deaths have been reported in Washington. Both King and Spokane counties have reported two cases each of the illness, according to the state Department of Health. Mason, Pierce and Snohomish counties have each confirmed one case.

Some GOP state lawmakers have expressed concern about the illnesses, but also urged restraint by officials until the exact cause of the problem has been determined.

“It’s my hope that we can find the culprit, what the ingredient is, sooner rather than later, and get the industry back up on decent footing,” said Rep. Drew MacEwen, R-Union, ranking Republican on the House Commerce and Gaming Committee.

But several Democratic state lawmakers — who have long sought greater restrictions and oversight on vaping — renewed their call for a ban on flavors, as well as stronger disclosure requirements for ingredients.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Bob Ferguson has said he’s been in touch with his peers in other states who have sued e-cigarette companies they see as targeting minors.

Meanwhile this week, U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Washington, wrote the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission requesting information and suggesting those officials have failed to enforce a law passed by Congress in 2015 that requires liquid nicotine to be sold in child-resistant packaging.

“In the wake of a national health crisis involving vaping-related illnesses and deaths, the Commission’s failure to enforce a law to keep these substances from poisoning small children is deeply troubling,” Cantwell wrote in the letter.

This content was originally published here.

The John Fornetti Dental Center Presents Dentistry For Our Vets 2018

Iron Mountain, MI – The John Fornetti Dental Center will present Dentistry For Our Vets on Saturday, November 10, 2018. Dentistry For Our Vets provides free dental care to our veterans in need.

Dr. John and Dr. Dan Fornetti, along with their team of employees, volunteers and sponsors will be hosting their 5th annual Dentistry For Our Vets on Saturday, November 10, 2018. Those over age 18 in need of dental care will be able to choose between one free extraction, filling or hygiene cleaning. Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. and patients will be seen on a first come, first served basis until 3:00 p.m.

The media is invited to join the many volunteers and patients to spread free smiles across Iron Mountain through Dentistry For Our Vets at The John Fornetti Dental Center. We are turning our parking lot into an outdoor waiting room, with a heated waiting area and burn barrels, but please remember to bundle up and stay warm.

91% of U.S. veterans are ineligible for dental benefits. Dr. John Fornetti of Iron Mountain, MI, thinks as Americans, we can do better. In response, Dr. John started Dentistry For Our Vets. The John Fornetti Dental Center’s 2017 event was able to serve 58 veterans, providing over 162 procedures, and over $20,000 in services donated.

Dentistry For Our Vets will be held at The John Fornetti Dental Center, located at 100 S. Stephenson Avenue, Iron Mountain, MI. from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Anyone interested in volunteering their services for the event can find more information by calling (906) 774-0100 or visiting us on the web here and on Facebook.

This content was originally published here.

Aaron Carter Gets New Face Tattoo On Instagram Live Amid Mental Health Concerns |

Aaron Carter has made quite a noticeable addition to his appearance.

The singer, 31, revealed a new face tattoo on social media Friday night and documented the experience of getting his fresh ink on Instagram Live.

Aaron shared multiple posts — including one photo where he showed off his six-pack — and reassured his followers he’s “doing just fine” amid the ongoing concerns about his mental health.

“@johnnydangandco you’re the greatest in the game everyone needs to know and they will after THIS PIECE,” Aaron captioned a mirror selfie of his new ink.


The “I Want Candy” singer’s tattoo appears to be of a woman who looks similar to the Greek goddess Medusa.

A post shared by 𝐿Ø𝒱Ë 𝑀𝑜𝓃ë𝓎 𝒢𝒶𝓃𝑔 (@aaroncarter) on

Aaron seemingly received backlash over the tattoo as he took to Twitter to defend his mental state. The tweets come after fans and family alike have voiced their concerns over Aaron’s health as of late.

“I’m doing just fine,” he tweeted. “I ask you repent my and leave me alone. I already have to move and I don’t need to be under scrutiny with every decision I make. I will take the necessary precautions to protect myself, and when I move no one will know where I live! #MissingMyMom right now.”

The pop star also filmed the police coming to his house again for a welfare check on Instagram Live. Aaron seemed to allude to the situation when he called out a fan on Twitter.

“Bruh stfu all y’all bully’s [sic] cyber bullying me,” he wrote. “All my fans #LMG #AcArmy look T my teeets [sic] and report these people #CyberBullying is against the law. So is the constant harassment calling the police on me ten times a f–king day!!”

Aaron’s social media posts come just a couple weeks after his brother, “Backstreet Boys” singer Nick Carter and their sister, Angel, both filed restraining orders against him.

“In light of Aaron’s increasingly alarming behavior and his recent confession that he harbors thoughts and intentions of killing my pregnant wife and unborn child, we were left with no choice but to take every measure possible to protect ourselves and our family,” Nick tweeted. The singer also claimed Aaron hears “voices in his head.”

Aaron denied those claims, with his rep telling TMZ, “I am astounded at the accusations being made against me and I do not wish harm to anyone, especially my family.”

As part of the restraining order, Nick said Aaron told their sister Angel, “I have thoughts of killing babies,” and that he has also considered “killing Nick’s pregnant wife, Lauren Kitt.” The order further claimed that Aaron told Angel, “I was diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar 2 years ago.”

I’m doing just fine. I ask you repent my and leave me alone. I already have to move and I don’t need to be under scrutiny with every decision I make. I will take the necessary precautions to protect myself, and when I move no one will know where I live! #MissingMyMom right now.

— Aaroncarter (@aaroncarter)

Bruh stfu all y’all bully’s cyber bullying me. All my fans #LMG #AcArmy look T my teeets and report these people #CyberBullying is against the law. So is the constant harassment calling the police on me ten times a fucking day!!

— Aaroncarter (@aaroncarter)

Aaron also recently accused his late sister Leslie Carter of sexually abusing him as a child over a span of three years, and that Nick abused him as well.

Earlier this month, Aaron was on an episode of “The Doctors” where he said, “The official diagnosis is that I suffer from multiple personality disorder, schizophrenia, acute anxiety; I’m manic depressive.”

The star also spoke about the ongoing beef with his brother and accused Backstreet Boys fans of cyberbullying.

Got a story or a tip for us? Email TooFab editors at

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Dracut orthodontist sinks his teeth into hydroponic gardening

James Pelletier, an orthodontist, created a hydroponic vegetable garden in his Dracut back yard to grow a better crop of tomatoes in a smaller space. Watch video at SUN photos /Julia Malakie)

Sun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.

DRACUT — James Pelletier says he’d cry if he ever came home to find his tomato plants wilted.

“The biggest fear every hydroponic gardener has is a power failure,” he says.

The Dracut orthodontist circles around his labor of love on a recent Friday to make sure the solar-powered garden in his backyard is running seamlessly. The Big Boy tomatoes that grow in bato buckets are not yet ripe. All are bright green, some plumper than others.

As the sun bears down on Pelletier and the tight rows of tomato plants, he shares that he has trained them to thrive on one vine. “Because one vine doesn’t allow them to grow bushy and get wet, and get diseases,” he explains, reaching out to pull a velvety sucker from one plant.

Above, the crop; at right, a jar of sauce made from his tomatoes.

Sun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.

“You only want one grow point, and that’s how you have one vine.”

After years of trouble with growing tomatoes and subsequently running out of space in his yard for more tries, Pelletier, 57, wanted to find a way to grow the vegetables every year without having to move it to a new spot. He wanted something easier than conventional gardening. Pelletier read books on hydroponic gardening — a method of growing plants without soil — and made several attempts at the garden before building his current one two years ago. Three solar panels supply energy to batteries that run two special pumps and an aerator that, in turn, feed the tomato plants. Instead of soil, Pelletier uses coconut fiber and perlite.

He regularly pours different liquid nutrients into a reservoir built into the ground, which are then pumped into each tomato plant. Once the buckets the plants are in reach a certain level, the fluid drains back into the reservoir. The cycle repeats four times a day.

“I’m a scientist in my heart. I just get a lot of satisfaction out of doing it,” Pelletier says. “I am creating something from nothing and tweaking it this way and that way over the years to get it to do exactly what I want it to do.

It’s like a big, huge science experiment and, when it goes good like this, it feels great.”

The garden’s greatest threat according to Pelletier is blight, a plant disease that actually hasn’t affected his garden. There’s also a pesky chipmunk who sneaks into the garden to steal tomatoes. On this recent Friday, the chipmunk made an appearance, having stolen a small, green one.

After the science comes the fruit of Pelletier’s labor. Once the tomatoes have ripened, he and his wife, Karen, pluck them and prepare them for canning, sometimes with the help of their daughter, Mollie Andrews, 30. On the weekends they sit on their deck to can the tomatoes in Mason jars before storing them away.

The irrigation system for James Pelletier’s hydroponic vegetable garden in his Dracut backyard is powered by these solar panels. The garden also includes a bed of asparagus, center. SUN photos /Julia Malakie

Sun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.

Karen makes sauce from the tomatoes, and dishes that also incorporate the other vegetables growing in their backyard such as zucchini. Pelletier says he also gives out canned tomatoes to relatives and neighbors across the street.

“I love it. He works very hard on it,” Karen, 58, says. “It takes a lot of time, but he enjoys gardening so we get a lot of beautiful vegetables from it.”

Follow Amaris Castillo on Twitter @AmarisCastillo

Batteries on the top shelf of this cabinet store power produced by Pelletier’s solar panels.

Sun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.

This content was originally published here.

Spirit of the Entrepreneur: Valdosta Family Dentistry | Local News |

VALDOSTA — Being an entrepreneur isn’t always easy and everyone does it a little differently.

Some open online stores, while others open brick-and-mortar storefronts.

Some go all in and invest their lives into a new venture, while others start a new business as something to do on the side. Regardless of the type, entrepreneurs help drive the local economy.

Larry Black, owner and dentist at Valdosta Family Dentistry, didn’t begin his career in dentistry until he was in his mid-30s.

At 17, he left Valdosta and joined the Navy for six years.

He worked as an electronic technician doing satellite communications and cryptography.

After leaving the military as an employee, he worked as a civilian contractor for the Navy for six years doing similar work.

The work required Black to travel regularly, and he eventually decided he wanted to settle down.

“We traveled about 11 months out of the year,” he said. “We traveled anywhere the Navy was having trouble with communications equipment. I decided that I was ready to quit traveling and started back to school.”

Being from Valdosta, Black returned to attend Valdosta State University to earn a biology degree.

After three years of undergraduate work and a degree in hand, Black had been introduced to the world of dentistry through Dr. Greg Morris, he said.

So, Black attended the Medical College of Georgia for four years to to become a dentist.

By the time he attended MCG, he was the third oldest student in his cohort. Black said being a non-traditional student was beneficial to him.

“I was one of those people who could not have done and focused on school at 18,” he said. “Part of the reason I went into the Navy was I knew that about myself.

“When I came back from the Navy and started school, it was much easier for me having already had life experience and improved time-management skills. Knowing where I wanted to be and how to get there helped me jump through the hoops or check off the boxes to get there.

“I knew what I wanted and was wiling to work harder for it and put in the time.”

After graduation, Black came back to Valdosta in 2004 and opened his first office, Quitman Family Dentistry in Quitman.

“When I got out and looked at a place to set up my office, there was still plenty of room for more dentists in Valdosta, and having grown up here, I felt that it would be easier to start up a business in my hometown,” he said.

In 2009, Black opened an office in Valdosta.

“When I was working in Quitman Family Dentistry, myself and Dr. Eric Castor felt there would be a need for an emergency dental clinic in Valdosta,” he said. “We spent a year with this office as an emergency-only clinic.”

Based on customer requests, Black expanded to a full-service dentist office in 2010.

After being in practice for almost 15 years, he said the hardest part has been operating the business side.

“Running the business is probably the toughest part of what I do,” he said. “The toughest part for most dentists is we tend to be very technical. We enjoy working with our hands and working with people. And dental school prepares you for all the knowledge you need to do dentistry.

“The tough thing is they don’t prepare you to run a small business. When you come out of school and you have to learn about tax structure and accounting.”

Black said he leaned on his late wife, Dana Black, when he first opened his business.

“I got into it thinking you get out, put your sign on the door and you go to work,” he said.

While he worked with the clients, Dana learned how to run the business for him.

“She was a big part of why we were able to do what we did,” he said.

Dana passed in 2017.

As for advice for new or potential business owners, Black suggests taking a few years to learn about the selected industry. He also recommends utilizing the small business resources available.

“If you are going to open up your own business, understand that business,” he said. “Most people have an idea of what a business is but they haven’t worked in it before. They don’t have an idea of how it works. Take a few years and start from the bottom and work in a few positions.

“Then go and take some accounting classes and business classes either through (Wiregrass Georgia Technical College) or the (University of Georgia Small Business Development Center at Valdosta State University) that’s here in Valdosta because both of those guys helped me out after I got started.”

Valdosta Family Dentistry, 2935 N. Ashley St., Suite 130, is open open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Quitman Family Dentistry is open Tuesday and Thursday. For more information, call (229) 333-8484.

Jason Smith is a reporter at The Valdosta Daily Times. He can be contacted at 229-244-3400 ext.1257.

This content was originally published here.

Joe Biden Doesn’t Seem to Understand Health Care

If we are going to keep having these grim circuses that we call debates, and begin each one with an extended segment about health care, it would be nice if we could stop asking the same questions again and again—but what about taxes?—and try to pin the leading candidates down on the specifics of their plans. They could ask Kamala Harris why anyone would keep their employer insurance if her Medicare plan would limit out-of-pocket spending to $200, or ask Bernie Sanders how a Medicare For All system would decide what to cover. But it’s the frontrunner who is most in need of a grilling, because lately he has seemed incapable of discussing any health care plan, including his own, with any accuracy.

Joe Biden says his plan will “guarantee that everyone will be able to have affordable insurance.” It is impossible to say that his plan will accomplish this. Biden’s plan would increase subsidies on the Affordable Care Act marketplace and lower the premium limit on marketplace plans from 9.86 to 8.5 percent of annual income. As Julián Castro noted, to Biden’s head-shaking, Biden’s own website says it would leave three percent of Americans uninsured, or more than 10 million people. It’s also pretty laughable to assert that lowering the premium limit to 8.5 percent and pegging subsidies to Gold instead of Silver priced-plans will “guarantee” that everyone’s coverage will be affordable, particularly when this only applies to marketplace plans that cover just 11 million people.

Biden’s plan would limit deductibles to $1,000—which, while better than the astronomical deductibles millions have today, would certainly not be affordable for many families to pay in one go—but doesn’t appear to have any mechanism to lower employer-based plan premiums, which continue to rise. (Indeed, it’s hard to imagine that insurers wouldn’t dramatically raise premiums if deductibles were limited; another great reason to get rid of insurers entirely.) And merely promising “affordable insurance” is not enough, of course, when so many expenses are incurred even with affordable insurance, such drug costs and out-of-network bills.

Some health care concepts seem to escape him entirely. When pressing Sanders on the cost of his plan, Biden said that Sanders’ plan promised “a deductible in your paycheck.” This does not make sense. Clearly, he means a tax or a premium, but this is at least the second time he’s said this, and his team pushed the line out on Twitter as well. It is troubling that his proficiency with the jargon of health care financing is so loose after many months of campaigning, let alone after eight years of being vice president in the administration that passed the Affordable Care Act.

The oddest moment arose during a discussion as to whether Biden’s plan would “automatically” cover people. Sanders insisted that his plan was the “only one” that would prevent people going into “financial ruin because they suffered with a diagnosis of cancer.” Biden, as is his wont, said cancer was “personal” to him, and objected to Sanders’ contention: “Every single person who is diagnosed with cancer or any other disease can automatically become part of this plan. They will not go bankrupt because of that. They will not go bankrupt because of that. They can join immediately.”

But it is not true that a person facing such a diagnosis would “automatically” get Biden’s public option, because access to that public option will still be determined by a complicated system of premiums and subsidies—in other words, means testing. We don’t know how much the premiums under Biden’s public option would cost, but it seems clear that his understanding of health care access is very simplistic. To Biden’s mind, if you’re poor enough to have free or subsidized access to the public option, you should be able to afford all associated health care costs. And if you’re not poor enough, it means you’re sufficiently well-off to bear the costs.

This was also clear in his much-noted spat with Castro. Castro mentioned his grandmother, who had Type 2 diabetes but also had access to Medicare, and noted that Biden’s plan would require people to opt in, without being automatically covered. Biden took great issue with the assertion that people would have to “buy in,” leading to the dramatic moment that grabbed everyone’s attention—Castro poking fun at Biden’s memory, asking if he already forgot what he said. Castro was right: Biden did say that people could “automatically” get his “Medicare for choice” plan. But Biden said “buy in”, not “opt in”—so how could people “buy” in automatically? Very few American social programs are automatic, including Medicaid, which is often incredibly complicated to sign up for. Biden then clarified that he meant people like Castro’s mother wouldn’t have to buy in “if they can’t afford it.”

Biden is putting a hell of a lot of faith in his plan’s ability to fairly and accurately determine who can “afford” paying for the public option. His health care plan also does not include any kind of reforms for how seniors pay their Medicare drug costs, which can cost them thousands of dollars per year. (Although he would allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices and peg drug price increases to inflation, Biden’s plan says nothing about lowering the cost of drugs that are already too high and costing seniors thousands.) Without reforming Medicare, it’s impossible to say that no one’s cancer will send them into bankruptcy. His plans for long-term care are laughably weak, as well: A $5,000 tax credit for informal caregivers is like second prize in the Third Way holiday raffle.

However, the most important moment happened so quickly that it was easy to miss. When Sanders noted that the United States spends twice as much per capita on health care as other countries do, Biden replied: “This is America.” Presumably, the implication was that America should spend twice what other countries do, because we do everything bigger, better, bolder, with more flavor and half the fat. (It would have been better if Sanders had finished his thought by noting that America spends twice as much as other countries for worse health care outcomes, but no matter.) This is the essence of Biden’s defense of the broad status quo: a patriotic bumper sticker, felt with such keenness it’s hardly surprising that he doesn’t seem to understand anything else about the issue.

What is usually a dark joke—We’re Number One (In Gun Deaths and Obesity)!—was trotted out as an earnest defense of America’s absurd health care spending. American health care spending is high because we’re America, baby: we’ve got those big-ass trucks, Doritos Locos Tacos, and a healthcare system chock full of with profiteering and blood-sucking greed. If you don’t like it, leave—for a country with single-payer.

This content was originally published here.

Cutting health benefits of 1,900 Whole Food workers saved world’s richest man Jeff Bezos what he makes in less than six hours

When billionaire Jeff Bezos cut health benefits on September 13 for part-time workers at his grocery store Whole Foods the richest man in the world saved the equivalent of what he makes from his vast fortune in just a few hours.

That’s according to an analysis from Decision Data’s “Data in the News” series, which found that Bezos could cover the entirety of annual benefits for part-time employees who work less than 30 hours a week with what he makes from stocks and investments in just a fraction of a day.

“Doing a quick calculation with existing publicly available numbers shows that Bezos makes more money than the cost of an entire year of benefits for these 1,900 employees in somewhere between 2-6 hours,” the study says.

The analysis used an estimate that Whole Foods would contribute between $5,000 and $15,000 annually per employee for benefits. At the middle of that range, $10,000, that comes to $19 million a year.

Bezos makes just under $9 million an hour, according to a 2019 Business Insider analysis, which would mean he makes enough money in a little over two hours to cover the benefits he cut. Decision Data used an earlier study which found Bezos makes $4.5 million an hour to conclude he would need approximately four and a half hours to cover the cost.

“CEO worth more than $110 billion cuts health care for 2,000 workers after raking in $9 million an hour,” tweeted economist Robert Reich, citing the 2019 Business Insider figure.

The disconnect between Bezos’ wealth and the cost of the benefits was remarked on by a number of observers.

“Jeff Bezos makes $3,182 a second,” said Jacobin writer Luke Savage.

Presidential candidate and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro called the move “shameful” and noted that Bezos’ crown jewel, online retailer Amazon, pays nothing in taxes.

“Amazon pays zero dollars in federal income taxes,” Castro tweeted. “Jeff Bezos is the richest man in modern history, and yet they continue to degrade the rights of their workers.”

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Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from billionaires and corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click to donate by check.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we’ve expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

This content was originally published here.

The Importance of Geriatric Dentistry

As you grow older, it’s important to keep up with your teeth. Perhaps you or your companions don’t see the need to go to the dentist, but the impact of good dentistry on your teeth and overall health is undeniable.

Here, we’ll explore all you should know about geriatric dentistry.

Why Do Older Adults Not Go to the Dentist?

With retirement, spending time with family, and other life events in full swing, it can be difficult to prioritize your oral health.

Here are some specific reasons why seniors don’t visit the dentist:

  • Cost: Seniors don’t have workplace insurance coverage. Programs like Medicaid offer limited coverage for dental procedures. Some seniors don’t view paying out-of-pocket as a realistic option.
  • Misinformation: Some seniors believe that they don’t need to go to the dentist because they don’t have teeth. This is simply not true. At a visit, you can be fitted for dentures and get exams to screen for signs of oral cancer.

How Your Oral Health Affects You

Your oral health is important in so many ways. Some of the top reasons include:

Contributing to Your Bodily Health

Your oral health doesn’t just benefit your teeth and gums. Poor oral health can lead to:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Pneumonia

Neglecting to visit a dentist can lead to specific oral issues like:

  • An uneven jawbone
  • Root decay
  • Darkened or otherwise discolored teeth
  • Gum disease

Giving You Confidence

There is an aesthetic appeal to good oral health.

A white, aligned smile is self-assuring. It can help you feel confident and allow you to more fully enjoy social interactions.

Ceramic crowns, veneers, and other types of cosmetic dentistry from Calgary, for example, all help seniors smile with confidence. More standard services, like teeth whitening and cleaning, help preserve your smile for life.

How to Go on a Budget

If the cost of going to the dentist is daunting, use these tips for going to the dentist on a budget.

Limit Unnecessary Visits

At home, be sure to care for your teeth. Take these preventative measures:

  • Brush twice daily
  • Floss daily
  • If you have extra-sensitive teeth, use a gentle toothpaste.
  • Avoid foods that may cause tooth damage, like hard candy or acidic fruits

Even though skipping out on visits may save you money temporarily, it isn’t a financially-savvy habit. Attending regular visits prevents the need for costly treatments down the road.

Review Your Options

Look up different dental offices around you. They will vary in price based on the services they offer and the areas where they operate. Consider driving to a nearby area with a lower cost of living. The extra minutes it takes to drive to a different location can save you money, especially on costly procedures.

Look for Coupons

Some offices offer special coupons or deals for new customers. Look actively on saving sites like Groupon or browse your local newspaper.

Go to a Dental Hygienist

In many areas, you can see a dental hygienist without a dentist present. These types of visits are significantly less expensive than regular office visits. Be sure to research the regulations in your area. Some areas restrict what a hygienist can treat.

Ask for a Discount

If you’ve been going to the same office for years, consider asking for a discount. Most dental offices are willing to negotiate a price, especially on a costly procedure. Do so before you receive treatment. You can also request treatment to be performed in different stages. This way, you have time in-between visits to save money to pay for your treatment.

Visit Your Dentist!

Managing your oral health as a senior can be intimidating. As with other adults, seniors should have their teeth cleaned twice a year. You should also get X-rays at least once a year to ensure there are no underlying problems with your teeth or gums.

Take command of your oral health as a senior!

The post The Importance of Geriatric Dentistry appeared first on LivingBetter50.

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Nancy Pelosi: No need to reinvent health care — improve Obamacare

Democrats should focus on making improvements to Obamacare instead of trying to reinvent the wheel with “Medicare for All,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday.

“God bless” 2020 Democratic presidential candidates putting forth Medicare for All proposals, Pelosi said in an interview with “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer. “But know what that entails.”

Pelosi’s thoughts on how to improve the nation’s health-care laws appear to align with those of former Vice President Joe Biden, who in his 2020 presidential bid is calling for building on provisions of Obamacare, formally known as the Affordable Care Act.

“I believe the path to ‘health care for all’ is a path following the lead of the Affordable Care Act,” Pelosi told Cramer. “Let’s use our energy to have health care for all Americans, and that involves over 150 million families that have it through the private sector.”

Several 2020 candidates are advocating for some version of Medicare for All. Arguably the most drastic proposal is from Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who is calling for eliminating private health insurance and replacing it with a universal Medicare plan. Proponents say it would help reduce administrative inefficiencies and costs in the U.S. health-care system. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has backed Sanders’ proposal.

However, policy analysts say actually implementing such a law would be tough even if a candidate such as Sanders won the presidency. Democrats would need to hold on to their edge in the House and win the Senate in the 2020 election to regain control of Congress. Then they would likely need 60 votes in the Senate and two-thirds of the House to overcome any potential filibusters. Republicans hold a 53-47 majority in the Senate.

Pelosi’s comments also come as lawmakers and the Trump administration are both trying to pass legislation sometime this year that would bring more transparency to health-care costs and, ultimately, lower costs for consumers.

Pelosi and House Democratic leaders are expected to unveil as soon as this week a long-anticipated plan to reduce U.S. drug prices.

The main thrust of the plan, which is still in flux, would allow Medicare to negotiate lower prices on the 250 most expensive drugs and apply those discounts to private health plans across the U.S., according to a document that surfaced on Capitol Hill on Sept. 10.

The Department of Health and Human Services is prohibited from negotiating drug prices on behalf of Medicare — the federal government’s health insurance plan for the elderly. Private insurers use pharmacy benefit managers to negotiate drug rebates from pharmaceutical manufacturers in exchange for better coverage.

Pelosi has been working for months on a plan that would give HHS that power. House Democratic leaders went on a “listening tour” around the party earlier this year to discuss details of Pelosi’s plan but haven’t yet distributed it across the caucus, a Democratic aide said in an interview.

This content was originally published here.

Talk of Alabama 10/18/18 – PT Orthodontics

ABC 33/40 in Birmingham, Alabama offers news, sports, and weather reporting for the surrounding communities including Tuscaloosa, Anniston, Cullman, Gadsden, Talladega, Sylacauga, Carbon Hill, Jasper, Hoover, Bessemer, Vestavia Hills, Alabaster, Trussville and Homewood.

This content was originally published here.