We need to talk about anti-vaxxing in Black communities

By Zoé Samudzi

Chances are, our engagement with “vaccine skeptics” has been limited to white anti-vaxxers. They often cite scientific empirics claiming causal relationships between measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (MMR) sequences and autism diagnosis, even using the now retracted study published by British physician Andrew Wakefield in 1998 as a basis for their argument. Wakefield’s results weren’t just found to be fabricated, but he also failed to disclose that his research was funded by lawyers representing parents who had sued vaccine companies. He was subsequently barred from practicing medicine in the United Kingdom.

healthcare

What You Need to Know About The AHCA

The House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act last Thursday. Now it is heading to the Senate for a vote. Surprisingly, House Republicans came together over a bill after a failure to pass the AHCA last month on the anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

Abortion rights

Supreme Court Strikes Down Texas Anti-Abortion Bill

In a 5-3 ruling on Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, the Supreme Court struck down Texas HB2, a bill that heavily regulated abortion providers and resulted in the closure of half of the state’s clinics. The Court determined that requiring clinics to qualify as surgery centers and ensuring abortion doctors have hospital admitting privileges at local hospitals places an “undue burden” on women seeking abortions.

President Obama Holds Republican Roast Session During Speech

During a presidential election cycle, it’s common practice for potential candidates on both sides to criticize the sitting head of state to show what they’d do differently. But this cycle in particular has brought out some non-stop claims by Republican candidates that question pretty much every move President Barack Obama has made in his presidency.

Well, Obama isn’t sitting quietly as he’s attacked on a daily basis. Recently, a video surfaced on C-SPAN of Obama taking some time out in a speech to hold an abbreviated roast session of the Republican Party as a whole.

Pizza is a Vegetable? Congress Seems to Think So

If you haven’t heard from a pizza fanatic, like myself, last month Congress wrote a bill that continues to allow the tomato paste on pizza to be counted as a serving of vegetables. While you may have heard this argument circulating for a while, the Obama administration and the Department of Agriculture have proposed to make school lunches healthier in recent years. In opposition, schools with tight spending budgets argue that the government should not regulate what their students can or can’t eat. The proposal for healthier lunches was based on the fact that childhood obesity has tripled in the past 30 years and future health care costs will suffer because of it.

If pizza and potatoes, served daily in many schools, continue to bombard the school lunch lines, the majority of students will choose these unhealthy options while passing up the selection of other vegetables. I know how it feels to walk through the lunch line, knowing your parents aren’t watching over your shoulder and telling you what to put on your plate. It is irresponsible for schools to serve so many unhealthy options, knowing that the majority of students will choose them. Without the responsibility of the schools to implement healthier lunch options through cutting back on pizza and potato options, children will fall into the trap the frozen food and salt industries want them to.

CDC Report: Blacks Hit w/ STDs at Higher Rate Than Whites

According to a new report from the CDC, Black people (particularly young Black people) and Hispanics contract sexually transmitted diseases at a much higher rate than whites.

While America is plagued by STDs at an alarming rate in general (19 million people, to be specific), Black people are grossly overrepresented in these statistics.

Young Black men are particularly at risk, dominating data related to syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea. Socioeconomic disadvantages like financial constraints and an inability to access adequate health care are likely to blame.

From The Root:

From Death Panels to Individual Liberty: The Affordable Care Act

If you are like me and want to know more about the Affordable Care Act be prepared to wade through the murky waters of fact versus fiction.  Moreover, much if not all of what is heard about the Affordable Care Act has been the GOP’s advertisements and slander of the law, which as far as content is concerned amounts to noise.  From the jeeringly gaudy posters about socialized medicine and Obamacare,  to the  recent firestorm regarding the central provision of the law, there seems to be enough subterfuge to hide the merits of the law from sight.  Between the murky water (i.e., discerning fact from fiction) and the noise (i.e., the loud protesters and cute slogans), it has been almost impossible to really get a grasp on what’s at stake with the Affordable Care Act.  Given the GOP’s all-encompassing campaign to get rid of this law, why does this new law still have a 38 percent approval rating?  And more importantly—why should you care?