Tag Archives: health care

Children & teenagers can receive free birth control from Seattle Schools – without parental notification

Note: I’m re-publishing various past posts we were able to recover from Word Press after they shut us down. This step is necessary to have them appear on our new blog.

King5: At least 1,000 high school girls went to the nurse to talk about getting birth control at school, and their parents may never find out, even if they decide to begin treatment. That’s the law, actually. In Washington, minors can access birth control without parental permission — even at school.

Seattle-King County Public Health updated the city council on Wednesday about its school health program providing medical care at 26 middle and high schools in Seattle. The health centers are run by private organizations, like Swedish and Group Health, and are nothing like the nurse’s office you may remember.

The county knows 1,293 high schoolers discussed birth control options, like the pill, IUDs and arm implants, with the school health center. There are no records for the number of high schoolers who decided to get birth control at school. The county says 49 middle schoolers discussed the same options, some as young as 13 years old.

Of the 49 middle school girls, four obtained a long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC). The health department said no middle school girl obtained an IUD; instead, the 4 girls received an arm-implantable contraceptive device.

Sara Rigel with Seattle Public Health says for the 15-17 year old group there was a 92% reduction in teen birth rates from 1990 to 2013. That’s far better than numbers outside King County where there was only a 62% drop. (No links provided for these statistics.)

In line with state law, student health centers at Seattle Public Schools provide all forms of contraception to all students, including long-acting reversible contraceptives or IUDs. The goal is to lower the number of girls dropping out of school because they become pregnant. And they do so with or without parental notification.

When asked if a child as young as 12 years old could get an IUD through a middle school clinic, Rigel said if a 6th grader asked for birth control, they would be provided it as long as they did not appear to be the victim of abuse. She said the clinic would ask a lot of questions before providing contraception.

I’m all for reducing unwanted pregnancies. But is it acceptable for schools to provide medications without parental knowledge? Just wish some parents would take more interest in their child’s activities and well being.


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Mizzou grad students lose health insurance thanks to Obamacare

Campus Reform: The University of Missouri (UM) told its graduate students on August 14 that it would no longer be providing subsidies for the students’ insurance coverage because of a recent IRS interpretation of the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare.

In a letter sent to the graduate students, the university explained that the Obamacare “prohibits businesses from providing employees subsidies specifically for the purpose of purchasing health insurance from individual market plans.” The IRS, according to the university, is treating the university’s student insurance plan as an “individual market plan,” which thus prohibits the university from subsidizing the students’ health insurance.

The university’s Friday announcement left graduate students in a bind, as their plans were set to expire on Saturday.

Missouri explained on its website that university officials waited until the last minute to inform students because they “hoped the national groups lobbying on [their] behalf would motivate the IRS to issue an alternate ruling.”

Many of the university’s graduate students took to Twitter to voice their displeasure with the university’s decision.

Josh Bolton, Missouri PhD. student in Political Communication, tweeted at Missouri Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin to ask why the university’s decision doesn’t constitute “a breach of contract since [the students’] offer letters stated fully funded health insurance.” Chancellor Loftin did not appear to respond to Bolton’s question.

Mike Horton, a PhD. student in contemporary American fiction, tweeted that “The obvious response is for [Missouri] grad students to unionize.”

Even politicians got in on the action.Missouri State Representative Kip Kendrick (D-45) tweeted that he is “[t]rying to get answers and figure out what the heck is going on.” Rep. Kendrick later tweeted that many of his “friends [and] constituents are affected” by the university’s decision.

Clayton Coffman, a PhD. student in the Plant, Insect, and Microbial Science program, told Campus Reform that [m]any students, and their families, depend on the health insurance MU was subsidizing.” “All of the graduate students I know were promised health coverage when they were given their offers to attend here,” Coffman continued.

Moreover, Coffman said, this is just the latest roadblock the university has placed in the way of graduate students. “Recently MU dissolved the graduate school, replacing it with an administrative unit not able to represent graduate student needs.” Earlier in the school year, Coffman said, the university pulled tuition waivers from “many graduate students who don’t have ‘full-time’ appointments.”

“They’re systematically making it more and more difficult to go to graduate school here, even though graduate students perform the vast majority of the research which comes out of this campus.”

Coffman aired his frustration on Twitter, tweeting a warning to incoming graduate students, “. Welcome to MU new grad students! Remember that health insurance we promised you? Well we can’t, because of Obama!

And because the IRS and Obamacare isn’t at fault (somehow), Coffman later tweeted, “I should say that the was sarcastic. I don’t blame the ACA, I blame Mizzou for treating its employees the way Walmart does.”


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12 Surprising Economic Facts

12. From 1948 until 2007, the average duration of unemployment was 13.5 weeks. Today, it’s 40.5 weeks.
11.Just 1 in 7 U.S. workers is of normal weight without a chronic health problem,” according to The Wall Street Journal, citing Gallup data.
10. According to The Wall Street Journal, “every year 17,000 American-trained masters and doctoral students leave the U.S. to find work elsewhere.”
9. Over the past 25 years, college tuition has increased at nearly four times the rate of broader inflation.
8. 5.5 million Americans are unemployed and not receiving unemployment benefits. Last year, that number was 1.4 million.
7. The U.S. government provides health care for a minority of its population (elderly and poor) at a greater cost per citizen than many European countries spend on universal coverage.
6. Total state and local pension shortfalls now equal $4.4 trillion, according to State Budget Solutions.
5. According to The New York Times, only 23% of Americans benefit from the mortgage interest tax deduction, yet 93% support it.
4. Nationwide real estate values have declined by about $7 trillion since 2006.
3. According to the National Review, General Motors has 96,000 employees but provides health benefits to a million people.
2. Only 2.7% of what Americans spend their money on are goods and services from China. 88.5% is on American-made goods and services.
1. America is still by far the largest economy in the world, nearly three times the size of China’s or Japan’s economy, and nearly five times the size of Germany’s. We have the best schools, the deepest financial system, the most advanced innovation, and the brightest entrepreneurs.
From Morgan House, “50 Amazing Numbers About the Economy,” The Motley Fool, Oct. 21, 2011.
H/t beloved fellow Joseph.

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