The GOP Healthcare bill written to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, narrowly passing in the House, would increase the projected number of people without health insurance by 14 million next year and by 23 million in 2026. According to the Congressional Budget Office on Wednesday, that 10-year figure is slightly less than originally estimated.
The CBO’s analysis estimates the House health care bill would reduce the federal deficit by $119 billion over a decade, less than the $150 billion in savings projected in late March for an earlier version of the bill. States seeking waivers from rules mandating essential health coverage signals the GOP health care bill could be economically out of reach for some sick consumers.
“Premiums would vary significantly according to health status and the types of benefits provided, and less healthy people would face extremely high premiums,” the CBO concluded.
The new score released by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office puts a huge dent into Republican efforts to dismantle President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act. Amid the controversy surrounding the narrowly passed House bill, The Senate were prepared for the bill’s overhaul, stating they would make substantial changes to the measure passed by the House.
Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) said that it might be challenging locating a majority to repeal and replace the healthcare law.
“I don’t know how we get to 50 at the moment,” McConnell told Reuters on Wednesday. “But that’s the goal.”
The Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer (D- New York) criticized House Republicans for voting on a revised health care measure without an updated analysis from the Congressional Budget Office.
“Republicans were haunted by the ghost of CBO scores past, so they went ahead without one,” Schumer said. That action was reckless — “like test-driving a brand-new car three weeks after you’ve already signed on the dotted line and paid the dealer in full.”
The House bill was approved on May 4 by a narrow vote of 217 to 213, without support from Democrats. The bill would eliminate tax penalties for the uninsured and roll back state-by-state expansions of Medicaid, which provided coverage to millions of low-income people. Replacing government-subsidized insurance policies offered exclusively on the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces, the bill provides tax credits of $2,000 to $4,000 a year, depending on age.
Under the House bill, states could opt out of certain provisions of the health care law, including requiring insurers to provide a minimum set of health benefits. Another provision prohibits states from charging higher premiums based on a person’s health status.
Cannabis and Your Voice
Today’s the day, that’s right 4/20…Can we be real for a second and talk about the elephant in the room for a few minutes? I’m talking about that green sticky stuff with the funny smell when lit. Some people call it Pot, Grass, Herb, Mary Jane and remember back in the day some people even called it Reefer? For the purpose of this article, I will refer to Marijuana as “weed”. I wanted to talk about the possible effects that weed can have on your voice. Before we get into this very interesting and controversial topic let me be clear, I’m not here to judge or point figures, nor pick sides to each is own. I’m here to point out some facts and perhaps give you something to chew on, pun intended LOL!
Many of you know that April 20th often just referred to 4/20, international “Pot” holiday, originated by five high school students from California in 1971. The story itself is pretty fascinating but whats even more fascinating, to me is how it quickly became an international holiday all over the world. If this subject tickles your fancy, you’ll have to do a little research to learn more.
As I look through different articles looking for the long and short-term effects weed (the most used illegal drug in the world ), I was surprised at the small amount of information I found about the cause and effects with emphasis on the voice. I found this interesting because many of you already know artists and musicians are often perceived as heavy drug users of many different kinds, not always weed. While we often hear about and are driven to focus on harder drugs, weed it’s often accused to be the gateway drug. We all know or have read about singers, rappers, actors, pastors, even former President Bill Clinton was accused of using the drug many refer too as “weed” but don’t fret, he didn’t inhale…
Okay, here goes the tea… Regardless of how you smoke weed, (or any other substance) rather it’s in a vaporizer, pipe, blunt or old fashioned joint, any inhaled agent has the ability to over time damage the overall quality of your voice. Just as caffeine, heating/cooling systems and allergy medication, and even sleeping with your mouth open at night dry your voice and sinus completely. Dryness in your throat causes a plethora of problems you might not even be aware of some of which include difficulty swallowing, coughing, heartburn and body aches, just to name a few. Some studies show that a vaporizer is safer because the substance isn’t burned and fewer toxins are actually produced. However, other studies shown say that any smoke at all inhaled has potential to damage your voice.
Marijuana is now legal in nine states for recreational use and other 15 states for medical purposes, weed has quickly become in higher demand among the states that haven’t been considered for legalization, as of yet… You can cut the tension with a knife among both citizens and legislators when this touchy subject resurfaces.
We live in a stressful world that seems to be constantly on the move, with pressures of becoming bigger and better by the microsecond. People who suffer from stress, anxiety, depression, ADHD and health problems, particularly pain and much more is at an all-time high in our nation as a whole. From the stress of raising a family to the stress of being an entrepreneur creating your dream job, weed has become a multi-billion dollar industry. Millions of people all over the world swear by the substance called “Marijuana”. In a small serve, I conducted today, some claim they couldn’t, and some even stated they wouldn’t live without. Weed helps “take the edge off and calms me down at the end a stressful day,” several people said from my serve, verbatim.14-20 people I asked, (would like to remain anonymous) admitted to consuming daily.
6 Singers (2 college students)
4 Males (over age 60)
3 Mothers (between 25-44)
7 Professional “White Collar” (Unisex ages 23-52)
All of which had valid reasons why consume daily, all of which were compelling. The other six had various reasons for daily use from chronic pain to high anxiety. At the end of the day, we all must do what we think is best for our overall mental health and well-being. Being a person who was without a voice for almost three years, I tend to examine things a little differently than I once did, especially when it comes to my voice.
Youtube: Deonna Marie Cattledge
Vocal Tips for the Voice during Allergy Season
Springtime is here! I don’t know about you, but its one of my favorite seasons. Unfortunately, for professional voice users, it’s also the worst season for keeping and maintaining a healthy voice. Some of us refer to spring as, the dreaded allergy season. From the blooming flowers, the seemingly invisible pollen that floats in the air and, if you have a pet, the excessive pet dander is more than enough to cause that itchy, scratchy feeling in your throat and cause your sinuses to go bananas! There are several things you can do to relieve both your voice and sinuses during the spring season. I won’t list everything because we would be here ALLDAY and this article will look more like a dissertation and sweet brown says it best, “Ain’t nobody got time for that”. Don’t worry, I got you, I picked five of my favorite practices that offer me IMMEDIATE relief and it will do the same for you.
1) The first and most important thing you can do is stay hydrated. Drinking the proper amount of water offer a plethora of benefits to your mind, body, and soul. However, water is especially important for professional voice users like you and me. Water helps to naturally flush out allergens and thin mucus. Also, things like caffeinated beverages, allergy pills and a host of other things many people consume daily, immensely dry the throat and sinus cavities. Water not only keep the throat moist, it helps prevent you overworking your voice to produce sound.
2) Consuming local honey will help you develop immunity to the local pollen Keep in mind, if you travel a lot for speaking, singing or both, you should find local honey where you are traveling as well. You can put in your favorite herbal tea or even take a teaspoon full a day will help you SO MUCH! It might sound weird but I will work and will thank me later. Note: ( You can find local honey at some farm to table restaurants or local grocery stores like Whole Foods, Sprouts or Adkins).
3) Check the pollen index daily on your local news or weather app. Yes, this is a real thing and is an awesome way to know how to care for your voice and sinuses BEFORE you go outside. How so?!, I’m glad you asked…This helps me decide if I will need to do a sinus rinse, cover my mouth and nose to prevent breathing in so many air born allergens, which cause soreness and vocal fatigue. It also helps me decide what allergy pill I’ll need for the day If any. This is especially important if you have to speak of sing that day.
4) A neti pot or saline rise, used regularly (with distilled water only) will keep your nasal passages clear of things like pollen and other air born allergies. Although seemingly uncomfortable to some, this will give your sinuses instant relief and help significantly minimize post-nasal drip.
5) Last but surely not least a cool mist humidifier next to your bed while you sleep will serve multiple purposes. If you’ve ever experienced waking up with a dry sticky throat, this means you aren’t hydrated enough. The cool mist humidifier will be like you’re drinking water as you sleep. The cool mist you breathe in while you sleep will add much needed moister to vocal cords while you sleep. This will, over a short period of time, eliminate that dry scratchy feeling. A cool mist humidifier will also work against allergens, such as dust while you rest as well. So, you see, its a win, win! I hope these tips we helpful and that you’ll return for more tea, with ya girl Deonna Marie. Remember, If you have a voice to share with the world, you should care for it because it’s your voice that takes care of you. `
That’s all ♥
Youtube: Deonna Marie Cattledge
The “tea” on Vocal Health
How to Care for the Voice as a Professional Voice User
Are you a Professional Voice User? My name is Deonna Marie and I am here to spill the tea on vocal health. A professional voice user can include anything from singers and speakers to religious leaders and vloggers. I too am a professional voice user. I am a classical singer, vocal coach, and speaker. Okay, maybe I might’ve been accused on more than one occasion of being VERY long winded…and maybe I am, but that’s not the topic. Like many of you, I am also a daughter, friend, sibling, and colleague. Some of you might have a significant other or may have children in your life. So you see, we use our voice A LOT!!! On a daily basis professional voice users, use their voices more than two times the average person. This vocal use, if not done correctly, can potentially cause harm to your voice. I aspire to not only help you prevent vocal harm but in addition, I hope to educate you on ways you can maximize your voice while being healthy at the same time.
I’ll be writing about common issues professional voice users have such as preventing hoarseness after rehearsals and speaking engagements, how travel affects the voice, what foods and drinks to avoid, and much more. I will also be sharing vocal health tips such as how to achieve soaring high notes with ease, how to be heard without a microphone, and many other fascinating facts to put in your toolbox as a professional voice user. Think about it, babies can cry for hours without losing their voice, why? Oprah Winfrey’s voice is as youthful today as it was over 25 years ago, why? Professional voice users make their vocal health a priority, treating it as a gift; the gift of voice. My goal is to shed light on a topic commonly overlooked and assist you with improving your vocal health.
Don’t take for granted the gift of voice, you only get one.
Deonna Marie | The Gift of Voice
YouTube: Deonna Marie Cattledge
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