President Trump took to Twitter Wednesday stating he will ban transgender individuals from serving “in any capacity” in the U.S. armed forces. The implications of the president’s statement could affect military personnel in uniform and thousands of others hoping to serve.
Trump said the military would not “allow or accept” transgender service members, reversing a policy begun by the Obama administration last year. At the time of Trump’s tweet, it wasn’t immediately clear about the status of transgender service members currently in the military.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff, including Chairman General Joseph Dunford, according to CNN reports were blindsided by Trump’s transgender ban. They were adamant in stating they were also unaware of Trump’s plan to tweet about a ban on transgender service members—the latest indication that top military leaders across all four service branches were blindsided by the President’s announcement.
Amid the firestorm in Washington surrounding the Russian probe, Trump’s tweet came less than a month into the six-month delay set by Defense Secretary James Mattis to review the US military’s policy on transgender service members.
“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military,” Trump wrote in a series of tweets. “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”
Video Courtesy of (Wochit Politics) via the YouTube Channel
General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a written message on Thursday to military leaders that there has been no change yet to the military’s policy on transgender personnel, despite plans for a ban announced by President Donald Trump.
“There will be no modifications to the current policy until the President’s direction has been received by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary has issued implementation guidance.”
It wasn’t immediately clear when Trump’s decision might be implemented by the Pentagon.
Secretary of Defense James Mattis is out of Washington on vacation this week, and the Pentagon appeared caught off guard by the president’s tweet. Military officials referred all questions to the White House.
“We will continue to work closely with the White House to address the new guidance provided by the Commander-in-Chief on transgender individuals serving the military,” Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said in a statement. “We will provide revised guidance to the Department in the near future.”
Democrats in Congress and several senior Republicans offered strong support for transgender individuals serving honorably and condemned Trump’s tweet.
“Any American who meets current medical and readiness standards should be allowed to continue serving,” McCain said in a statement. “There is no reason to force service members who are able to fight, train, and deploy to leave the military – regardless of their gender identity.”
McCain said the Defense department is conducting a study on the medical obligations, impact on military readiness and other questions regarding transgender individuals who want to join the military.
“I do not believe that any new policy decision is appropriate until that study is complete and thoroughly reviewed by the Secretary of Defense, our military leadership, and the Congress,” McCain added.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, (R-UT) also announced the president’s opposition.
“I don’t think we should be discriminating against anyone,” he said. “Transgender people are people and deserve the best we can do for them.”
The LGBT community vowed to go to federal court to challenge Trump’s decision on transgender people in uniform.
“We are going to fight for them as hard as they are fighting for the country,” the OutServe-Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a Washington-based group that seeks LGBT equality in the military, said in a statement.
The legal group estimates about 16,000 transgender individuals currently serve in the military. More recently, the Pentagon commissioned a June 2016 RAND Corporation report studying the effects of integrating transgender service members.
Estimates at the time of the study show between 1,320 and 6,630 active duty transgender personnel, and between 830 and 4,160 in the reserves. The midrange estimates were for 2,450 active duty and 1,510 reserve duty service members. Estimates vary widely, from approximately 1,300 to 16,000 members of the armed services who are transgender.
“It is difficult to estimate the number of transgender personnel in the military due to current policies and a lack of empirical data.” Instead, they base their numbers on multiple surveys and estimates. “As a result, much existing research relies on self-reported, nonrepresentative survey samples,” the study notes.
Last July, the Pentagon lifted a long-standing ban against transgender men and women serving openly in the military, removing one of its last discriminatory hurdles and placing protection of gender rights on par with race, religion, color, sex and sexual orientation.
Trump’s announcement reversed a policy announced by then-President Barack Obama in June 2016 that ended the service ban on transgender Americans, which remained in place after Congress repealed the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law for LGBTs in December 2010.
The policy part of the Obama administration’s Force of the Future initiative aimed to make the strait-laced, male-dominated U.S. military more inclusive. In 2015, the administration opened all combat positions to women and in 2016 appointed the first openly homosexual Secretary of the Army, Eric K. Fanning.
By LeNora Millen 07-27-17
Simple Solutions to Combat Winter Skin Sensitivity
The winter season is here, and it’s important to get in the habit of taking care of your skin. Cold weather brings low humidity levels and dry air, which can suck the moisture from your skin, and without proper care, skin can become dry, cracked and irritated, causing discomfort.
This winter, focus on a regimen that helps protect and hydrate skin so you can spend time enjoying the benefits of winter like family game night, snow days and snuggling by the fire.
Prepare your family for cold weather with these simple tips that can be easily incorporated into your family’s daily routine, keeping skin feeling soft and healthy all winter long.
Hydrate Inside and Out. Staying hydrated during the hot, summer months is a given, but it is also important to remember that cold winter air can leave your skin parched. Use a humidifier to keep skin hydrated during the dry months and be sure to lather on moisturizer. Natural moisturizers like coconut oil and shea butter can act as protective barriers against harsh elements, sealing in moisture. In addition to hydrating on the outside, it is just as important to stay hydrated on the inside. By drinking water throughout the day, your skin can stay healthy and moisturized.
Switch to a Mild Laundry Detergent. Many common detergents can be abrasive to sensitive skin, especially when it is more vulnerable to irritation during the harsh winter months. Wash bed linens, towels and clothes with a mild detergent like all Free Clear year-round, especially during the winter months. As the No. 1 recommended detergent brand by dermatologists, allergists and pediatricians for sensitive skin, all Free Clear includes no dyes, fragrances or irritating residues. Using the power of stainlifters to fight tough stains, it is also safe for the whole family to use, keeping laundry clean while being gentle on skin.
Avoid Toxins, Specifically Allergens, and Irritants. Products that contain toxins, allergens and irritants should be avoided during months when skin is most sensitive. Choose moisturizers and skin care products that don’t contain common irritants, and opt for mild cleansers and moisturizers that are specifically labeled for sensitive skin. Castor oil is another moisturizer alternative that is natural and can be used on both the face and body.
Layer Up. Lock in moisture and protect your skin from wind, rain, and snow by wearing layers whenever you venture outside. The skin on your neck, face and hands is thinner than other areas of the body and therefore more sensitive to the effects of winter weather. Thermals, scarves and gloves can keep you warm and protect your skin from the cold, dry air. For those with sensitive skin, avoid synthetic fabrics and itchy materials like wool, and wash clothes with a dermatologist-recommended detergent like all Free Clear.
By implementing these best practices for skin sensitivity, you can minimize redness, dryness and discomfort to help skin stay healthy and glowing throughout the winter season. Visit all-laundry.com to learn more.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Tire Safety Tips for Winter When Temperatures Drop
The same temperature you can begin to see your breath at 45 F—is also when the all-season tires on your car can start to lose traction and grip.
As temperatures drop, drivers should remember that if you can see your breath, you should think about winter tires. Whether you’re planning a cross-country trek or simply driving to and from work daily, exposing your vehicle’s tires to colder weather could lead to potential trouble on the road.
Snow and ice may be fun to play in, but they make for dangerous driving conditions. Winter tires are built for cold-weather conditions and deliver improved starting, stopping and steering control in temperatures 45 F and below. The difference is the tread compound of winter tires, which stays soft and pliable in colder temperatures for superior traction. Add the tread design of winter tires with thousands of extra gripping edges and you get as much as a 25-50 percent increase in traction over all-season tires.
To help stay safe on the road this winter, the experts on tires and winter driving recommend following these four tire safety tips:
- Get ready now. It is important to replace all four of your vehicle’s all-season tires with winter tires if you regularly drive in temperatures 45 F or below, snow or no snow. Winter tires are made of a softer rubber that allows the tires to stay pliable and maintain better contact with the road through winter weather conditions.
- Don’t forget the wheels. Having a set of wheels specifically for your winter tires can save you money in the long run. Pairing a separate set of wheels with your winter tires can eliminate certain changeover costs and save your everyday wheels from the wear and tear brought on by ice, slush, snow, and salt during the winter months.
- Know your numbers. Check your tire pressure at least once a month to make sure tires are at the appropriate inflation level. Temperature changes affect tire pressure – for every 10 degrees of temperature change, tire air pressure changes 1 pound per square inch. Low tire pressure can lead to decreased steering and braking control, poor gas mileage, excessive tire wear and the possibility of tire failure. Also, don’t forget to check your spare tire.
- Rotate, rotate, rotate. To help increase tread life and smooth out your ride, rotate your tires every 6,000 miles or sooner if irregular or uneven wear develops.
Your safety is important, that’s why drivers should make it a point to beat the rush by getting winter ready before the first snowstorm or cold streak of the season hits.
Photo: Getty Images
Source: Discount Tire
Medicare Takes Aim at Medical Identity Theft: Protecting Seniors From Fraud
Criminals are increasingly targeting people age 65 or older for personal identity theft. In 2014 alone, there were 2.6 million such incidents among seniors, according to the Department of Justice.
A growing offshoot of identity theft is healthcare fraud, which can result when someone unlawfully uses another person’s Medicare number. Medical identity theft can lead to inaccuracies in medical records, which in turn can result in delayed care, denied services and costly false claims.
That’s why Medicare works with the Department of Justice, taking aim squarely at would-be thieves. In the largest law enforcement action against criminals fraudulently targeting the Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare programs, 412 people around the country, including 115 doctors, nurses and other licensed medical professionals, were charged in 2017 with bilking U.S. taxpayers out of $1.3 billion.
New Medicare Card for 2018. (Video Courtesy of YouTube)
The next big fraud-fighting push is well underway — and its focus is protecting the personal information of senior citizens by removing their Social Security numbers from Medicare cards.
People with Medicare don’t need to take any action to get a new Medicare card. Beginning in April 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will mail out newly designed Medicare cards to the 58 million Americans with Medicare. The cards will have a new number that will be unique for each card recipient. This will help protect personal identity and prevent fraud because identity thieves can’t bill Medicare without a valid Medicare number. To help with a seamless transition to the new cards, providers will be able to use secure lookup tools that will support quick access to the new card numbers when needed.
Healthcare fraud drives up costs for everyone, but healthcare consumers can be an effective first line of defense against fraud. Follow these tips to help protect yourself:
- Treat your Medicare number like a credit card.
- When the new card comes in the mail next year, destroy your old card and make sure you bring your new one to your doctors’ appointments.
- Be suspicious of anyone offering early bird discounts, limited time offers or encouraging you to act now for the best deal. That’s an indicator of potential fraud because Medicare plans are forbidden from offering incentives.
- Be skeptical of free gifts, free medical services, discount packages or any offer that sounds too good to be true.
- Only give your Medicare number to doctors, insurers acting on your behalf or trusted people in the community who work with Medicare, like your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP).
- Report suspected instances of fraud.
- Check your Medicare statements to make sure the charges are accurate.
- Don’t share your Medicare number or other personal information with anyone who contacts you by telephone, email or approaches you in person, unless you’ve given them permission in advance. Medicare will never contact you uninvited and request your Medicare number or other personal information.
- Don’t let anyone borrow or pay to use your Medicare number.
- Don’t allow anyone, except your doctor or other Medicare providers, to review your medical records or recommend services.
- Don’t let anyone persuade you to see a doctor for care or services you don’t need.
- Don’t accept medical supplies from a door-to-door salesman.
Learn more about how you can fight Medicare fraud at Medicare.gov/fraud, or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). You can also visit a local SHIP counselor, who can provide free, one-on-one, non-biased Medicare assistance.
With a common sense approach to protecting health information, senior citizens can be effective partners in fighting Medicare fraud.
Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Subscribe to Exposure Magazine Daily News
- EXPOSURE MAGAZINE
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202
- Download vCard
- Real Estate3 weeks ago
10th Most Get Out State: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- Editor Picks4 weeks ago
Leading The Charge Exposure Magazine Co-CEO Gordon Woodberry on The E. Jones Show
- Politics1 day ago
Government Shutdown: What’s Closed, Who is Affected?
- Social Media4 weeks ago
CBS46 Anchor Amanda Davis Hospitalized After Suffering a ‘Massive Stroke’
- Featured2 weeks ago
Why do African American women struggle to marry?
- Lifestyle4 weeks ago
Your Words Have Power
- Lifestyle3 weeks ago
Unleash Your Beast Mode
- Fashion3 weeks ago
Stay True to Yourself and Style: An ‘Aaliyah’ T-shirt Faux Pas