Your Weekly Dose of #5ThoughtsFriday: A description of what we think is important at BIAMD

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Here are the 5 things we thought were
worth sharing with you this week:
5) G  raham-Cassidy would slash the ACA programs that expanded health coverage to millions, weaken consumer protections for people with pre-existing conditions, as well as limit Federal support of Medicaid coverage for low-income adults and children, the elderly, and the disabled.
The Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson (GCHJ) bill, which would cut and cap Medicaid and repeal major portions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, is moving quickly.

The Senate Finance Hearing on the Graham-Cassidy bill will be held at 2 p.m. on Monday, September 25th, in Room 215 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C. The hearing is open to the public. Arrive early!

What the GCHJ Bill Does:

  • It eliminates the Medicaid program as we know it and ends the entitlement by placing a per-capita cap on the traditional Medicaid population and block granting funding for the expansion population until 2026. After 2026 there will be no funding for this population.

  • It places the Essential Health Benefits at risk and allows states to remove covered services like rehabilitative care, opioid treatment, and mental health treatment.

  • It allows insurance companies to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions and all but guaranteeing these individuals will pay higher premiums, and potentially be priced out of the market. 

States would face enormous pressure to make up for the funding gap.

It is estimated that Maryland will lose as much as 13 BILLION dollars in Federal funding between now and 2020 and upwards of another 19 BILLION dollars between 2020 and 2026.  

Take Action TODAY!

  • Contact your Senators’ offices—by phone, by e-mail, on their Facebook pages—let them know you oppose this bill.

  • Senators will be back in their states through Sunday for the Rosh Hashanah holiday. If they have public events, join them and let them know you oppose the bill.

  • Visit your senators’ offices back in state; and bring along a family member or a friend.

  • Write stories about what will happen if Medicaid is cut. Tell your stories - videotape them and share them on Facebook and Twitter. 

Please call your Senator!
The United States Capitol switchboard can be reached at (202) 224-3121

Click here  to send your comments to the committee. The deadline for submissions is Monday, September 25, at 1 p.m. ET.

Be Heard on MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 25. Join the National Call-in Day Visit BIAA's Facebook page  for details.

Senator Bob Casey (D-Penn.) will host a press conference at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, September 26, to focus on the impact of the Graham-Cassidy bill on people with disabilities and seniors.

A rally is planned for next week as well - more information to follow!

Below is a list of top priorities for outreach.

For a summary of the bill,  click here .

Top Priority
Maine:  Senator Collins
Alaska:  Senator Murkowski
West Virginia:  Senator Capito
Ohio:  Senator Portman
Arizona:  Senator McCain
High Priority
Arizona:  Senator Flake
Colorado:  Senator Gardner
Kansas:  Senator Moran
North Carolina:  Senator Tillis  and  Senator Burr
Indiana:  Senator Young
South Dakota:  Senator Rounds
North Dakota:  Senator Hoeven
Tennessee:  Senator Alexander  and  Senator Corker

For estimated coverage losses by state, CLICK HERE
The 2017 Scarecrow Classic 5k Run and 1 Mile Walk will be held on
October 8, 2017 on the University of Maryland Baltimore County campus.

This event, hosted by the Brain Injury Association of Maryland (BIAMD) will rally survivors, families, friends, and supporters around the common goal of raising awareness about brain injury within the community and providing much needed funding to support the programs and initiatives of BIAMD.
In medicine we must always expect the unexpected. Medicine is replete with paradoxes, where poisons become cures. 
Snake venom is deadly but is being used to treat some cancers,1 because it produces contortrostatin, a protein that “paralyzes” cancer cells and prevents them from migrating. Venoms from spiders are being investigated as a treatment to slow the progression of muscular dystrophy by preventing muscle cells from deteriorating. Venom from tarantulas can relieve chronic pain, and those from centipedes help rodents tolerate thermal, chemical, or acid pain. Scorpion venom can cause cancer cells to glow under a flashlight, enabling surgeons to locate and remove them. Anemones toxin could be used to treat autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and lupus.

Vaccines are an excellent example of how deadly pathogens can be transformed into life-saving therapies. Billions of people have been protected from polio, smallpox, tetanus, diphtheria, measles, mumps, rubella, influenza, pneumococcus, hepatitis A and B, rabies, shingles, typhoid, meningitis, or cholera. Turning killers into saviors is one of the most remarkable miracles of medical research.

In psychiatry, psychedelic drugs have been repurposed into useful therapies for mental illness. As recently as a decade ago, psychiatric practitioners—physicians and nurse practitioners—regarded hallucinogens as dangerous, “must-avoid” drugs of abuse that could trigger or exacerbate serious psychiatric disorders. Then, thanks to ongoing research, the psychedelic “caterpillars” transformed into therapeutic “butterflies,” and the despised drugs of abuse became welcome adjuncts for treating some stubborn psychopathologies. Such paradoxical developments are emblematic of how one can always find a silver lining.

Consider the following transformations of various psychedelics and hallucinogens—also called “entheogens”—into novel pharmacotherapies. Note that in most cases, the application of these mind-altering drugs into useful medications is still a work in progress.

Raises questions everyone should ponder. CLICK HERE. 
PHOTO: Brad Fewson serving in East Timor in 2007. (Supplied: Brad Fewson)
In a matter of hours, veteran Brad Fewson can go from
a pillar of strength to lifeless and unresponsive.
He is plagued by an invisible injury that is degrading his brain.

"I have traumatic brain injury resulting in pituitary dysfunction, Parkinson's disease and mild cognitive impairment," Mr Fewson said.

Two to three times a day he has what he calls an "episode", where he freezes and cannot speak or move.

He blames his condition on dozens of concussions he received during his military and police service.

The 38-year-old father of three from Wagga Wagga served 10 years in the Australian Army, in East Timor twice and also in Iraq as a private contractor for the US Department of Defence.

"They've put it down to over 150 mild to moderate concussions, traumas to the head," he said.

"The first major one, like the first moderate-major one, was East Timor, falling down a ravine when we're out on operations.

"Then to where I worked overseas in Iraq, a lot of combat, a lot of IEDs [improvised explosive devices], a lot of explosions."

'It's just PTSD, it's got to be in your head'

For more on Brad Fewson and this under reported condition,
 2) What We Are Reading That You Might Enjoy...
Winner of the Midwest Book Awards in the "Health" category receiving a Silver Medal in May 2016.

In February 2014 Amy Zellmer slipped on a patch of ice and fell, forcibly landing on the back of her skull. The impact briefly knocked her out, and when she started to get up, she immediately knew something was very wrong.
Amy had suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and was about to start a journey unlike anything she had ever experienced. Her life had changed in literally a blink of the eye. 

This book is a collection of her short articles, most of which were originally published on The Huffington Post.

Learn about what it means to have a TBI as you read about her struggles and frustrations, like the days she can't remember how to run the microwave, or how she gets lost driving to familiar places. Understand what it's like to suffer fatigue and exhaustion after doing a simple task that most take for granted.This book is perfect for TBI survivors, their caregivers, friends and loved ones. 

It is a great book for survivors to give to their supporters so that they, too, can understand what those with TBI are dealing with on a daily basis. 

For The Book,  CLICK HERE.

  (If you decide to buy anything mentioned in #5ThoughtsFriday, don't forget to use  Amazon Smile  and select the Brain Injury Association of Maryland as your donation beneficiary.) 
1) Quote We Are Contemplating...

"Some see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not."

HEADWAY: BIAMD's eNewsletter is Online!
Check it Out by CLICKING HERE !

We are very excited to provide you an update on all that's been going on at the Brain Injury Association of Maryland and events happening in the near future!   
The Sinai Rehabilitation Center one-day course brings together an interdisciplinary team of presenters who have developed strategies to address the psychological and psychiatric needs of this complex patient population. Attendees will be guided by expert tips and knowledge to maximize treatment, improve outcomes, and facilitate patients’ successful return to their prior levels of function.

November 3, 2017

8:00am–4:30 pm

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  Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful weekend.
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