Thursday, June 22, 2017

Opioid Addiction Treatment Threatened Under Proposed Health Care Bill

Posted By on Thu, Jun 22, 2017 at 10:35 AM

The pressure is on — focused primarily upon a slim spectrum of moderate Republicans, like our very own Sen. Rob Portman — as the U.S. Senate gears up for its vote on the health care bill the American Health Care Act. The repeal of the Affordable Care Act has passed in the U.S. House, and today the Senate released its mostly secretly drafted version of the bill. It's pretty similar the House's deal.

Of paramount concern in this ongoing and fragmented debate is the phase-out of Medicaid expansion funds. Under the ACA, states were given the opportunity to broadly expand their Medicaid coverage. (Ohio did.) The program has been hailed outside of Republican legislative circles as a success; coverage rates increased in states that expanded Medicaid offerings, and, as the country's opioid addiction crisis worsened, the access to affordable health care stanched to some degree the tragedy.

A recent Associated Press report states: "In Ohio, the expansion accounted for 43 percent of Medicaid spending in 2016 on behavioral health, a category that includes mental health and substance abuse." (The ratio is even higher in some other states, like the 59 percent of Medicaid expansion funds going toward substance abuse treatment in Maryland last year.)

Gov. John Kasich was one of the most vocal Republican supporters of the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion opportunity when he rolled it out in 2014. He used the expanded health coverage program as a sharp dividing line between him and other candidates on the presidential campaign trail last year. Now, faced with an imminent Senate vote on a bill that proposes doing away with that expansion, Kasich is urging caution: "That is a very, very bad idea, because we cannot turn our back on the most vulnerable," he said on CNN.

The AHCA Senate vote, expected next week, comes at a time when all predictions point to an even higher opioid overdose death count than in years past, especially in hard-hit Ohio. And it's not like access to treatment is terrific in the first.

From the AP:

In Youngstown, factory mechanic Paul Wright credits sustained help from Medicaid with his survival after he nearly died from a heroin overdose. Wright said he had started using as a teenager but now has been drug-free for 18 months. Before Medicaid expanded, his father's health insurance would pay for detox but not for long-term treatment. Wright would relapse. With Medicaid, he's been able to get follow-up.

"It's truly sad, but I've been to many funerals since I've been clean," said Wright, who's in his mid-20s. "I just think Medicaid — honestly — it saves people." And he's able to work.

Tomorrow, Ohioans will again gather at Portman's downtown Cleveland office (1240 East 9th St.). The event begins at noon, with speakers delivering pointed presentations to Portman staffers as the vote draws closer.

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Suspected Vandal Has Broken 10 Windows at Cleveland Abortion Clinic in Past Three Months

Posted By on Thu, Jun 22, 2017 at 9:46 AM

  • NewsNet5

Chrisse France, executive director of Preterm, Cleveland's only abortion clinic, says the organization's office on Shaker Boulevard has been the target of a serial vandal in the past three months. Ten windows in all have been broken and though police continue to investigate, they're still looking for the suspect who was caught on surveillance video in the latest incident.

You can watch that video here in Channel 5's coverage, and anyone with information about the suspect's identity can call Cleveland police at 216-623-5418.

In each case, dating back to early June, the suspect has thrown bricks through the windows.

“I believe that because of the number of windows, and the fact that it hasn’t happened anywhere else in the neighborhood, that this is targeted to us, specifically as an abortion provider,” France told Channel 5. “We’re not going to be intimidated.”

Marcia Fudge lent her support as well, telling in a statement, "Every woman deserves the right to make decisions that are best for her and for her family. Preterm provides much needed care to the women of Northeast Ohio and serves as an advocate for women across our state and nation. I applaud the commitment of its staff and providers."
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Buckeye Fan Mows 'OHIO' Into His Michigan Fan Neighbor's Grass

Posted By on Thu, Jun 22, 2017 at 9:18 AM

There's only one thing to do when you're a Buckeye fan and your neighbor, who's a Michigan fan, is out of town and his lawn needs mowing.

Ty Higgins did just that and, Urban Meyer bless him, shared his creation and process with the world. The weed whacker dotting of the "I" really makes the whole thing.

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On Markelle Fultz, the NBA Draft and the State of Basketball — The A to Z Podcast With Andre Knott and Zac Jackson

Posted By on Thu, Jun 22, 2017 at 8:43 AM


Andre and Zac share some NBA Draft memories and thoughts. Then, they're joined by Babe Kwasniak, the head coach at Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School, to discuss the state of grassroots basketball, Thad Matta's exit and Kwasniak's experience coaching the No. 1 pick, Markelle Fultz, at two Under Armour camps over the last several summers.

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WRUW Announces Details for Special Studio-A-Rama Concert

Posted By on Thu, Jun 22, 2017 at 8:26 AM

Over the years, WRUW FM 91.1’s all-day Studio-A-Rama music festival has featured terrific headlining acts such as the Man or Astroman, Bleached, Tacocat, A Place To Bury Strangers, the Black Angels, Mission of Burma, Guided By Voices and the New Bomb Turks.

WRUW broadcasts the festival, its signature event, in its entirety on its FM home (91.1 on the old-fashioned radio dial) and via its website.

The station has just announced it has started taking submissions from local and regional bands who wish to play this year’s event. The deadline to submit is July 21. Concert organizers will choose seven to nine bands to play alongside headliner Sweet Spirit and Ohio-based indie rock acts New Bomb Turks and This Moment in Black History.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Joseph Arthur Talks About Each Track on 'Redemption's Son,' Which He'll Play In Its Entirety at the Music Box

Posted By on Wed, Jun 21, 2017 at 5:49 PM

Singer-songwriter Joseph Arthur, an Akron native, has released 14 albums under his own name and 11 official EPs. He’s also been involved with several side projects such as Fistful of Mercy, a group that featured Ben Harper and Dhani Harrison.

Since this year marks the 15th anniversary of Arthur’s studio album Redemption’s Son, he decided he wanted to do something to honor the occasion.

He’ll play the album in its entirety, something he’s never done before, when he performs on June 29 at Music Box Supper Club.

Real World Records, the imprint run by Brit rocker Peter Gabriel, has just reissued the original album (with its original artwork) along with nine bonus tracks, all of which have been previously unreleased.  The anniversary edition will be available on 180-gram double LP, double CD and digitally. It will be the first time the album has been available on vinyl.

In a phone call from his Brooklyn home, Arthur talks about each track on the album.

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Local Rockers Tropidelic to Headline Their Own Music Festival in August

Posted By on Wed, Jun 21, 2017 at 4:28 PM

Tropidelic formed in 2008 in Kent and built a following after self-distributing over 10,000 free copies of its self-produced first EP, Rebirth of the Dope. After releasing their second EP, Tree City Exodus, and relocating to Cleveland, the group has gained some traction and opened for acts like Slightly Stoopid, 311, Pepper, the Dirty Heads, Sublime w/Rome, Soja, the Wailers and Flobots.

Now, the band has announced its first festival, the Freakstomp Music Festival. Taking place from Aug 11 to 13 in Medina, the festival will feature acts such as Vibe & Direct, Bumpin’ Uglies, Sun-Dried Vibes, Pasadena, Elementree Livity Project, Drunken Sunday and Derlee.

Tropidelic will headline both nights of music.

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