So Close to the Policy!!

Through my internship I was lucky enough to get inside Capitol Hill and attend a meeting about the Affordable Care Act and its effect on the Patient/Provider Relationship. It was fascinating that I was able to attend something that really focuses on my interests. The meeting was divided by two sides (Democrats and Republicans, of course). Additionally, there was a panel of doctors speaking on the matter. Albeit interesting, the meetings was controlled by the Republican party. On the Republican side there were about 20 representatives (all former MDs) and the Democratic side had 2 people who were not doctors. The language used during the meeting was also very interesting. The Democrats would refer to its proper name, the Affordable Care Act, while the Republicans would refer to it as Obamacare. Many people use the term Obamacare, but do not realize the negative connotation that has on the Act. It was frustrating as an audience member that the questions were so loaded. The Republican side would ask the panel of doctors specific questions that warranted very specific answers. Therefore, the Republicans were able to make it seem like the Affordable Care Act was a travesty. Looking around I noticed the dismay of the audience who probably wanted to ask their own questions in order to get more realistic responses. Only one panel member approved the Affordable Care Act and the Republicans literally tore him to shreds throughout the meeting. It was honestly a sad sight to see. Most of the panel members discussed how the Affordable Care Act would ruin the doctor/patient relationship. However, it was very interesting that these doctors were more into specialties (plastic surgery, anesthesiology). These doctors would not really be seeing patients who fell under the Affordable Care Act so it was interesting to see why they were so against it. Although the meeting was full of harsh statements and loaded propositions (and even more unanswered questions) it was a great opportunity to have. This just reminds me how lucky I am to be in Washington DC and so close to Health Policy!

I know today is going to be a LOOooooooooooooooong Day ….so if you’re feeling the same way maybe you should watch this video…it’s pretty hilarious in my opinion…Thanks to Blake for showing this to me!

There are bad words in it though…so if that bothers you then don’t watch!

 

Bitch Pudding!

 

Enjoy!

Look at you. You’re young. And you’re scared. Why are you so scared? Stop being paralyzed. Stop swallowing your words. Stop caring what other people think. Wear what you want. Say what you want. Listen to the music you want to listen to. Play it loud as fuck and dance to it. Go out for a drive at midnight and forget that you have school the next day. Stop waiting for Friday. Live now. Do it now. Take risks. Tell secrets. This life is yours. When are you going to realize that you can do whatever you want?

If you haven’t heard yet, Frank Ocean has revealed on his blog (frankocean.com) that his first love was a man. This is mind-blowing (in a great way) because he could really change the way hip hop views sexuality in the black community. In the past, hip hop culture has had the tendency to be very homophobic to the point that it affects the entire black community. Especially when I read articles about how 1 in 5 black women in DC have HIV (not saying that being gay leads to HIV..definitely not!! But there is a culture of down low black men not informing their female partners about their male partners, and that’s just unsafe from a public health perspective). With that being said there has to be some cultural relevance to Hip Hop’s portrayal of sexuality (hyper-masculine, homophobic, surprisingly conservative, misogynistic behavior) that causes a lot of issues in the black community. Frank Ocean could really be a huge activist in the black community & Hip-Hop community on our view of gay culture and gay rights. America has come a long way, but the African American community has not been so quick to follow these trends. It will be interesting to see how Frank Ocean’s career will be affected by his coming-out (I think it will grow to be honest) and if other artists/rappers will follow his lead (because I know they are out there).

Also…because his music is so wonderful I thought I’d post one of his new songs that I’ve fallen in love with!

Pyramids

 

Happy Independence Day!!

I remember when I was younger my parents would take me (and my brother once he was born) to Marksville, Louisiana to spend the 4th of July with my family down there. Now, Marksville is probably as country as it gets but it’s always good time with family. Years later, my usual trip down to Marksville has been replaced with my stay here in Washington DC (I guess I can call it an upgrade). In my opinion, everyone should spend a 4th of July in DC. It’s something about being in the nation’s capitol that tugs on the American heart strings. It’s kind of similar to people going to NYC for New Years Eve (you just HAVE to do it!). I have to say my 4th of July was pretty splendid. I got to watch the view from a rooftop (thanks for the invite Ryann!) and I met a lot of really cool people. It was nice to spend some time with people who were my age and with very similar ambitions to mine. It makes for really good conversation. Although it was scorching hot outside, that didn’t stop anyone from relaxing by the rooftop pool with some drinks waiting for the fireworks to begin. When the fireworks began, they BEGAN!! I assumed that we would see the short fireworks show from the National Mall. Boy, I was wrong! If you did a 360 degree view around the rooftop you could see fireworks at every turn. Some were closer up and some were very far away but it was beautiful. It was like everyone was really celebrating at the same time. For a second it’s like all the labels and injustices in our country just stopped and we all celebrated being an American. It was wonderful. All though being on the mall would have been cool, I think being on the rooftop with friends was a great way to spend a great day. Just imagine fireworks radiating from every direction. It’s pretty amazing.

Happy 4th Everyone!

Man I really miss you guys….

I’ve been in DC for almost a month now. I’m still working on making friends and creating relationships with people here. However, it’s pretty difficult when I pretty much go to work and go home every day (maybe that’s the problem). So I just wanted to tell everyone I really miss them. Here’s who I’ve been missing…a lot!!

The Bro and I!

MY mother (on the right!)

My LoveS. My LSs

Can’t forget about my high school “FRANS” (friends)

If any of y’all are in the witness protection program I’m sorry for revealing your identity…I really could go on for days and put all the pictures up of people I love….but for space I guess I’ll just stop here.

I love and miss you all!

Family!! (older picture)…not that it matters really

So…not my best idea ever

I’m still getting used to living without being quickly accessible to everything. Now that Lightning McQueen (my Mazda3) is no longer in my possession I have to live a little bit differently. I have to plan my travel more often here just because I have to do things like wait for the next bus. Of course, this is not normal for me. This is especially inconvenient when I need to do important things like go grocery shopping. So what am I supposed to do? Buy 2 items so I’m able to walk home…well that sucks! So my best friend Kristen gave me a great idea so that I could go grocery shopping, get everything I needed, and save money on public transportation. I took my suitcase to the grocery store by way of 10 minute walk to get there. I got my groceries (about 90 dollars worth…I don’t know how that happened honestly) and I put all my groceries into my suitcase. I realized on my way back how poor of an idea that was (no shade to Kristen’s amazing idea though). First, the suitcase was way too heavy so I couldn’t roll it on all 4 wheels (ya it’s a 4-wheeler).Second, it felt like 107 degrees outside. So here I am trying to roll this heavy suitcase filled with groceries and the wheels basically start shredding!! So now I’m rolling the suitcase (of course with still a half-mile to walk) on basically 2 wheels. I had to pray that I’d make it home and not just leave my grocery-filled suitcase there. It was so rough, I didn’t know if I’d make it. AND when I finally made it home after my 10 minute walk turned into about a 25 minute walk, my bread was SQUISHED!! OH THE HORROR !! I’m never doing that again…ever!

 

Here is evidence of the horror….so shameful

My Weekend…

Hey all!!

Happy Weekend. I decided to not stay at home and watch movie all weekend so I decided to hang out in Chinatown. I did a little shopping, ate a bit, and went to a MUSEUM (I love free museums!!). It was pretty great except for the fact that it was a blazing 100 degrees outside. However, I think I managed.

Chinese food yum!! Spent more money then I should have here -_-

The American Art Museum!

 

This museum was pretty awesome. I actually want to come in again. They had so many different styles of art like African American, portraits of famous people, Video Game art, and abstracts. It’s great! Especially when it’s blazing hot outside.

The Portrait Gallery Hall.

 

Anyways…I had a great Saturday here.

Zipcar! WIN!

As everyone probably knows now my baby boy Lightning McQueen is no longer with me. As much as I love my car, it would be a hassle for me to bring him up here. The cost of parking here is just too crazy and it’s just not really necessary when public transportation is pretty great here (albeit annoying at times). However, sometimes it’s necessary to have a car (especially when you need to make large purchases, grocery shopping, or go somewhere kind of far). For this reason I applied for a zip car! It’s such a cool company and system. You just sign up, get a zipcard, and you can find cars that are near you (on an iPhone app of course). Then you walk to your car, press the card against the window and the doors unlock! Purely fascinating! So the other day I tried to see what all the hype was about.

My first ZIPCAR!! and it’s green..how cool!

So where did I go in my first zip car….I went shopping of course!

I overestimated how much time I needed but it was still great. It also reminded me how much I miss driving. By the way driving is one of my favorite pastimes. It’s very relaxing. I was able to get lost (sort-of) and take a little driving tour of the city.

 

Only con was that once I returned the car I still had to get on the Metro and then walk home. The Zipcar company would be pretty amazing if they could just pick up the car from wherever your last stop was. Hmmmm…maybe one day.

Health Care for ALL!

Seeing as my main reason for moving to DC and pursuing a MPH in Health Policy, this is pretty cool to me. So today is a huge day in our nation’s history (well health history at least). Today the Supreme Court decided to uphold the Affordable Care Act which will allow pretty much everyone (except a select few) to purchase health care. This is a huge deal for health care and I think it’s a great start to where we are trying to go in the future. I know there are still issues and kinks that need to be worked out, but that is nothing new. Moreover, it was amazing that I work about 7 minutes away from the Capitol and the Supreme Court! For this reason I was able to take a field trip right there!! I was able to get up and close to the action. Although there were tons of protestors when I arrived, it’s pretty amazing how accessible you are to the policy that affects the country. This makes me happy that I ended up here. So here’s some documentation of my journey!!

Here’s a link you can read to show you how this ruling affects you…

http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/28/politics/supreme-court-health-effects/index.html?npt=NP1

 

Great experience. Loved every minute of it. It will be interesting to see what happens from this moment on.

Supporters and Protestors Mill Around

Beautiful building!

Some of the protestors…this one intrigued me

this one was pretty creative as well.

Guess who I saw standing in the crowd y’all?! It’s JESUS!

Blog at WordPress.com.