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Health Care Hustlin': Advice for the Uninsured

Ideally we'd all be insured, but there are ways to get health care on the cheap.

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In our weekly Hustlin' series, we go beyond the pitying articles about recession-era youth and illuminate ways our generation is coping. The last few years may have been a rude awakening, but we're surviving. Here's how.\n

When I was in the ninth grade, my dad lost his job and our family no longer had health insurance. I attended a private, religious school on a massive scholarship. Growing up among rich kids, I was mortified that I couldn’t go to the doctor. Because I’ve always struggled with anxiety when it comes to money, this embarrassment led to hypochondria. As soon as I could not longer get health care, I developed every ailment in the world. That’s when I started using my anatomy and physiology teacher Mr. Klawsky as a health-care provider.

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On Tuesday, the anti-breast cancer charity Susan G. Komen For The Cure announced it was pulling funds that it had previously provided Planned Parenthood for breast exams. And today, after a hailstorm of protest on Twitter, Facebook, and Susan G. Komen's message boards, the charity announced that it would be restoring Planned Parenthood's grants.

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Give Komen the Pink Slip: Five Ways to Support Women's Health for All

The omnipresent Susan G. Komen Foundation has pulled its grants for breast-cancer screenings from Planned Parenthood.


News broke Tuesday afternoon that the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, the omnipresent charity battling breast cancer, is pulling hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of grants it had awarded Planned Parenthood to fund cancer screenings. The official reason? A new rule forbids the organization from funding any group currently under investigation in Congress. (Planned Parenthood is being investigated by legislators who oppose abortion rights and want to make doubly sure federal funds aren't being used for abortions). But many assume Komen caved to anti-abortion activists, and possibly to anti-choice higher-ups within the foundation.

At best, this decision is spineless. At worst, it's cruel. Rescinding the Planned Parenthood funding implies that the only women who deserve to receive breast cancer screenings are those who can afford a private doctor. Three million women and men visited Planned Parenthood last year. Over the past five years, Susan G. Komen allowed the health centers to provide nearly 170,000 breast exams and 6,400 mammogram referrals.

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A Reminder About the Insane Reason Your Government's About to Be Shut Down Chart: What Planned Parenthood Provides

Some Republican lawmakers are lying about what Planned Parenthood actually does.

The pie chart above depicts all the services Planned Parenthood centers around the country provided in 2009. As you can clearly see, only three percent of those services were abortions, while the majority of the other 97 percent were STD tests, contraception provisions, and cancer screenings. In other words, relative to its other services, Planned Parenthood does almost no abortions at all. And of the abortions it does provide, not a single one is paid for with federal funds.

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