19 things I trust with women's health more than this room full of men.

The future of health care in the U.S. hangs in the balance, but there's no need to worry. After all, we have top men working on it right now — emphasis on "men."

As the House of Representatives works on crafting a replacement to the Affordable Care Act, the internet couldn't help but notice just how overwhelmingly male the bill's architects seem to be.

For example, take this photo of Vice President Pence meeting with members of the House Freedom Caucus:

Women make up half the population and will almost certainly feel the effects of whatever bill gets passed "bigly," which makes it kind of weird that there aren't any women involved in this conversation.

A group of men deciding what's best for women makes about as much sense as leaving these types of choices in the hands of...

1. This ferocious beast


Photo via iStock.

2. A bundle of twigs

Photo via iStock.

3. A litter of puppies

Photo via iStock.

4. A single ripe banana

Photo via iStock.

5. A flock of seagulls

Photo via iStock.

6. A Flock of Seagulls (the band)

Photo via Everett Collection.

7. A pile of pencils

Photo via iStock.

8. The 1973 Miami Dolphins

Bob Griese of the Dolphins takes a snap during Super Bowl VII. Photo by Tony Tomsic, via AP.

9. These hardworking deer at the office

Photo via iStock.

10. A rock band of grandmas

Photo via iStock.

11. This business pug

Photo via iStock.

12. This elephant on a tightrope

Photo via iStock.

13. Robots

Photo via iStock.

14. A child riding a farm animal

Photo via iStock.

15. A small fish with big ambitions

Photo via iStock.

16. These rebellious children

Photo via iStock.

17. A bowl of mashed potatoes

Photo via iStock.

18. This family trying to make sense of a hospital bill

Photo via iStock.

19. Or a pool floaty.

Photo via iStock.

(If only there were some women in Congress who could have been consulted...?)

Nah. They'd probably be too emotional about it. 65 House Democratic women elected to the 114th Congress gather for a photo on Jan. 7, 2015. Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images.

Leaving women out of the negotiation process is especially egregious given that one of the main issues being discussed in that photo above was whether to gut things like maternity and prenatal care.

The Affordable Care Act considers these services "Essential Health Benefits" (EHBs), a term that includes things like maternity and prenatal care as well as preventive care like mammograms and Pap tests and, you know, just a bunch of things that pretty directly affect a whole lot of women.

Earlier this month, Rep. John Shimkus (R-Illinois) lamented the fact that EHBs mean men have to purchase plans that cover prenatal care. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) sarcastically joked, "I sure don’t want my mammogram benefits taken away," when asked about the possibility of scrapping the EHB requirement. (He later apologized.)

Image from CNN/YouTube.

Essential Health Benefits are way important, people! If we're going to be redefining what "essential" means, that debate has to  be open to more than just a handful of guys.

Over the coming days, weeks, and maybe even months, our members of Congress are going to be considering things like this (and much, much more). And while there's nothing we can do to influence who's in "the room where it happens," we can all use our voices in other ways. For instance, you can call your representative to let them know they should leave EHBs alone, using a service like 5 Calls. Or you can fax your members of Congress using Resist Bot to let them know you're not on board with a plan that will bump as many as 24 million people off their insurance.

It's up to all of us to make our voices heard. After all, if you're not OK with the business pug making decisions about your health care, then what makes a room full of men any more qualified?

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

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