A woman with MS pressed her senator on health care in a fiery exchange. It's a must-watch.

A town hall with Sen. Dean Heller turned electric Monday when a chronically ill Reno woman confronted him, asking if he would vote to mess with her health care and refusing to back down.

Photo by David Calvert/Getty Images.

Vivian Leal, a 51-year-old mother with multiple sclerosis, wanted to know whether the Nevada Republican would support a plan that would place her in a high-risk insurance pool because of her condition. High-risk pools segregate customers with pre-existing conditions into plans with higher premiums, while healthy people pay less.


Several Republican lawmakers, including Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, have expressed support for such plans.

"It’s harder to make laws about people who they’re going to affect when you have to face the people they might hurt," Leal says.

In a video circulating on Twitter, Heller began by offering that he was sorry to hear Leal's story.

Leal continued to press the senator as he attempted to steer the conversation to a discussion of why he rejected the Republican health care plan.

The exchange quickly became heated.

Soon, the crowd was chanting, "Yes or no," and Heller was forced to reply:

"I will support high-risk pools because there are some people who want them," Heller finally admitted to the crowd.

For Leal, portioning off health care is both a moral and economic concern.

"Who are we when we just huddle all our sick into one pool and make them pay higher penalties for being sick beyond their illness?" Leal wants to know.

Some states allowed residents to buy into high-risk insurance pools prior to the Affordable Care Act, which often featured far higher costs of care for sick customers. According to an NPR report, plans bought through Minnesota's pool, for example, cost about 25% more than regular plans, with some participants paying up to $18,000 per year in premiums.

Planned Parenthood supporters before Heller's town hall. Photo by David Calvert/Getty Images.

"Letting us buy into a high-risk pool is access, but it’s not really accessible coverage or affordable coverage at all. It might as well be no coverage for most people," Leal explains. Both she and her husband currently receive coverage through a plan on Nevada's ACA exchange, which Leal credits for giving her the "freedom from the fear of illness and bankruptcy."

Leal isn't the only American making it harder for her elected representative to get away with a "fuzzy answer" these days.

Last week, Oklahomans needling Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R) over his responsibility to serve their interests prompted the congressman to insist the notion that citizens pay his salary is "bull crap," touching off a mini-firestorm in the media.

Also on Monday, constituents of Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) demanded to know whether he would apply the same zeal for investigating Russian election interference as he did for the attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

Time will tell how Heller's encounter with his constituents affects his votes on issues like health care.

In the meantime, as her senator prepares to travel back to Washington, Leal's message is clear:

"We see you."

Correction 4/19/2017: An earlier version of this article stated that Leal receives health coverage through her husband's job. Both she and her husband are covered by a plan on the Nevada ACA exchange.

True

This year more than ever, many families are anticipating an empty dinner table. Shawn Kaplan lived this experience when his father passed away, leaving his mother who struggled to provide food for her two children. Shawn is now a dedicated volunteer and donor with Second Harvest Food Bank in Middle Tennessee and encourages everyone to give back this holiday season with Amazon.

Watch the full story:

Over one million people in Tennessee are at risk of hunger every day. And since the outbreak of COVID-19, Second Harvest has seen a 50% increase in need for their services. That's why Amazon is Delivering Smiles and giving back this holiday season by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Second Harvest to feed those hit the hardest this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local food bank or charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

File:Pornhub-logo.svg - Wikimedia Commons

A 2015 survey conducted by the National Union of Students found that 60% of respondents turned to porn to fill in the gaps in sex education. While 40% of those people said they learned a little, 75% of respondents said they felt porn created unrealistic expectations when it comes to sex. Some of the unrealistic expectations from porn can be dangerous. A study found that 88% of porn contained violence, and another study found that those who consumed porn were more likely to become sexually aggressive.

But now the thing that breaks those unrealistic expectations… might also be porn? Pornhub has launched a sex education section.

The adult website's first series is simply titled, "Pornhub Sex Ed" and contains 11 videos and is accessible through the Pornhub Sexual Wellness Center. The section also contains articles, some showing real anatomy and examples in order to bust myths people may have picked up on other portions of the website.

Keep Reading Show less
True

A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.

There are creative, romantic proposals, and then there's this one.

Lee Loechler recently proposed to his girlfriend, Sthuthi David, by taking her to a packed theater to see her favorite movie, Sleeping Beauty. Little did she know that Loechler had spent six months altering the animation of the film's most iconic scene, changing the characters to look like the couple themselves and altering the storyline to set up his Big Question. And that's only the beginning.

Watching David's face during the scene change is sheer delight, as her confused look proves that she has no clue what is about to happen. The set-up is great, but the magical moment when Loechler's illustrated self tosses the engagement ring to his real-life self? That's when we all toss up our hands and say, "OKAY, man. You win at proposing. Everyone else must bow before you now."

Keep Reading Show less

While many of us have understandably let the challenges of 2020 get under our skin and bring us down, a young man from Florida was securing his place in the Guinness Book of World Records. Chris Nikic became the first person with Down syndrome to complete a full triathlon.

For the majority of people, a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride or a 26.2 mile run would be difficult on its own. The Ironman competition requires participants to complete them all in one grueling race. In a statement, Special Olympics Florida President and CEO Sherry Wheelock called Chris "an inspiration to all of us." She continued, "We are incredibly proud of Chris and the work he has put in to achieve this monumental goal. He's become a hero to athletes, fans, and people across Florida and around the world."

Nikic's journey to become an Ironman started off as a challenge far less lofty. He and his father, Nik, created the "1 percent better challenge." The idea was to keep Chris motivated during the pandemic and beyond. According to The Washington Post, the idea was for Chris to improve his workouts by one percent each day because he "doesn't like pain" but loves "food, videos games and my couch." The plan was to keep building strength and stamina while keeping his eye on the grand prize of completing a triathlon. Nik told the Panama City News Herald, "I was concerned because after high school and after graduation a lot of kids with Down syndrome become isolated and just start living a life of isolation. I said, 'Look, let's go find him something to get him back into the world and get him involved,' so we started looking around and we were fortunate that at the same time Special Olympics Florida started this triathlon program, and I thought, 'What a great way to get him started, get him in shape and get him to make some friends.'"


Keep Reading Show less