More

In 21 States, Politics Was Placed Firmly Before People, And The Results Are Devastating

The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) allowed states to expand Medicaid to help lower-income people and the working poor gain access to medical insurance, many for the first time in their lives. 21 states have refused that money, largely because politicians are playing politics, and it's costing human lives. Like Israel, who you're about to meet.

In 21 States, Politics Was Placed Firmly Before People, And The Results Are Devastating

Here are the states that have refused Medicaid expansion. And here's article from The Washington Post and one from NBC News about the financial impact on those states. The human cost? We'll never truly know.

True

Shanda Lynn Poitra was born and raised on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in Belcourt, North Dakota. She lived there until she was 24 years old when she left for college at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

"Unfortunately," she says, "I took my bad relationship with me. At the time, I didn't realize it was so bad, much less, abusive. Seeing and hearing about abusive relationships while growing up gave me the mentality that it was just a normal way of life."

Those college years away from home were difficult for a lot of reasons. She had three small children — two in diapers, one in elementary school — as well as a full-time University class schedule and a part-time job as a housekeeper.

"I wore many masks back then and clothing that would cover the bruises," she remembers. "Despite the darkness that I was living in, I was a great student; I knew that no matter what, I HAD to succeed. I knew there was more to my future than what I was living, so I kept working hard."

While searching for an elective class during this time, she came across a one-credit, 20-hour IMPACT self-defense class that could be done over a weekend. That single credit changed her life forever. It helped give her the confidence to leave her abusive relationship and inspired her to bring IMPACT classes to other Native women in her community.

I walked into class on a Friday thinking that I would simply learn how to handle a person trying to rob me, and I walked out on a Sunday evening with a voice so powerful that I could handle the most passive attacks to my being, along with physical attacks."

It didn't take long for her to notice the difference the class was making in her life.

"I was setting boundaries and people were either respecting them or not, but I was able to acknowledge who was worth keeping in my life and who wasn't," she says.

Following the class, she also joined a roller derby league where she met many other powerful women who inspired her — and during that summer, she found the courage to leave her abuser.

"As afraid as I was, I finally had the courage to report the abuse to legal authorities, and I had the support of friends and family who provided comfort for my children and I during this time," she says.

Keep Reading Show less
More

One minute of fed-up celebrities talking about guns is actually worth your time.

There are so many celebrities in this video that I honestly lost count. But I'm SO GLAD they came together to make it, because people tend to listen to celebrities — for better and worse. And this is definitely a case of the better.

This article originally appeared on 06.23.15


There were nearly 100 school shootings in the two years after Newtown.

Despite that, Congress still hasn't found the will to deal with gun violence in the U.S. Suffice it to say a lot of people are angry. Including the pile of celebrities you'll see below.

The plan is simple...

Keep Reading Show less