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Checkup Denver: LGBTQ health care barriers, kratom ban for minors and more Colorado health news – The Denver Post

Hello Colorado!

Happy Monday and welcome back to Checkup Denver! We have a lot of health news for you this week, so let’s catch you up.

Seth McConnell, Special to the Denver Post

Jessiah Yoder of the Mile High Freedom Band waves a rainbow flag as he marches during the Denver Pride Parade along Colfax Avenue in Denver on June 17, 2018.

Under the Affordable Care Act, the uninsured rate for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in Colorado was cut in half, dropping from 10 percent in 2011 to 5 percent last year, according to a new report by One Colorado. .

But barriers still exist for LGBTQ individuals seeking medical care in the state, according to the report. And advocates worry that a proposed rule by the Trump administration could be used by health providers to deny care.

About 34 percent of transgender patients in the state report being denied coverage for LGBTQ-specific medical services, such as gender-affirming care or hormones. That’s down from 52 percent in 2011, according to the report by One Colorado.

“Even though we’re seeing more social acceptance, we’re seeing more visibility of the LGBTQ community, we’re also seeing some major pushback, some real attempts to roll back protections of LGBTQ Coloradans and LGBTQ Americans,” said Daniel Ramos, executive director of the LGBTQ advocacy group.

Read more here.

Castle Rock, which imposed a six-month moratorium on the licensing of new kratom shops while rules were created, has now banned the sale of the herbal supplement to minors. Under the ordinance, which was approved last week, anyone who sells kratom to a minor will face a fine of $300. 

Kratom is seen by some as a safe, natural alternative to opioid medications. But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration advises against the use of the substance, citing “properties that expose users to the risks of addiction, abuse and dependence.” 

Read more here.

Vail Daily via iStock

Broomfield wants teens to trade their e-cigarettes for recreation passes.

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See you in two weeks

— Jessica