Monday, June 25, 2012

10 Things you'd miss if Supremes dismantle The Affordable Care Act

The people against this are just plain stupid. Honestly!

1) Access to health insurance for 30 million Americans and lower premiums. More than 30 million uninsured Americans will find coverage under the law. Middle-class families who buy health care coverage through the exchanges will be eligible for refundable and advanceable premium credits and cost-sharing subsidies to ensure that the coverage they have is affordable.
2) The ability of businesses and individuals to purchase comprehensive coverage from a regulated marketplace. The law creates new marketplaces for individuals and small businesses to compare and purchase comprehensive coverage. Insurers will have to meet quality measures to ensure that Americans can access comprehensive coverage when they need it.
3) Insurers’ inability to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions. Beginning in 2014, insurers can no longer deny insurance to families or individuals with pre-existing conditions. Insurers are also prohibited from placing lifetime limits on the dollar value of coverage and rescinding insurers except in cases of fraud. Insurers are already prohibited from discriminating against children with pre-existing conditions.
4) Tax credits for small businesses that offer insurance. Small employers that purchase health insurance for employees are already receiving tax credits to encourage them to continue providing coverage.
5) Assistance for businesses that provide health benefits to early retirees.The law created a temporary reinsurance program for employers providing health insurance coverage to retirees over age 55 who are not eligible for Medicare, reimbursing employers or insurers for 80% of retiree claims. The program has offered at least $4.73 billion in reinsurance payments to more than 2,800 employers and other sponsors of retiree plans, with an average cumulative reimbursement per plan sponsor of approximately $189,700.
6) Affordable health care for lower-income Americans. Obamacare extends Medicaid to individuals with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty line, guaranteeing that the nation’ most vulnerable population has access to affordable, comprehensive coverage.
7) Investments in women’s health. Obamacare prohibits insurers from charging women substantially more than men and requires insurers to offer preventive services — including contraception — at no additional cost.
8) Young adults’ ability to stay on their parents’ health care plans. More than 3.1 million young people have already benefited from dependent coverage, which allows children up to age 26 to remain insured on their parents’ plans.
9) Discounts for seniors on brand-name drugs. Pharmaceutical manufacturers are required to provide a 50% discount on prescriptions filled in the Medicare Part D coverage gap. Seniors have already saved $3.5 billion on prescription drug costs thanks to the Affordable Care Act provision.
10) Temporary coverage for the sickest Americans. The law established temporary national high-risk pools that are providing health coverage to individuals with pre-existing medical conditions who cannot find insurance on the individual market. In 2014, they will be able to enroll in insurance through the exchanges. 67,482 individuals have already benefited from the program.

LGBT's Worst Foe: The Closet Monster

I've always felt that we gays were our own worst enemies. I look at some of the shenanigans that go on at Folsom Street in San Francisco and at the Southern Decadence event in New Orleans and think that it's no wonder that "middle America" thinks that we're all a bunch of sex-obsessed kooks when the reality is that we are really just like everyone else. This issue is that the Media (writ large) is so focused on the sensational that they very often miss the real story. 

I read a photo essay this morning about "The Closet Monster" and within it described the closet-case gay men who have worked tirelessly to make sure that we remain second class citizens in our own society. They do it for power, greed, and sometimes simply fear of being discovered as gay. Our society castigates gay men and women with such a vehemence that it is no wonder they are afraid. However, we have all been afraid. We have all had to bear the brunt of anti-gay animus and the fear of losing our jobs and homes to the oppression of the stupid, ignorant majority who don't want to, or care to, understand that their brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, fathers, mothers and children could be gay. If only all of the folks who are gay would simply say "enough" and let everyone know that they are gay, people would discover that we are all around you and you don't need to be afraid. I know it's easier said than done but there it is. 

Take a look at this photo essay of some of the worst closet-case miscreants and see what damage they have done all in the name of fitting in. It is a real eye opener!