Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tuesday Tidal Wave

Millions of Americans newly eligible for quality, affordable health coverage in 2014

Administration proposes guidance for Medicaid, health insurance marketplaces
Because of the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans will be newly eligible to receive quality, affordable health care through Medicaid and the new health insurance marketplaces (also known as the Exchanges) in 2014. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today released a proposed rule that promotes consistent policies and processes for eligibility notices and appeals in Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Exchanges and give states more flexibility when operating their Medicaid programs. HHS encourages all Americans to review and submit comments on the proposed rule.

“Before the health care law was passed, millions of Americans were unable to obtain or afford quality health coverage,” Secretary Sebelius said. “Today, we are proposing a rule to provide Americans with access to affordable, high quality health coverage and give states more flexibility to implement the law in a way that works for them.”

Beginning in 2014, the health care law provides new opportunities for Medicaid coverage for adults who earn up to 133 percent of poverty -- $14,865 for an individual or $30,656 for a family of four. Other Americans looking for coverage will be eligible to buy it through a health insurance marketplace, where many will be eligible for tax credits to make coverage more affordable. The rules proposed today will help develop systems that will make it easy for consumers to determine if they are eligible for Medicaid or tax credits that make insurance more affordable.

Today’s proposed rule includes information on how consumers will receive coordinated communications on eligibility determinations and can appeal eligibility determinations. It gives states flexibility in designing benefits and determining cost sharing in the Medicaid program. The proposed rule also provides flexibility to state-based Exchanges by allowing them to choose to rely on HHS for verifying whether an individual has employer-sponsored coverage and conducting some types of appeals.
For more information on this proposed rule, please visit:
En Español

Human Rights Campaign Aims for Blockbuster Ball

The Human Rights Campaign and a cadre of other gay rights groups have put together a blockbuster inaugural get-together, as reported by the Washington Posts, The Sleuth. The item cites that the party promises to feature Cyndi Lauper, Rufus Wainwright, Melissa Etheridge, Thelma Houston and other artists. COP 24/7 didn't notice that any of this type of entertainment was to be featured at the Arkansas Ball.

At post time, there was still no listing of who would be entertaining across town at the National Press Club where the Arkansas State Society will be holding court. According to the groups website (www.arkansas-state-society.org ) the "food will be sumptuous amidst featured Arkansas talent." All for a mere $200 for VIP now sold out or general admission for $150.00. Meanwhile, the gay folks will throw down at the legendary landmark Mayflower hotel, which, need we even say, is one of the most primo locations in the capital city. Tickets went on sale in December for the early bird, recession special price of $350, which, besides the entertainment, includes unlimited Obamatinis, equalitinis and as much Chicago- and Hawaiian-themed food as you'd like from the buffet.

After Dec. 16, prices rose to $375. But it won't get you in the same ballroom as President-elect Barack Obama, since the more casual gala - attire is "festive or formal" - will be an unofficial one. Just for the record, the Arkansas Gala has not been deemed an official ball either. Any thoughts on perhaps why not?

And if all that official or not official upscale is too expensive, the coalition of sponsors is hosting a much more affordable separate party the same night called "Dance for Equality" at the gay nightclub Town Dancebotique. (Talent and ticket prices will be announced in mid-December, organizers say.) 

On the local front, there doesn't appear interest nor any planned events in the LGBTQ community to mark this occasion. Of course this is where folks quip "why didn't you plan anything?" My retort would be I'm already in the mix of many things and would like to see others step up to get some fire in the belly to do some stuff. It always appears that the usual suspects are expected to make things happen in this town in the face of struggling to make ends meet. Therefore, it all boils down to my avowed deadly "P's" (Proper Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance). I rest my case and we move forward... 

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party of Arkansas announced that the Party will host a brunch celebrating the Inauguration of the 44th President of the United States, President Barack Obama, on Monday, January 21 at Revolution Food & Music in Little Rock. The event is open to the public and the media.
“We are excited to host this celebration for Arkansans across the state as we come together as a nation to work together and achieve progress for our country,” DPA Chairman Will Bond said.

Tickets for the brunch can be purchased by calling the DPA at 501.374.2361 or online at www.ARinaugCelebration.eventbrite.com. Advance tickets cost $44 per person or $75 per couple and include a brunch buffet. Tickets may also be purchased at the door for $50 per person. Doors for the event open at 9:30 a.m. For additional information, call the DPA at 501.374.2361.


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