Wednesday, January 01, 2014

COP 24/7 Welcomes to 2014

If you are reading this, then you crossed over. Not crossing over to the after life, although some of you may feel that you may have after last nights festivities. But what we are actually speaking of is crossing over to 2014, that would be fourteen years into the 21st Century and counting!!  Now that we are done with that other year, who knows what will happen to the masses  this year. No matter what tumbles down, COP 24/7 will have its ear to the ground on "what's really going on," and so much more. With that said, Happy New Year and let's keep this thing moving!

I'm Coming Out 2.0

2013 was a banner year for folks "outing" themselves and then there were individuals who we sorta always thought they were out but forgot that everyone doesn't have that special "gaydar" that goes off when another individual is within our space.
Getting just under the radar of 2013 was news that Robin Roberts, Co-host of Good Morning America decided to "out" herself on Facebook as she recalled her year long struggle with health dilemmas related to her bone marrow transplant. In her recollections she thanked her LTC, Amber Laign and their impending glorious new year together which is now entering 10 years.

Consequently, Robert's joins a legion of notable TV personalities including her counterpart Sam Champion, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, CNN's Anderson Cooper, Jonathan Capehart of the Washington Post and colorful commentator L.C., Granderson are among those who have come out or shared their sexuality openly. And these are just the folks that I decided to put in this post because there are so many more!!!. However, none have been more forthright than CNN's Don Lemon whom outed himself in 2011.

This Emmy award winning journalistic force has taken unpopular positions on numerous fronts. He used his Monday newscast to show his support for Roberts and make the case that broadcasters such as his self and others unabashedly deserve their platforms as a counterpoint to Duck Dynasty Phil Robertson's platform.

In the memoir synopsis of, Transparent, he is described as, " never one to stop at the surface of the story, Lemon digs deep, exposing his own history with wealth and lack, with family secrets and painful revelations--and explains how those painful early experiences shaped his ambitions and gave him the tools of empathy and fearlessness that he brings to his work."

Roberts too has scored big interviews, especially the May news breaking piece with President Obama whom shared his reversal on same-sex marriage. ABC News issued a statement of support: “We love Robin and Amber, who we have all known for a long time. We were so touched by Robin’s Facebook message today and so thankful for all the loving support she has in her life.” Alright high five Ms.Roberts, it is certainly a journey to acceptance and when the time is right you do what you think is right for you. Amazingly I've been out so long that I don't remember a time when I wasn't. Things sure are a changing and not a minute too soon. Alright who's next? Or does it even matter anymore?

Medicaid sign-ups rise 1,500 in week
State’s expansion tally nears 69,500
January 1 is the start date for some individuals who enrolled in insurance plans during the open enrollment period of the Affordable Care Act. Arkansas uniquely moved to utilize its
state partnership with the federal government in using those dollars for a private insurance option for its citizens. COP 24/7 will be devoting a series of both pro and con post on the Affordable Care Act in the coming weeks. If you need to contact resources hit up this forum for more information. 

According to Arkansas Online, enrollment for the state’s expanded Medicaid program climbed to nearly 69,500 as of Saturday, up by about 1,500 from the week before, a spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Human Services said Tuesday.

The number of people who will receive coverage through private insurance plans sold on the state’s health-insurance exchange and have Medicaid-paid premiums rose to 63,173, up by more than 1,000 last week, spokesman Kate Luck said.
Enrollment in the program also included 6,312people - almost 400 more than last week - assigned to the traditional fee-for service Medicaid program because they were deemed to be medically frail, she said.

Most of those who enrolled in the expanded Medicaid program are recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps, who received letters from the Human Services Department in September notifying them of their eligibility. 

More than 63,000 food stamp recipients are included in the enrollment totals after they submitted applications via the phone, mail or through a state-run website, The Medicaid expansion, authorized by the federal health-care overhaul law and approved by the state Legislature in 2013, made an estimated 250,000 people eligible for coverage to start today. Enrollment began Oct. 1.

Eligibility was expanded to adults with incomes up to 138 percent of the poverty level - $15,860 for an individual or $32,500 for a family of four.
According to Luck, of the 98,114 people who have filed applications for the private, Medicaid-funded plans under the so-called private option, just over 75 percent were determined eligible as of Saturday.

The enrollment figures don’t include the thousands who applied for Medicaid coverage through the federal enrollment portal, healthcare. gov, Luck said.
“We have not gotten all that information yet,” she said Tuesday. “Next week, we should have processed all our applications from the federal government.”

The federal government determined eligibility for those who applied, and the Human Services Department corrected other problems, including removing duplicates and adding county information to the applications.

That county-level information helps the department determine which plans on the state’s exchange the recipient can choose from. The state is divided into seven zones. Some insurers offer plans in all zones, others only in some.

Once the Human Services Department sorts through the applications submitted via the federal website, officials will send out notices to those who are eligible, sending them to another state website,, where they can complete the enrollment process.
The applicant has 12 days within receiving notification of eligibility to complete enrollment or face automatic assignment to a plan on the exchange. The applicant then has 30 days to change plans.

Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, QualChoice Health Insurance and Centene Corp. - which is offering plans on the exchange through a subsidiary, Arkansas Health and Wellness Solutions - couldn’t immediately provide information about enrollment in each company late Tuesday.

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