Tuesday, November 25, 2014

No Justice, No Peace Tuesday

It's the morning after the decision that was awaited with baited breathe and a under current of angst  that seem to hover across the country with uncertainty. Meanwhile after all the kabuki theater that was this decision there was a distinct "holla" and outcry that leaves much still unresolved and questionable. And so now we again wait to see what's next in the struggle in Ferguson, Missouri and the nation as a whole.

As President Obama evoked, the work must continue to identify positive outcomes while we all endure our system where the rule of law is suppose to be intact. Even as we are jarred by the pictures, coverage and sometime explosive verbiage from all sectors, ultimately this situation must "exhale" at some point to allow the air to clear as those seeking justice for their loved ones try to embrace the words of Dr. M.L King, "we've go some difficult days ahead..." No matter the rough days ahead, it is vitally important that we understand that if we don't deal with the "root" of the problem then the tree will continue to bear the same fruit.

With the holiday season kicking off this week with Thanksgiving, this situation echo's many themes that have been the kindling that have not ignited a sense of hopelessness and cynicism that will be used as a rallying cry as we assert the fact that  "Black lives do matter." The pain of this decision and other just like it require a push for judicial transparency, understanding the impact of societal determinants and put positive energy behind addressing community policing.

There will be all manner of protest and civil disobedience actions ranging from calls for store boycotts to continued street protest about "system's" in a country that for all appearances seems to be dysfunctional from Capitol Hill to City Hall.

History has proved that the unrest of young people fuels much of our social change and I believe that we must at all cost be prepared to demand some systematic changes before we fall over the tipping point. Let's continue to be hopeful and watchful as we move ahead during this turbulent time.

Learn About CDC's HIV Treatment Works Campaign

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has introduced HIV Treatment Works, a  campaign under the Act Against AIDS initiative encouraging people living with HIV to Get in care, Stay in care, and Live well. This campaign focuses on helping people living with HIV get into care, start taking HIV medications, remain in care, and adhere to treatment. 

Locally Mr. Cedric Gunn (pictured) was featured in the campaign as well as the latest issue of a Department of Health newsletter. Gunn is also a founding board member of the newly emerging LinQ for Life, Incorporated. He has stated that he plans to seek opportunities to educate in local schools.

To support the campaign the CDC encourages advocates and organizations to:

  • Forward this letter to your networks
  • Visit the campaign website and use campaign materials
  • Like the Act Against AIDS Facebook Page .
  • Follow @TalkHIV on Twitter and use the hashtag #HIVTreatmentWorks
  • Incorporate HIV Treatment Works into community events and educational presentations, underscoring the importance of care and treatment for people living with HIV.

New Kaiser Tool Calculates By Locality the Share of Potential ACA Federal Marketplace Enrollees That Signed Up for 2014 Plans

About 8 million people signed up for a health plan through the Affordable Care Act's insurance marketplaces by the end of the 2014 open enrollment period -- 28 percent of the potential market, according to Kaiser Family Foundation estimates.

As the ACA’s second open enrollment period gears up, a new tool from the Foundation delves into states to compare on a local level the number of people eligible for a marketplace plan with the share who signed up.

The resource, Mapping Marketplace Enrollment, calculates by local area the percentage of potential ACA marketplace enrollees that signed up for a health plan in a federally-based exchange by mid-April 2014. It also displays the number of potential enrollees and the number of plan signups in 100,000-resident statistical geographical areas associated with a zip code.

A Kaiser analysis of the data shows tremendous variation across the country. Signups totaled 60 percent or more as a share of the potential market in parts of Jackson, Miss., and Miami-Dade and Broward counties in Florida, among other areas. Enrollment was less than 10 percent of the potential market in parts of Texas, Iowa, Ohio, Indiana, Arizona, and Utah. Results varied significantly within states, as well: for example, the signup percentage for areas in Florida ranged from 12 to 89 percent.

The new tool uses data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey. Potential enrollees for the marketplaces are people who were uninsured or buying their own insurance before the ACA went into effect, who are not eligible for Medicaid or employer coverage, who are not in the coverage gap, and who are citizens or authorized immigrants.

National marketplace enrollment totaled 6.7 million as of Oct. 15, reflecting people who had not paid their premiums, attrition since the end of the open enrollment period, and new signups during special enrollment periods. The enrollment data by zip code released by the federal government includes only states served by federally-operated marketplaces and reflects plan signups as of the spring 2014 conclusion of the first ACA open enrollment period.

For more Health Reform resources, please visit kff.org.

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