Affordable Care Act still a maze for HIV-positive people in Ga.

After the disastrous rollout of the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration has met their Nov. 30 deadline to fix the “vast majority” of issues that have plagued the site since its Oct. 1 introduction. And with that, area organizations are ramping up efforts to inform those in the LBGT community, and specifically those living with HIV, about the benefits of the Affordable Care Act and how to obtain them.

More than anything, officials at several organizations want people to know about the new rules concerning preexisting conditions. Previously, those with HIV or other serious health issues were often turned down or charged exorbitant rates when applying for health insurance. In perhaps the most significant aspect of the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies may no longer deny coverage for preexisting conditions.

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‘Out 2 Enroll’ resource to help LGBT people navigate ‘Obamacare’

An effort to educate and raise awareness among LGBT people about the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, begins in earnest next month when the law goes into effect.

A new program, Out 2 Enroll, will be unveiled Oct. 11 on National Coming Out Day ― which also  happens to be the weekend of Atlanta Pride ― via its website at www.out2enroll.org and will be a resource for LGBT seeking help in maneuvering the new law during open enrollment. The ACA sets up online marketplaces, also known as exchanges, for people to study and then buy insurance from.

Out 2 Enroll is a collaboration between the Sellers Dorsey Foundation, the Center for American Progress and the Federal Agencies Project and was discussed at a recent White House briefing where several Atlanta LGBT advocates were invited to attend to learn more about the Affordable Care Act.

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The Health Initiative to receive federal funds to help LGBTQ people seeking health care

The federal government announced $67 million in grants to organizations assisting people in signing up for coverage in new health plans as part of the Affordable Care Act — and Atlanta-based The Health Initiative will be receiving some federal funding to help people with open enrollment beginning Oct. 1.

How much federal funding The Health Initiative will receive and the exact details of the grant is not yet known at this point. The Health Initiative is a resource for LGBTQ seeking health care resources.

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Ga. Rep. Paul Broun likes being a boy

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During a recent town hall meeting in Winder, U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, a Republican from Athens, wanted people to be clear he is secure with his gender identity.

"I don't want to pay for a sex change operation. I'm not interested. I like being a boy," he said in his criticism of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Broun threw his hat into the ring for Sen. Saxby Chambliss' seat after Chambliss said he was not seeking another term because he's tired of all the gridlock in Washington, D.C. Chambliss also made headlines when he vocalized his opposition to same sex marriage with the pithy statement, "I'm not gay, so I'm not going to marry one."

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Georgia receives $2.5 million grant for HIV prevention

The Georgia Department of Public Health has received a $2.5 million from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention to be used to help HIV-positive people not receiving medical treatment get the treatment they need.

"We're talking about people who may or may not know they're HIV-positive and for whatever reason are not in care." said J. Patrick O'Neal, director of DPH's division of health protection, in a statement. "Linking these patients with treatment is essential to reducing HIV transmission in Georgia."

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Gay groups react to Supreme Court ruling on ‘Obamacare’

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National and local LGBT groups are praising today’s Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act. The court, in a 5-4 ruling, found the ACA mostly constitutional and upheld the controversial "individual mandate" portion of the law.

The law, often called Obamacare among politicos and pundits, is a landmark among President Barack Obama's presidential accomplishments. Several national LGBT and HIV groups supported the law, saying it would help those with HIV and other health conditions.

Signed into law in 2010, the ACA will make it easier for low and middle income Americans to purchase health insurance. Republicans have railed against the law, saying that a provision requiring Americans to purchase insurance, under the penalty of fines, is government overreach.