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.
More than 9,000 people with HIV were on a waiting list for federal assistance in buying their medications in August 2011. On Monday, President Obama announced that, as of this week, that number is down to zero.
"At one time, the need was so great that over 9,000 people were on the waitlist,” said the president, at a White House ceremony Monday marking World AIDS Day. “We vowed to get those numbers down. And I’m proud to announce that, as of last week, we have cleared that waitlist. We are down to zero. And we’re going to keep working to keep it down.”
Carl Schmid, an official at the AIDS Institute who has devoted considerable voice to shining a light on that waiting list, agreed the Obama administration deserves some credit. Schmid said the administration’s re-direction of $35 million in funding to the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) two years ago “really helped” clear the waiting lists.
Queer activists with Southerners on New Ground as well as the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights and Project South will hold a press conference and rally Tuesday demanding President Obama put an immediate end to detentions and deportations.
The press conference and rally will be at 10:30 a.m. at the Atlanta Detention Center, 180 Spring St.
Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, is featured in a video released tonight discussing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act being considered in the Senate.
President Barack Obama has come out in full support of the passage of ENDA that would prohibit discrimination of employees based on sexual orientation and gender identity. On Monday, the Senate voted to advance the bill that has languished in Congress for more than a decade and a floor debate is expected this week.
Today the U.S. Senate voted to approve the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a law that prohibits discrimination against LGBT employees in the workforce.
Sixty-one members of the Senate in a bipartisan effort voted to approve the bill that has languished in Congress for some 20 years. The 61-30 vote means ENDA clears the cloture requirement needed for a floor debate and final vote on the bill expected to come later this week.
House Speaker John Boehner, however, has said he is opposed to the legislation meaning it will not likely pass.
With the U.S. Senate expected to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act this week, the bill that would protect LGBT people from being fired from their jobs simply because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, hit a significant hurdle Monday — House Speaker John Boehner.
"The Speaker believes this legislation will increase frivolous litigation and cost American jobs, especially small business jobs," Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said in a statement, according to a story in Huffington Post.