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Blue Cross Reverses Course in NC After Canceling Coverage to Gay Couples Under Obamacare

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Responding to outrage after it canceled health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act for nearly two dozen same-sex married couples in North Carolina because the state doesn't recognize such marriages, Blue Cross and Blue Shield has decided to reverse course, the News Observer reports:

The insurer said Wednesday it will now offer family coverage for same-sex couples and unmarried couples, and will also extend the benefit to small businesses for the first time.

In mid-January, Blue Cross systematically canceled 20 family policies and notified the affected customers they would have to reapply as unmarried single individuals. Some were married legally in other states and feared they would be required to lie on an insurance application form by denying their marriage.

The controversy rattled Blue Cross, the state’s largest insurer, and created a sense of embarrassment among many employees. CEO Brad Wilson extended a public apology in the company’s announcement. “We should have more thoughtfully considered this decision, with full appreciation of the impact it would have on same-sex married couples and domestic partners,” Wilson said. “We’re sorry we failed to do so.”

More at the News Observer...


News: Stephen Amell, Obamacare, Denzel Washington, El Salvador


Amell
RoadStephen Amell covers up the goods for an impromptu Christmas card posted to the actor's Instagram.

RoadKanye's keyboard will appreciate the break.

RoadShe's just being Miley.

RoadCybill Shepherd to guest star on Trophy Wife.

RoadDecember saw a surge in sign-ups on healthcare.gov, passing the 1 million mark, according to the Obama administration: "Combined with numbers for state-run markets due in January, that should put total enrollment in the new private insurance plans under President Barack Obama's health law at about 2 million people through the end of the year, independent experts said. That would be about two-thirds of the administration's original goal of signing up 3.3 million by Dec. 31, a significant improvement given the technical problems that crippled the federal market during much of the fall. The overall goal remains to enroll 7 million people by March 31."

RoadDenzel Washington rumored to be playing the Green Lantern in the new Superman vs. Batman movie.

RoadMichael Fassbender mugs for British GQ.

RoadThe year in scandals.

RoadProstitute mistakenly texts on duty police officer in wrong number epic fail. 

RoadGOP megadonor Harold Simmons has died: "Simmons’s spending was not confined to Republican political candidates: His foundation gave $600,000 to Planned Parenthood and a Texas affiliate in 2011, according to CPI, and the same amount to a Dallas LGBT center this year, according to the Dallas Morning News."

Pin RoadA very apropos 'You Can Play' pin.

RoadThe (fan-created) Frozen reprise that might have been but never was.

RoadSpeaking of, the animated film has done equally well overseas and here in the US according to Deadline, raking in $243.5M abroad and $491.8M globally.

RoadChaparrastique volcano erupts in El Salvador, thousands flee.

RoadNY Times asks: What does the way you speak say about you?


Log Cabin Republicans Enraged by Gay Beefcake Obamacare Ad

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Last week we posted an ad by Out2Enroll (the new effort by the Center for American Progress, the Sellers Dorsey Foundation, and the Federal Agencies Project to try and get LGBT signed up for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act) and Full Frontal Freedom.

The ad featured several scantily-clad Santa's helpers urging LGBT people to sign up for Obamacare, and the Log Cabin Republicans are enraged by it. They released a statement yesterday denouncing the clip:

"This cynical ad betrays the depths Obamacare advocates will sink to in order to pad their pathetic enrollment numbers," Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director Gregory T. Angelo declared. "As a self-proclaimed 'fierce advocate' of gay equality, President Obama would do well to distance himself from this nonsense and denounce it immediately. This ad is also an example of the left promoting harmful stereotypes that gay men are nothing more than sex-crazed lechers. If anyone on the right made such a comparison, liberals would be apoplectic. At a time when left-wing propagandists are decrying Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson for equating homosexuality with promiscuity and deviance, Out2Enroll and others should take a look in the mirror and ask if the truth is that they are the ones responsible for promoting such harmful stereotypes."

Watch it HERE if you missed it.

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Tony Perkins Angry That Gays Are Signing Up For Obamacare

PerkinsBecause Tony Perkins and his ilk aren't happy unless LGBT citizens are kept sick, oppressed, and alone, the FRC is upset that gays are signing up for Obamacare. Reacting to the Out2Enroll campaign, an independent movement targeting the disproportionately uninsured LGBT community, Tony Perkins launched into a rant about how "a high risk pool fed by even higher risk behavior" would destroy the medical care system due to the increased medical demand. Perhaps it's somewhat comforting to know that it's not just the "cross-dressing men" who he thinks aren't deserving of health care, but everyone who isn't already a young, healthy individual. Perkins said in part:

As taxpayers are about to find out, the system wasn't designed to withstand the volume of elderly, sick, and at-risk patients most likely to enroll. Either the exchanges will buckle under the weight or the government (i.e. taxpayers) will start shouldering even higher costs to compensate for the medical demand.

So in short, anyone who needs health care insurance is a drain on the system for the healthy people who evidently need it more.


The Supreme Court Will Rule on Obamacare's Contraception Requirement. Here's Why You Should Care.

By ARI EZRA WALDMAN

131002191139-tsr-moos-obamacare-sign-up-glitches-00000812-story-topLast week, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear two cases challenging the Affordable Care Act. The last time that happened, the Court determined by a bare 5-4 majority that the so-called individual mandate, the requirement that everyone has to buy health insurance or pay a tax, was constitutional. Next year, the Court will consider whether corporations can refuse to provide insurance plans that include contraception if doing so would violate the religious beliefs of those corporations' owners.

This matters, not just to those of us in need of health care and not just to those of us who work for companies run by religious people. It matters to all LGBT Americans because the scope of this particular religious exemption could affect the scopes of other religious exemptions.

The cases -- Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius -- will determine the breadth of the religious exemption from Obamacare. Unfortunately, the pretext of religious freedom has gained much traction of late in justifying continued discrimination. And this Court's conservative majority has set itself up to strike a blow against equality.

AFTER THE JUMP, I will construct the argument I expect the Court's conservatives will use to expand the religious exemption. I will show how that argument is deeply flawed. And then I will show how dangerous it is for the LGBT community.

Continue reading "The Supreme Court Will Rule on Obamacare's Contraception Requirement. Here's Why You Should Care." »


Obama Announces Change in 'Obamacare' Rules and Admits Roll-Out Has Been 'Rough': VIDEO

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In a press conference today with reporters, President Obama said that insurers could continue offering individual insurance plans for another year even if they don't comply with the Affordable Care Act's rules for minimum benefits, conceding that the roll-out of 'Obamacare' had "been rough so far."

The Washington Post reports:

The decision runs counter to a central aim of the law, which was to ensure that all people in the United States with private health plans are guaranteed at least certain benefits.

Obama said the administration will insist that insurance companies continuing to sell individual health policies that do not comply with those standards inform consumers about “what protections these renewed plans don’t include” and alert their customers to potentially better and more affordable insurance available through the new federal and state marketplaces.

The White House’s strategy differs from a bill on which the House is to vote on Friday, sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), which would let new customers buy such minimal policies, rather than allowing only existing policy-holders to keep them for an additional year.

Watch Obama's full press conference, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Obama Announces Change in 'Obamacare' Rules and Admits Roll-Out Has Been 'Rough': VIDEO" »


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