Last night I was at dinner in someone’s home and the following is the abridged version of a portion of dinner conversation. I say abridged because I was so mad that one, the guest had the audacity to discuss politics in a room of people this person had never met, save one, and two I […]
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Citywide Baby Shower Date: 08/03/2012 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.Location: Daughters of Charity Health Center-Carrollton Third Floor, Community Room 3201 S. Carrollton Ave. New Orleans LA 70118 Contact Information: Stephenie Marshall firstname.lastname@example.org (504) 874-0053 In honor of World Breastfeeding Week, Daughters of Charity Health Centers (DCHC), in collaboration with Amerigroup, Kiwanis Club of the Westbank Konnection, […]
The HALO Foundation Holistic Healing for Violent Crime Victims in Healthcare On Thursday, January 26, 2012 the crime that persists in the City of New Orleans shocked us again. And this time it hit very close to home. One of our own, a home health nurse, who has dedicated her life to home care service, […]
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New Nursing Home Trend Many moons ago, the only people living in nursing homes were the elderly. If your parents or grandparents needed 24 hour care, you could put them in a home where there would be nurses and aids there 24-7 to assist them. But, there’s a new trend going on( here in Louisiana for […]
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The Supreme Court is gearing up to hear challenges to The Affordable Care Act soon. Access to affordable healthcare is an issue that impacts virtually every person in this country and one we should all be concerned about, whether you’re already covered under a plan or are uninsured. There are so many people in dire […]
Repealing the Affordable Care Act will Hurt Women in Louisiana
The Affordable Care Act makes important advances for women’s health. The new law protects women in Louisiana from discriminatory health insurance practices, makes health coverage more affordable and easier for them to obtain, and improves access to many of the health services they need. Repealing this important law will hurt women in Louisiana by returning to the days of a health care system that did not work for women.
Insurance Industry Practices that are Harmful to Women Would Continue
In addition to the prohibition on sex discrimination in health care, the new health care law explicitly prohibits discriminatory insurance practices. These important protections will prohibit insurers from treating women like a pre-existing condition. Here are a few of the important insurance protections women will lose if the law is repealed:
A ban on gender rating for individuals and small businesses. Under the new law, by 2014 (at the latest) insurers in Louisiana would no longer be allowed to charge individual women and small employers with a predominately-female workforce more for coverage.
Prohibitions on coverage denials and exclusions for women with “pre-existing conditions” such as pregnancy; having had a C-section, breast, or cervical cancer; or having received medical treatment for domestic or sexual violence. By 2014 (at the latest) insurers in Louisiana will be required to accept all applicants for coverage regardless of their medical history, and will no longer be able to issue coverage with pre-existing condition exclusions. For children, the prohibition on pre-existing condition exclusions began in September 2010.
Uninsured women in Louisiana who were uninsured due to a pre-existing condition will lose access to coverage through the pre-existing condition insurance plan – or “high-risk pool” – that is available on a temporary basis, until the new insurance rules are in effect in 2014.
A ban on lifetime and annual limits, which prohibits health plans from placing dollar limits on covered services, giving women the security of knowing that their plan benefits won’t run out when they need them the most. Lifetime limits were banned for all health plans starting in September 2010. Annual limits are also strictly regulated and will be banned entirely for all new health plans and existing group plans in 2014.
Obtaining Insurance will be Harder and More Expensive if the Affordable Care Act is Repealed.
Women in Louisiana are poorer (on average) than men and have more trouble affording health care. For instance, nearly a quarter of all women in the state report not visiting a doctor due to high costs.1 The new health care law would expand access to affordable coverage in several ways by 2014, but if the law is repealed women will lose opportunities to obtain the affordable coverage they need. For example:
Up to 97,500 uninsured, low-income women in Louisiana would not become eligible for Medicaid, which by 2014 would be expanded to those up to 133% of the federal poverty level (FPL), or roughly $29,000 a year for a family of four. 2
Women would not see the benefits of a new Health Insurance Exchange that would be established in Louisiana to serve as an easy-to-use “insurance shopping center” where women can compare and choose the high-quality health plan that best fits their needs.
Approximately 176,000 women in Louisiana would not receive health insurance subsidies to help towards premiums and out-of-pocket costs of Exchange-based health plans; subsidies would be available to those with family incomes up to 400% of the FPL, or roughly $88,000 a year for a family of four. 3
Women Would Lose Coverage of Many of the Important Health Care Services They Need.
All new health plans issued on or after September 23, 2010 are required to cover recommended preventive care at no cost. Repealing the new law would mean women would lose no-cost access to important preventive screenings such as mammograms and pap smears.
Starting in 2014, health plans sold to individuals and small businesses must cover a broad range of health services. If the law is repealed, plans will not be federally required to cover many services important to women including maternity care, prescription drugs and mental health care.
There Are Many Additional Provisions of the New Law That Will Improve the Health and Well-Being of Louisiana Women and Their Families- Which Women Will Lose with Repeal.
Additional benefits of the new health care law that women will lose with repeal include (but are certainly not limited to):
Tax Credits for Small Business: Women are more likely than men to work for small businesses that don’t offer health insurance, and will benefit from the new tax credits to help small businesses provide coverage to their employees (available for the 2010 tax year), as well as unprecedented access to affordable small group health coverage through the Exchanges.
Coverage for Young Women Up to Age 26: Young women—who are more likely to be uninsured than women in any other age group—will benefit from a new rule that took effect September 2010 which allows young adults to remain on their parents’ health insurance policy as a dependent until age 26. 4
Closing the Medicare Drug Coverage Gap: Older women will benefit from a provision which closes the Medicare Part D “donut hole,” or the coverage gap that currently requires seniors to spend a considerable amount out-of-pocket for prescription drugs. In 2007, 64% of the Medicare beneficiaries that were affected by the “donut hole” were women.5
New Long Term Care Insurance Options: A new national, voluntary insurance program known as CLASS will be established as early as 2011 to provide long-term services and supports to individuals with functional limitations. This program will alleviate burdens on family caregivers, who are most often women.6
Time for Nursing Moms to Express Breast Milk at Work: Nursing mothers and their infants will gain from a requirement that employers provide a reasonable break time and location to express breast milk (effective immediately).7,8
“Direct Access” to Obstetrical and Gynecological Care: As of September 2010, all new health plans are prohibited from requiring authorization or prior approval when women seek this type of health care.9
For more detailed information on how women will benefit from Affordable Care Act, visit the National Women’s Law Center website: www.nwlc.org/reformmatters
1 Kaiser Family Foundation, Putting Women’s Health Disparities on the Map (2009), http://www.statehealthfacts.org/comparemapreport.jsp?rep=31&cat=15
2 National Women’s Law Center calculations based on health insurance data for women ages 18-64 from the Current Population Survey’s 2008 Annual Social and Economic Supplement, using CPS Table Creator, http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/cpstc/cps_table_creator.html
3 Ibid. Includes an estimated 102,000 uninsured women and 51,000 women who currently purchase coverage from the individual health insurance market.
4 At least thirty states already have laws that extend dependent coverage to young adult children, regardless of enrollment in school. Many of these state laws are more restrictive than the new federal law, and none apply to self-insured or ERISA plans (as the federal law does). The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) provides a list of states’ dependent coverage laws at: http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=14497
5 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Strengthening the Health Insurance System: How Health Insurance Reform Will Help America’s Older and Senior Women, http://www.healthreform.gov/reports/seniorwomen/index.html, Last Accessed on April 26, 2010.
6 Kaiser Family Foundation, Women and Health Care: A National Profile (July 2005), http://www.kff.org/womenshealth/upload/Women-and-Health-Care-A-National-Profile-Key-Findings-from-the-Kaiser-Women-s-Health-Survey.pdf
7 This provision applies to all employers, though employers with fewer than 50 employees may be exempt if they demonstrate that the requirements impose an “undue hardship” on their business.
8 At least twenty-four states already have laws related to expressing breast milk in the workplace. The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) provides a list of these states and summaries of their laws at: http://www.ncsl.org/IssuesResearch/Health/BreastfeedingLaws/tabid/14389/Default.aspx
9 Thirty-six states and DC already have direct access laws that managed care companies and group health plans must comply with. However, the new health reform law is broader in scope, since it requires all new health plans (i.e. for individuals and groups of all sizes, including self-insured health plans) to comply. The Kaiser Family Foundation provides a list of existing direct access laws at: http://www.statehealthfacts.org/comparemaptable.jsp?ind=493&cat=10
Huge thanks to National Association of Free Clinics. You Rock!
From Earth Tiimes:
NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 14 /PRNewswire/ — Organizers of a free health clinic for uninsured residents of Louisiana are pleased with its success today. Not only did the clinic see 1,000 patients, it may have saved the lives of some sick individuals. Many of the patients had not seen a physician since Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast in 2005.
Volunteer physicians and other medical providers tended to the health care needs of over 1,000 patients who attended the C.A.R.E. (Communities Are Responding Everyday) Clinic at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. The clinic was organized by the National Association of Free Clinics and Louisiana Free Clinic Association (NAFC).
“We saw a number of very sick patients today who have not had medical care for many years,” Doctor Corey Hebert, a New Orleans physician and one of the clinic’s medical directors said. “This clinic was a life saver for many people who have no way to pay for their healthcare needs.”
Corey went on to say, “It is important that this is the same facility where people were dying four years ago and today we are giving them life.” His remarks were in reference to the aftermath of Katrina and the human crisis that occurred at convention center.
“It was wonderful to provide free care to so many people in one day,” Nicole Lamoureux, executive director of the NAFC, said. “But it also was important that we were able to connect a large number of these patients with free clinics and other health care providers who can provide them with care on a day-to-day basis.”
The NAFC and the Louisiana Free Clinic Association sponsored the event. The 727 volunteers who participated included physicians, nurses, other medical providers and non-medical individuals.
“I am very moved by all the physicians and other medical providers who volunteered to make this C.A.R.E. Clinic such a success,” Dr. Rani Whitfield, M.D., said. Whitfield, a Baton Rouge physician, served as co-medical director for the clinic. “The dedication to helping those need help was moving.”
The clinic operated from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. today at no cost to patients or taxpayers. Most of the patients registered before the event, but walk-ins were seen on a first-come-first-served basis.
“We did good work today,” Whitfield added. “It was good to connect many people in need of medical care with doctors, nurses and others who can help them on an ongoing basis.”
This was the second massive free clinic the NAFC has sponsored. Over 1,700 patients received treatment at the first one, which was held in Houston in September. Two more C.A.R.E. Clinics are planned in Little Rock on Nov. 21 and Kansas City on Dec. 9-10.
“I’m looking forward to building on the successes in Houston and New Orleans to help even more people,” NAFC President Sheri Wood, who is based in Kansas City, said.
More information about the NAFC and the Little Rock and Kansas City events is available online at: http://freeclinics.us.
New Orleans CARE Clinic Preliminary Numbers
* 68% of patients seen seek medical care in the emergency room or do not seek care when ill
* 53% of those seen have not seen a doctor in more than one year with many not seeing a doctor since Katrina
* 90% of patients seen have more than one diagnosis
o Hypertension and diabetes being the most prevalent
* 55% of those seen were women and 45% were men
SOURCE National Association of Free Clinics
The National Association of Free Clinics (NAFC) and its partners will be sponsoring a one day free medical clinic for the uninsured on Saturday November 14, 2009.
Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
900 Convention Cnter Blvd.
New Orleans, LA 70130
PLEASE CALL 1-877-233-5159 for an APPOINTMENT
**Uninsured Patients Only**
Clinic Time 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Walk Ins will be seen on a limited basis
For more information about The National Association of Free Clinics and to donate click here.
Ok, New Orleanians, after a several week absence, Sunday Postscripts is back….. here are a few links from the NOLA blogosphere I want to pass along in case you missed them.
Weigh in on your favorite gumbo in the city at NOLA Eats and find out the favorites of other locals. Who makes your favorite gumbo?
Yesterday I went to The Mirliton Fest (which was a blast!) where I had the great pleasure of eating mirliton shrimp and grits cooked up by Chef Anne of Karma Kitchen. I just want to give her a little shout-out here because, lawdy, was that one fantastic, salivating dish!
Architecture Research, a wonderful local architecture blog, talks about the November issue of The Atlantic which features an article about the new post-K domestic architecture in New Orleans.
In the same vein, catch up on what’s happening with Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation ~ thanks to Good NOLA for the shout out.
Valentine Pierce and her mom have been dealing with disturbing and all too common issues navigating Medicare and Medicaid coverage for the elderly. Read her post Hell and Damnation: Medicare and Medicaid. Oh, we don’t need healthcare reform? Mmmkay.
Are you a Saints fan? (Is the Pope…..yeah, you know the rest!) Check out Chicks in the Huddle,a sports blog from a woman’s perspective, for their evaluation and prediction of today’s Saints – Panthers game.
UPDATE: Yay for Chicks in the Huddle ~ they predicted Saints to win 31 – 20, Final score: Saints 30 – Panthers 20! WOMAN POWER!!
Supposedly. I received this email regarding same:
*Community Conversation on Healthcare Reform*
*4 Years After Hurricane Katrina * Healthcare Still in Crisis * Our Urgent
Needs for Reform*
*What: * The Community Conversation on Healthcare Reform/ is a citizens’
coalition effort to shed light on both the steps taken by Congress in
response to President Barack Obama’s call for national legislation to reform
healthcare, and the healthcare crisis affecting the people of New Orleans,
Louisiana before and after Hurricane Katrina. This forum creates the
opportunity for residents to deepen their understanding of the proposed
healthcare reform legislation, reflect on the broad range of healthcare
issues affecting our community, and discuss their concerns and needs that
are related to healthcare policy. Additionally, attendees will be asked to
take a survey on current healthcare policies and proposed reforms. Come
prepared to ask your questions, get answers, and give information on our
community’s health care needs.
*When: * Tuesday, August 25, 2009 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
*Where: * Tulane Memorial Baptist Church, 3601 Paris Avenue, New Orleans, LA
*Forum sponsors: * Advocates for Environmental Human Rights, Children’s
Defense Fund – Louisiana Office, Episcopal Community Services of Louisiana,
Louisiana Justice Institute, Lower 9th Ward Health Clinic, YMCA of Greater
Senator Mary Landrieu
Senator David Vitter
Representative Joseph Cao
Mary Joseph, Director, Children’s Defense Fund
Kevin Stephens, Director, City of New Orleans Department of Health
Calvin Johnson, Executive Director, Metropolitan Human Services District
Martha Kegel, Executive Director, UNITY for Greater New Orleans
Moriba Karamoko, Executive Director, Louisiana Consumer Healthcare Coalition
Donald Erwin, President and CEO, St. Thomas Community Health Center
I contacted via email the original notifier of this town hall to find out if Landrieu, Vitter and Cao have actually committed to attending this meeting. The response:
it says it under forum sponsors. i dont know the point person or the lead organization. i wuld call someone from avdocates for environmental human rights, louisiana justice institute, or childrens defense fund to find out more info.
Why is this so damn difficult?
I’m going anyway…email me if you want to carpool.