LGBT, HIV groups pan Trump’s executive order on health care

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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LGBT and HIV/AIDS groups are criticizing President Trump’s executive order on health care, asserting the measure endangers people with pre-existing conditions who could be left out in the cold.

Trump signed the executive order Thursday in the Oval Office in front of Vice President Pence, senior administration officials and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who opposes Obamacare, but has threatened to vote “no” on legislative replacement plans.

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Senate rejects ‘skinny’ Trumpcare in narrow, late-night vote

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The U.S. Senate rejected early Friday morning an attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace with it a “skinny” version of Trumpcare, raising serious questions about whether President Trump will succeed in his campaign of dismantling Obamacare.

The bill failed on 51-49 vote as a result from three defections from Republican caucus: Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). Vice President Mike Pence, whose vote would been necessary for a tie vote, had left the chamber before the roll call was called. All Democrats vote against the measure.

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Trumpcare appears defeated, but LGBT opponents remain wary

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: President Trump poses in cab of firetruck on day GOP support for Trumpcare crumbles. (Image courtesy of C-SPAN)

After Republican support crumbled for Trumpcare, LGBT advocacy groups that sought to preserve the Affordable Care Act are quietly confident it will remain in place — although they say they’re keeping a watchful eye.

Late Monday night, two Republicans — Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) — announced they’d vote “no” on the latest version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act proposed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). With Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) already opposed to the bill, the defections of Lee and Moran assured defeat of the bill if it came to the floor.

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How Trumpcare, or its Senate component, may affect the LGBT community

By : Billy Manes
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“This is a funeral procession. When we get to Sen. Marco Rubio’s office, we’ll have speakers and then we’ll have a die-in,” was the rallying call on June 28 as protesters took to the streets to march against the competing Republican agendas meant to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act. The march, which started at Orlando City Hall and ended up across the street at Rubio’s home away from home, was blotted by rain and was suitably somber.

“What do we want? Healthcare. When do we want it? Now,” was the refrain as dozens of people walked the street in favor of coverage for those with pre-existing conditions and those who were simply blocked out of coverage by Florida’s refusal to expand Medicaid to nearly one million people caught in the coverage gap. Likewise, others just saw the crumbling pieces of the nation’s healthcare conundrum, currently being argued between the U.S. House and U.S. Senate regarding a complete overhaul of medical care in the United States.

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Addressing mental health concerns within the minority LGBTQ community

By : Samuel Johnson
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“Mental health is not a lack of willpower. Mental health is not being inflicted by the Devil. Mental health isn’t about not being strong enough to cope with life.” This is the opinion of psychiatrist Dr. Z. (She has requested that her name remain anonymous).

Dr. Z is a Hillsborough National Alliance on Mental Illness board member and has both clinical knowledge as well as the mental health delivery system. Untreated mental health, as she views it, is a serious public health issue; “Not in the contagious sense of the word. I can’t catch depression from someone else. I can’t catch schizophrenia from someone else. I can’t catch bipolar [disorder] from someone else. But how I’m feeling does impact others. For example, social ails like homelessness, like prison populations, where a lot of that has to do with untreated mental illness; society at large is impacted by the way we that we approach the treatment of mental health.”

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Senate delays Trumpcare vote as LGBT advocates raise alarm

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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The U.S. Senate shelved on Tuesday a plan to vote this week on a measure seeking to repeal and replace Obamacare as LGBT rights supporters continue to raise the alarm about its impact both for LGBT people and America at large.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced the chamber would no longer hold a vote on the Better Care Reconciliation Act on Thursday, delaying the vote until after lawmakers return from July 4 recess.

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Uprisings: Health and horror

By : Billy Manes
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Have you ever been sick? I mean, so sick that you really needed help of the professional kind, maybe even a friend to drive you to the hospital? With Obamacare – or, as it’s really called, the Affordable Care Act – passage fading in our rearview mirrors right now, there are a lot of things we need to talk about in moving forward. But what we’re talking about now – namely, the failed Trumpcare plan – is a daunting wisp of comb-over terror. Republicans have seized on this notion that, when squinted at, reads like, “Support big pharma; screw the little guy.” There is nothing to this rhetoric that doesn’t reek of opportunistic capitalism, and there is not a brown pill bottle around to smooth over its side effects. What we’re talking about now – thankfully also in the past tense – is an illegible plan to make health an investment, to make people suffer more.

It may sound a little socialist, and for that I smile, but the health of our nation is certainly the best investment possible from a government. We buy things. Just four years ago, I watched a friend deal with the death of a single mother as she fell apart and fell down while trying to sell vacuum cleaners on the side for extra money. Her condition was treatable. Her bank account was not. Charlene Dill became a symbol of all it is that we are doing wrong in terms of taking care of our citizenry. Charlene Dill is dead.

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