Monday, March 13, 2017

Meme about health insurance

I didn't write this. It's a meme. I copied it. I'm just putting it here because I think it makes a lot of interesting points and I want to be able to find it again

Lengthy but comprehensive, and clear as a bell...
This was shared by a friend of mine:

"A long-time friend who is an attorney in PA posted this today.
Ron worked for 23 years as a litigator who sued numerous doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and insurance companies on behalf of victims of malpractice and negligence or denials of coverage... Ron has shed light for me over the years on several complicated subjects, and I believe he makes some excellent points."

"Unfortunately, based on the comments I read, it appears that most people misunderstand how the healthcare system in the US operates. ​Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act, nearly 45,000 people died in the US -- one every 12 minutes -- in large part because they lacked health insurance and cannot get good care, from the Harvard Medical School Research Foundation.

"The Affordable Care Act," which is its true name, was intended to give everyone better healthcare security by putting in place comprehensive health insurance "reforms" that hold insurance companies accountable; it did lower health care costs: it guaranteed more choice; and it enhanced the quality of care for all Americans. ​

The vast majority of the people in this country have no idea what the ACA (Healthcare Bill/Law) contained, how it operated, and what conditions it met within the old healthcare system, which was simply a system controlled by the Insurance Companies.

The problems arose when many of the Red states refused to enact all of its provisions and extend the Medicare/Medicaid Benefits that were part of the ACA.

In essence, holding insurance companies accountable was, and still is, the key to the "reform." Don't be fooled by insurance company and Right wing propaganda.

Trust me, after 23 years as a litigator who sued numerous doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and insurance companies on behalf of victims of malpractice and negligence or denials of coverage, I can assure you that insurance companies are in the business of collecting premiums, and not in the business of paying your bills! As soon as they can find a way to cut you off, if you can even get enrolled, they will.
In addition, due to the Red states failure to enact all its provisions, the premiums did go up in certain states as a result of Insurance Companies pulling out of those states.

Third, the ACA was not a "Government Program," which is another lie being perpetrated by the Right. People are not obtaining Health Care from the government, nor is the government providing a one-payer solution to the healthcare problems we face, and THERE WERE NO DEATH PANELS!

Fourth, the U.S. was, and still is, the only First World country on the planet without Universal Healthcare.

Most importantly, affordable healthcare is a right, not a privilege. If this country cannot insure that its citizens receive healthcare when they need it, what other rights really matter?

Moreover, when up to 87 Million are not insured, which was the statistic before the ACA was passed, and 45,000 people die every year from lack of care, and the insurance premiums of everyone continue to go up at a rate that is literally beyond economic sense, something is wrong, and the ACA was passed to address those issues.

Prior to the ACA, of the 87 Million people who cannot get medical care unless they go to an ER, half are children. Children are not being treated for ordinary medical problems, and when that happens, the problems get worse and actually cost more to treat. If they have a disease, they get no care unless they are actually dying. If they need drugs, they cannot get them. There is no preventive care for anyone in this country because insurance companies do not cover preventive care.

Over 90% of all medical costs occur in the last year of a person's life. We need preventive care first and foremost.
Of course, like all Right-wing propaganda, the entire situation was distorted.

First, the ACA was a transitional program to allow the states to monitor, exercise control over the insurance carriers in their states, and to affect the Medicaid expansion for those who could not afford insurance.

Second, the fact is that Congress appropriates the money for the insurance pools and the Republican Congress refused to appropriate sufficient money.

Third, the insurance carriers are unilaterally closing down because they do not want to provide coverage for people with preexisting conditions, and the Medicaid expansion program was not put into effect in numerous states causing the premiums to rise.

Fourth, only 35 states actually set up insurance pools. The states with Republican governors, for the most part, refused to do so, leaving the people in their states uncovered and having to fend for themselves.

Fifth, actually what was occurring was very simple. Everyone knows that leaving the healthcare of America people in the hands of Insurance Carriers has not, and does not, work. The ACA attempted to address that fundamental problem, but the Right believes that Insurance carriers are more important than the American people, and the Insurance Companies need protection because they give billions to Republican politicians.

For millions of Americans with a pre-existing medical condition, health insurance can be an unattainable goal. In the absence of laws requiring insurers to provide individual coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, many of these people joined the ranks of the uninsured.

These uninsurable individuals have sought coverage, but have been unable to purchase it because they have been rejected or because they have been offered coverage only at unaffordable, high premium rates. Because of their often complex or costly health conditions, uninsurable individuals are the segment of the larger uninsured population that most needs health insurance coverage.

The Republican response to the ACA was to try and repeal it over 50 times over a 6 year period; and now that they finally have a Bill ready to be passed, no one likes it.

All they did after 6 years was take the best parts of the ACA, remove the mandate, which was the only way to keep premiums down because as anyone who understands how insurance works -- the larger the pool of people paying into the system, the lower the premiums, which is something the republicans fail to understand, and turn the process back over to the Insurance Companies with no safety net for most Americans.

The Republican proposal would maintain the ACA's requirement that insurers need to cover people with preexisting conditions. But it would also scrap the law's main avenue of balancing out those sick people with younger, healthier enrollees — the individual mandate that requires all Americans to sign up for health insurance or pay the IRS a fee.

Instead, Trumpcare introduces a provision that requires "continuous coverage." Essentially, anyone who goes without insurance for two or more months and then tries to sign up for coverage again will be required to pay 30% more on their premiums for the next year. So, they did away with the tax penalty for not being insured and added a 30% premium for the Insurance Companies to collect.

Now, instead of paying the IRS, Americans will be required to give more of their money to insurance companies. It's also unclear that this surcharge will be enough of a deterrent for young and healthy people who would rather not have coverage.

This could trigger what policy experts call a "death spiral," threatening the collapse of the entire health insurance industry as the individual market destabilizes.

They also allow the insurance carriers to dictate their premiums, and they offer tax credits to people who cannot afford the premiums, which will not work, because tax credits only benefit people with high incomes.

Theoretically, if you are making $35,000 a year and your insurance premium is $12,000 per year, you will receive a $12,000 tax credit, which is meaningless, since the person making $35,000 per year pays virtually nothing in taxes making the tax credit worthless.

Health Insurance Savings Accounts are also meaningless, since you have to have money to put into a Savings Account at the end of the month. Over 75% of Americans have NO savings because they can barely pay their bills. The elderly are living on SS and pensions, if they are lucky, and have no savings. Young people with hourly paying jobs cannot afford to save any money. And families now living on two incomes can barely pay their bills.

The Republicans have simply forgotten who voted them into office, and they are betraying them with this Bill.

The Republicans also refuse to allow the CBO to analyze the cost and the benefits of the program. Clearly, they know the numbers do not add up.

What the Republicans have done is write up a Bill that is a hoax, and is filled with phony health benefits and meaningless tax benefits for the vast majority of Americans.

In addition, the new Trumpcare allows huge tax benefits for the wealthy and for the CEO's of the health Insurance Companies. One provision in the new Trumpcare would essentially incentivize major corporations to overpay their executives — offering a tax break to insurers that pay CEOs more than half a million dollars per year.

Finally, experts in the field agree there is no way Trumpcare will maintain the same levels of coverage that Americans currently have under the ACA, which extended health care to 20 million people.

Republican lawmakers involved in crafting the legislation acknowledge that fewer people will be able to access health insurance under their plan.

Some legislators have construed this as a good thing, saying that more uninsured people signals a greater embrace of personal liberty and that some low-income people simply "do not want to take responsibility for their insurance."

The bottom line for Republicans seems to be -- if you cannot afford Health Insurance, your only option is to die."

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

@Schneiderman discrimination against women in the entertainment industry

Here is a typical acting job notice


You'll notice that there are roles for older men, but no roles for older women. Acting jobs are predominantly male, even though there are more women in the field. Background acting jobs are even more predominantly male. Backstage jobs are even more predominantly male still.

I would like to see the N.Y. attorney general's office look into this. 

Elf (Seta Tour) - NYC EPA (03.07.17)

Job Details

CATEGORY

Performer

TITLE

Elf (Seta Tour) - NYC EPA (03.07.17)

DESCRIPTION

Call Type: EPA 

CONTRACT 
Short Engagement Touring
Category 1, approval/salary pending (current min for Cat 1 $963/week) 

PERSONNEL 
Music: Matthew Sklar
Lyrics: Chad Beguelin
Book: Bob Martin and Tom Meehan
Director: Sam Scalamoni
Choreographer: Connor Gallagher
Musical Supervisor: Nate Patten
Casting Director: Andrea Zee, CSA of Stewart/Whitley
General Manager: Gentry & Associates, Inc. 

OTHER DATES 
First Rehearsal: On/About 10/9/17
First Performance: On/About 11/7/17 
Last Performance: On/About 12/31/17 

OTHER 

EPA Procedures are in effect for this audition. 

An Equity Monitor will be provided. 

Equity’s contracts prohibit discrimination. Equity is committed to diversity and encourages all its employers to engage in a policy of equal employment opportunity designed to promote a positive model of inclusion. As such, Equity encourages performers of all ethnicities, gender identities, and ages, as well as performers with disabilities, to attend every audition. 

Always bring your Equity Membership card to auditions. 

SEEKING 
Equity actors for principal roles in ELF Tour. See breakdown. 


BREAKDOWN 

Seeking Equity actors: 

[BUDDY] Male, any ethnicity, late 20s-early 30s. Funny and warm with an infectious personality. He has outrageous enthusiasm for everything he does but it is very genuine. Seeking a comedian with great subtle timing and a strong singing voice up to a G. Must be a very strong mover with a great sense of physical comedy. Must be tall (6’ and above). Principal role. 

[JOVIE] Female, any ethnicity, late 20s-early 30s. Comedic, appealing, and relatable. A New Yorker that doesn’t have much Christmas spirit until meeting Buddy. Must have an amazing singing voice with a strong belt up to a D flat. Principal role. 

[WALTER] Male, any ethnicity, 50s. He is an upscale successful business man who has become cold and distant with his family until Buddy enters their life. He is a workaholic with little time left for enjoying life or appreciating simple things. Must have a good singing voice. Principal role. 

[EMILY] Female, any ethnicity, 40s. Walter’s wife and Michael’s mother, she is at first overwhelmed by Buddy, but soon embraces him as part of the family. A witty NY sense of humor, warm, amazing singing voice with a strong belt up to a C. Principal role. 

[MICHAEL] Male, any ethnicity, 12 years old. Funny and smart, he quickly bonds with Buddy and is determined to share a great Christmas with his entire family. Amazing singing voice up to an E. Principal role. SEEKING ROLE AND STANDBY. 

[DEB] Female, any ethnicity, 30s – 40s. A funny secretary at Walter’s office, full of character and sharp wit. Must be a very strong character singer with an excellent belt. Must be a very strong mover. Principal role. 

[MR. GREENWAY] Male, any ethnicity, 50s. A shrewd businessman, must have great comic timing and should sing well. Principal role. 

[SANTA] Male, 50s – 60s. Jolly, warm, funny, good singing voice. Down to earth, a beer and pizza kind of Santa. Principal role.

Union

EPA

Monday, March 6, 2017

Creative Block/ Bloc et Blocage

Here are some photos from the set of Creative Block 3/3/17 thanks to photographer Elizabeth Mealey http://elizabethmealey.com/.