Tag Archives: healthcare

Mike Pence Casts Tie-Breaking Vote To Advance Bill To Take Healthcare From 30+ Million Americans


Senate Republicans voted today to advance to floor debate on their efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare with Indianan’s Mike Pence casting the tiebreaking vote.

In a dramatic moment, Sen. John McCain returned from Arizona to applause from fellow senators. He cast a necessary Republican vote for the motion after two GOP senators — Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski — sided with all Democrats in opposition.
 As the vote began, protesters in the Senate gallery shouted “kill the bill” and “shame, shame, shame!”
The vote came as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Donald Trump dared their fellow Republicans to block their seven-year campaign promise to repeal and replace Obamacare.
The next step is floor debate on the legislation to overhaul the Affordable Care Act even though there aren’t any guarantees the votes are there to eventually pass it — and it’s unclear what a final bill will look like.
The vote was up in the air until the last moments, when Several Republican holdouts announced their support, including Sens. Rand Paul, Dean Heller, Rob Portman and Shelley Moore Capitol.
Trump, who has repeatedly said he’s ready to sign any repeal legislation, celebrated the vote, which creates a path to give him the major congressional victory that’s eluded the White House thus far.
“I’m very happy to announce that with zero of the Democrats’ votes, the motion to proceed on health care has moved past and now we move forward toward truly great health care for the American people. We look forward to that. This was a big step,” Trump said at a White House news conference.
“I want to thank Sen. John McCain,” he added. “A very brave man. He made a tough trip to get here.”

How Homophobia May Actually Increases HIV Cases In Gay Men

Have you ever wondered what some of the long ranged and potentially harmful side effects of a country’s homophobia? Well one study has found some rather shocking results. The study, Access to HIV Prevention and Treatment for Men Who Have Sex with Men done by the medical and mental professionals of The Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF) found that situations like rate of homophobic perceptions and income are directly correlated to the number of HIV cases seen in sexually active gay men.

As you can see in the graph below, it shows that gay men from low income countries that have a high amount of homophobia as well as a lack of access to preventative measures such as condoms, testing, and treatments are at a significantly higher chances on contracting HIV.

The study does note that a high amountasd of participants that resided in low income countries expressed fear of exposure of their sexuality and that homophobia which lead to them not buying and preparing things such as lubricant and condoms that would help protect them against HIV and other diseases that can be transmitted through sexual intercourse. Here’s a further and more detailed summary of the study’s findings:

In summary, the study findings underscore the need to improve global efforts to ensure that gay men and other MSM have access to basic HIV prevention and treatment services. Structural, community/interpersonal, and individual barriers and facilitators to service access must be addressed at multiple levels; interventions must both disrupt the negative effects of barriers and support the protective effects of facilitators. When considering PrEP implementation, study findings indicate an urgent need for the dissemination of more and better information regarding HIV prevention strategies generally and PrEP in particular.

From the narratives of MSM who participated in this study, it is clear that local and global advocacy efforts are needed to create enabling sociopolitical environments that will increase access to HIV-related services and improve MSM health overall. Securing the human rights of MSM is essential to HIV prevention and treatment strategies, new and old.

These barriers, either through society or anti-gay laws undoubtedly and justifiably perceived as homophobia were also found to cause these overall feelings with higher rates of HIV cases:

Poor self-worth
Substance abuse
Delay/avoidance of services
Treatment interruption

So the next time someone say being anti-gay doesn’t have ramifications this study proves the contrary. And even though this is only one very detailed piece of evidence, the findings are hard to dispute. Homophobia has much more powerful and potentially damaging consequences than previously known.

Google Sets New Industry Standard in Transgender Health Care Benefits

*Crossposted from VenusPlusX  Many Thanks! –  By LilMike On Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Google Sets New Industry Standard in Transgender Health Care Benefits –

It’s nice to see an industry leader such as Google step out front on this important issue. Google’s stance will make it easier for other companies to follow suit and offer similar benefits, and, as a matter of competition, make it harder for other companies to refuse to do so. When employers in the same field are desperately fighting to poach top talent from each other, as they are (see the Microsoft bacon cart for more evidence of this trend), Google’s new policy sends a strong message about how they value all of their employees. It can only be a sign of better things to come in the high-tech world, and eventually across the entire corporate spectrum.

At Google, a Transgender “Gold Standard”

The updated benefits, announced internally by company officials on Friday and effective immediately, cover transitioning procedures and treatment in accordance with the World Professional Association for Transgender Health’s (WPATH) Standards of Care, and include gender reassignment surgical procedures determined to be medically necessary by a doctor.

Some of the procedures covered by Google’s health care plan include genital surgery, as well as facial feminization for transgender women and pectoral implants for transgender men — surgeries that can be considered medically necessary depending on the “unique clinical situation of a given patient’s condition and life situation,” according to WPATH’s seventh version of care standards, published in September.

The article goes on to say:

Google also has more than doubled the maximum dollar amount for transgender health care benefits, from $35,000 to $75,000, the minimum amount required for a 100% rating on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2012 Corporate Equality Index, which is expected to be released in the coming weeks. The benefits are covered by the company’s existing insurance providers and apply to domestic employees, Newman said. Google is considering extending similar benefits to international employees, though it does not currently have a timeline for doing so.

*About LilMike is the Editor of the Sexual Freedom Project on VenusPlusX