White House Cracks Down On Birth Control Mandate

In response to reports that insurers were violating the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) free birth control coverage rule, the White House has warned insurance companies that they must provide all forms of approved contraceptives to users at no cost or co-pay charge. The National Women’s Law Center and the Kaiser Family Foundation recently drew attention to the issue by publishing separate investigations that revealed not all insurance companies are following the law. Now the Obama administration is reiterating that insurance plans have to cover all forms of birth control approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Thank You Darren

In a video that was 3 minutes and 17 seconds, the retelling of mandate (is this 4 or 5 times now?) , a time frame that included  interruptions about the sandwich, you managed to say Chris or Chris Colfer 6 times (and I know he was mentioned a few other times as well but I am limiting it to the mandate discussion).  You reminded us that he has won a golden globe (otherwise I may have forgotten) and otherwise gushed over him.

Which is interesting, for as far as we know, you haven’t seen him since March.  You certainly didn’t gush over Matt, or Jane, Jenna, who you just saw, Alex and Samantha whom you sang with at Marie Crisis.  No you limited your gushing to Chris Colfer.  Whom as far as I know didn’t even see you in Hedwig??  Mysterious.

Of course I was saddened that you reminded us that you don’t hang out with him publicly, though you did tell us why, it just gets too crazy.  

And then I am reminded of the article from last week,when you told us that you have a private life that we don’t know about.  Hmmm… I seem to know a lot about you.  But now, I think I got it.  Perhaps Chris Colfer is very much a part of that private life and while, you may not hang out in public, privately, well that is a whole different story.  He did see Hedwig maybe?  Actually I think the question is more like, how many times did he see Hedwig???

The Earth Mandate

During my meandering college days, I once crossed path with a siddha yogi. He offered me a kind of initiation of sorts, a mandate for existence. And now I offer it to you. 

We are here because the Earth wants us here. Life requires a very specific kind of environment in order to survive and evolve. Life is a phenomenon that emerges when the right balance of ingredients come together. The right distance from the sun, the right amount of oxygen in the air, the right ratio of salt in the ocean, etc. 

We exist because everything is right in this world. 

It is only when we start looking for a reason to exist from a culture or society or other people that we open ourselves to suffering and insecurity. Look around. We are all hairless apes in suits and dresses playing out an amnesiac drama. Take a moment to laugh, because it’s pretty funny when you think about and acknowledge that. 

The human game is amusing. It isn’t bad or good; nature leaves nothing to be improved upon. The game is for fun. If we can innovate and provide aid to those in need, wonderful. But there is no winning or losing; it’s all just organic chemistry playing around. 

Shift your mandate, your raison d'être, from something describable in words to an awareness of your interdependence with nature. You are nature. 

When Buddha was grilled about his new state of Being, and about his reason for still being here, he simply touched the ground in response. The cosmos thrummed in reply.

Touch the earth and let go of everything else. 

Namaste, sangha. 

Mi mandate un segno? Anche in anonimo, dai. Che cosa tenera!

♂: Sono un ragazzo che ha una cotta per te
♀: Sono una ragazza che ha una cotta per te
∞: Sono una persona che ha una cotta per te
✂: Non cancellare mai il tuo blog
✌: Sei fantastico/a
♡: Amo il tuo blog
❁: Sei bellissimo/a
✓: Ti odio
☹: Sei brutto/a
☀: Voglio scoparti
♬: Vorrei che fossimo vicini
♧: Vorrei che fossimo amici nella vita reale
☆: Sto passando quello che stai passando tu
☮: Mi ispiri
☾: Dovremmo baciarci, sarebbe fantastico
✖: Ti darei un grande abbraccio
Hurricane Sandy could cost Obama 300,000 votes

President Obama stands to lose as many as 340,000 votes as a result of Hurricane Sandy, not enough to affect the outcome in heavily Democratic Northeastern states, but something that could make a difference in the popular vote if the results of Tuesday’s presidential race are as close as polls indicate, a First Read analysis finds.

“Sandy has the potential to reduce Obama’s national popular vote share by depressing turnout in highly Democratic areas along the Eastern Seaboard,” Dr. Michael McDonald of George Mason University, who studies turnout, told First Read. “The storm is unlikely to change the Electoral College outcome, as Obama is heavily favored to win the affected states. A turnout drop could be the difference in a close national election, and thus could shape the political discourse over important policy issues in a possible Obama second term.

It is more than just winning.  It will be the conversation about whether he was given a ‘mandate’ to enact the policies he campaigned on.  With a Republican obstructionist majority in the house, that will make a difference.

So no matter what state you are in, swing state or not, your vote matters.

Obama’s great achievement is not any one element of the health care reform law – not even the now-upheld individual mandate compelling individuals to have health insurance or pay a fine. The important thing is the law’s underlying assumption that every American, rich or poor, should have access to adequate health care.
In the rest of the industrialized world, this simple idea is taken for granted.

Eugene Robinson, in his column, The Bigger Picture: The Physical and Moral Health of the Nation

Yes. This is the bottom-line point, and it should be the starting point for any future discussions on this issue.


✨light of my life✨

[follow me on vine - jeonswoo]

In honour of Grace’s birthday (yesterday) and the new reissues of her disco albums, I’d posted/transcribed an early profile of her from the September 1977 issue of Mandate on the main blog. An interesting glimpse at the kind coverage she was getting from the gay press at the very start of her career. 

Disc Profile: Grace Jones - The Lady Is a Vamp! - By Regina Rose // Mandate - September 1977 

The Obamacare mandate delay is not only embarrassing for the administration, it will be expensive

The National Review Online has a great piece today describing the timing of the announcement of the delay as well as how it sends an embarrassing signal of failure to the country.

From NRO:

…there is no hiding the embarrassment of a climb-down on a high-profile feature of President Barack Obama’s signature initiative. Although the administration was determined to do all it could to hide it. Obama was apparently planning to announce it on July 3 — only because the day before Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve was too far off.

The purported reason for the delay is incompetence. The administration’s story is that it simply couldn’t find a way to implement the insurance-reporting requirements on employers in the time frame set out in the law. Merely as a side effect, it had to put off the mandate and the $2,000-per-employee fine on employers with more than 50 employees who don’t offer health coverage.

This just happens to be the mandate that is causing howls of pain from businesses and creating perverse incentives for them to limit their hiring or to hire part-time rather than full-time employees. And it just happens that 2015 — the new target for implementation — is after a midterm election year rather than during one.

Read the Rest

But the embarrassment of having to delay Obama’s “signature achievement” is only one of Obama’s problems. Apparently it’s going to be quite costly to do so.

From McClatchy:

…The delay is the second this year to significantly affect the rollout of the Affordable Care Act. In the spring, the Obama administration said small businesses that want to offer employee coverage through the exchanges will only be able to select one plan in the 34 states where the marketplaces are run by the federal government.

Tuesday’s delay will be costly.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates the federal government will lose $10 billion in employer penalties in 2015 because of the delayed enforcement. Likewise, many expect that federal outlays to help low- and moderate-income people purchase coverage will grow with employers no longer required to provide coverage next year.

Read the Rest

It’s amazing to me that the King President of the United States can simply choose to implement (or not implement) an act of Congress at will. If I understand the Constitution correctly, that’s not his decision to make. I’m not sure why no one is calling him on it. If a Republican is elected next, can he or she simply delay its implementation for, say, 100 years? If not, why not?

Look, everything about this terrible law is a disaster. Everything. And I hope Democrats realize just how much they traded in order to get it. Just think, if it weren’t for the Democrats pushing through Obamacare, they would have probably maintained a filibuster proof majority in the Senate, kept the majority in the House of Representatives and not lost more than 700 state and local seats–including governorships in 2010. This would have allowed them to do virtually anything they wanted, both at the national level and the state level. Strict gun control? No problem. Raise the debt ceiling? Piece of cake. Gender “equality” wage laws? Easy. Cap and Trade? In their sleep. They could have done all of these things and more. But they were determined to ram through the largest single piece of legislation ever passed, legislation that would turn out to be so despised, even several years later, that people would support its repeal by nearly a 2 to 1 margin.

We must not give up the fight against Obamacare. It’s an unworkable nightmare that must be repealed and we must remember to only vote for politicians who will fight relentlessly to repeal it in its entirety.