big thanks to reddit user CaspianX2 for typing all this out!
What people call “Obamacare” is actually the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. However, people were calling it “Obamacare” before everyone even hammered out what it would be. It’s a term mostly used by people who don’t like the PPaACA, and it’s become popularized in part because PPaACA is a really long and awkward name, even when you turn it into an acronym like that.
Anyway, the PPaACA made a bunch of new rules regarding health care, with the purpose of making health care more affordable for everyone. Opponents of the PPaACA, on the other hand, feel that the rules it makes take away too many freedoms and force people (both individuals and businesses) to do things they shouldn’t have to.
So what does it do? Well, here is everything, in the order of when it goes into effect (because some of it happens later than other parts of it):
Already in effect:
It allows the Food and Drug Administration to approve more generic drugs (making for more competition in the market to drive down prices)
It increases the rebates on drugs people get through Medicare (so drugs cost less)
It establishes a non-profit group, that the government doesn’t directly control, to study different kinds of treatments to see what works better and is the best use of money.
It makes chain restaurants like McDonalds display how many calories are in all of their foods, so people can have an easier time making choices to eat healthy.
It makes a “high-risk pool” for people with pre-existing conditions. Basically, this is a way to slowly ease into getting rid of “pre-existing conditions” altogether. For now, people who already have health issues that would be considered “pre-existing conditions” can still get insurance, but at different rates than people without them.
It renews some old policies, and calls for the appointment of various positions.
It creates a new 10% tax on indoor tanning booths.
It says that health insurance companies can no longer tell customers that they won’t get any more coverage because they have hit a “lifetime limit”. Basically, if someone has paid for life insurance, that company can’t tell that person that he’s used that insurance too much throughout his life so they won’t cover him any more. They can’t do this for lifetime spending, and they’re limited in how much they can do this for yearly spending.
Kids can continue to be covered by their parents’ health insurance until they’re 26.
No more “pre-existing conditions” for kids under the age of 19.
Insurers have less ability to change the amount customers have to pay for their plans.
People in a “Medicare Gap” get a rebate to make up for the extra money they would otherwise have to spend.
Insurers can’t just drop customers once they get sick.
Insurers have to tell customers what they’re spending money on. (Instead of just “administrative fee”, they have to be more specific).
Insurers need to have an appeals process for when they turn down a claim, so customers have some manner of recourse other than a lawsuit when they’re turned down.
New ways to stop fraud are created.
Medicare extends to smaller hospitals.
Medicare patients with chronic illnesses must be monitored more thoroughly.
Reduces the costs for some companies that handle benefits for the elderly.
A new website is made to give people insurance and health information.
A credit program is made that will make it easier for business to invest in new ways to treat illness.
A limit is placed on just how much of a percentage of the money an insurer makes can be profit, to make sure they’re not price-gouging customers.
A limit is placed on what type of insurance accounts can be used to pay for over-the-counter drugs without a prescription. Basically, your insurer isn’t paying for the Aspirin you bought for that hangover.
Employers need to list the benefits they provided to employees on their tax forms.
Any health plans sold after this date must provide preventative care (mammograms, colonoscopies, etc.) without requiring any sort of co-pay or charge.
If you make over $200,000 a year, your taxes go up a tiny bit (0.9%)
This is when a lot of the really big changes happen.
No more “pre-existing conditions”. At all. People will be charged the same regardless of their medical history.
If you can afford insurance but do not get it, you will be charged a fee. This is the “mandate” that people are talking about. Basically, it’s a trade-off for the “pre-existing conditions” bit, saying that since insurers now have to cover you regardless of what you have, you can’t just wait to buy insurance until you get sick. Otherwise no one would buy insurance until they needed it. You can opt not to get insurance, but you’ll have to pay the fee instead, unless of course you’re not buying insurance because you just can’t afford it.
Insurer’s now can’t do annual spending caps. Their customers can get as much health care in a given year as they need.
Make it so more poor people can get Medicare by making the low-income cut-off higher.
Small businesses get some tax credits for two years.
Businesses with over 50 employees must offer health insurance to full-time employees, or pay a penalty.
Limits how high of an annual deductible insurers can charge customers.
Cut some Medicare spending
Place a $2500 limit on tax-free spending on FSAs (accounts for medical spending). Basically, people using these accounts now have to pay taxes on any money over $2500 they put into them.
Establish health insurance exchanges and rebates for the lower-class, basically making it so poor people can get some medical coverage.
Congress and Congressional staff will only be offered the same insurance offered to people in the insurance exchanges, rather than Federal Insurance. Basically, we won’t be footing their health care bills any more than any other American citizen.
A new tax on pharmaceutical companies.
A new tax on the purchase of medical devices.
A new tax on insurance companies based on their market share. Basically, the more of the market they control, the more they’ll get taxed.
The amount you can deduct from your taxes for medical expenses increases.
Doctors’ pay will be determined by the quality of their care, not how many people they treat.
If any state can come up with their own plan, one which gives citizens the same level of care at the same price as the PPaACA, they can ask the Secretary of Health and Human Resources for permission to do their plan instead of the PPaACA. So if they can get the same results without, say, the mandate, they can be allowed to do so. Vermont, for example, has expressed a desire to just go straight to single-payer (in simple terms, everyone is covered, and medical expenses are paid by taxpayers).
All health care plans must now cover preventative care (not just the new ones).
A new tax on “Cadillac” health care plans (more expensive plans for rich people who want fancier coverage).
The elimination of the “Medicare gap”
Aaaaand that’s it right there.
The biggest thing opponents of the bill have against it is the mandate. They claim that it forces people to buy insurance, and forcing people to buy something in unconstitutional. Personally, I take the opposite view, as it’s not telling people to buy a specific thing, just to have a specific type of thing, just like a part of the money we pay in taxes pays for the police and firemen who protect us, this would have us paying to ensure doctors can treat us for illness and injury.
Plus, as previously mentioned, it’s necessary if you’re doing away with “pre-existing conditions” because otherwise no one would get insurance until they needed to use it, which defeats the purpose of insurance.
Through a secret program called the Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO), there was a concerted effort to subvert the will of the people to avoid the rise of a black Messiah that would mobilize the African-American community into a meaningful political force.
This documentary establishes historical perspective on the measures initiated by J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI which aimed to discredit black political figures and forces of the late 1960′s and early 1970′s.
Combining declassified documents, interviews, rare footage and exhaustive research, it investigates the government’s role in the assassinations of Malcolm X, Fred Hampton, and Martin Luther King Jr. Were the murders the result of this concerted effort to avoid a black Messiah?
“We shall not be a normal people, until we have Jewish whores and Jewish thieves in the Land of Israel,” our national poet Haim Nahman Bialik said some 80 years ago.
This dream has come true. We have Jewish murderers, Jewish robbers and Jewish whores - though most prostitutes in Israel are imported by international slave-traders from eastern Europe through the Sinai border.
But Bialik was too unambitious. He should have added: “We shall not become a normal people until we have Jewish neonazis and Jewish concentration camps.
The central news item nowadays in all Israel’s electronic and print media is the terrible danger of “illegal” African migrants.
African refugees and job-seekers are drawn to Israel for several reasons, none of which is an ardent belief in zionism.
The first is geographical. Israel is the only country with a European standard of living that can be reached from Africa without crossing a sea.
Africans can easily reach Egypt, and then they have only to cross the Sinai desert to get to the Israeli border.
The desert is the home of Bedouin tribes, for whom smuggling is an age-old occupation. Whether Libyan weapons for Hamas in Gaza, Ukrainian women for the brothels of Tel Aviv or job-seekers from Sudan - for good money, the Bedouin will get them all to their destination. On the way they may hold them for ransom or rape the women.
The Africans - mainly from North and South Sudan and Eritrea - are attracted by the Israeli labour market.
Israelis have long since ceased to do the menial jobs. They need people to wash the dishes in the posh restaurants, clean their homes and carry the heavy loads in the markets.
For years these jobs were done by Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza. After the intifadas, Israel’s government put an end to this. The Africans fill their place.
They are of course paid what Israelis consider hunger wages, but enough to enable the migrants to send money back to their families. Small sums of dollars look like fortunes back home.
To enable them to send the money, the migrants lead a dog’s life. Almost all of them are single men, crammed into dirty old houses in the slums of Tel Aviv and other towns, ogling the local girls, getting drunk for recreation.
The Israeli inhabitants of these slums, the poorest of the poor, hate them. They accuse them of all kinds of crimes, including rape, violent quarrels and murder.
They also believe that they carry dangerous diseases which are almost unknown in Israel, such as malaria and tuberculosis. Unlike Israelis, they have not been inoculated at birth.
All these accusations are of course vastly exaggerated. But one can understand the Israeli slum-dwellers who have to live with poor foreigners with whom they have no communication.
In such circumstances, racism flourishes. The Africans are easily recognised by their skin.
The usual racist verbiage - “they rape our women,” “they are all carrying deadly diseases,” “they are like animals” abounds. Plus there is a special Israeli one: “They endanger the Jewish state.”
All in all, there are now some 60,000 Africans in Israel, to which must be added about 3,000 newcomers every month.
There are also large numbers of - “legal” - Thais who work in agriculture, Chinese and Romanians in the building industry and Philippinos aiding the sick and elderly.
With Israel’s Jewish population amounting to 6.5 million, and Arab citizens making 1.5 million more, it is easy to depict the migrants as a terrible danger to the Jewishness of the state.
As a swamp draws mosquitos, such a situation draws rabble-rousers and hate-mongers. And we have no lack of these in Israel.
Two weeks ago riots erupted in Tel Aviv’s Hatikva quarter, one of the affected slums. Africans were attacked, African-owned shops looted.
As if drawn by magic, within record time all the well-known fascist agitators appeared on the scene, inciting the crowd against the Africans and leftist “bleeding hearts.”
The most media attention was given to a Likud member of parliament, Miri Regev. Not satisfied with the usual epithets, she shouted that the Africans were “a cancer.”
This expression, lifted from the lexicon of Goebbels, shocked many throughout the country.
Regev is a former chief spokeswoman of the Israeli army - appointed by former chief of staff Dan Halutz, who is remembered for his remark that, when dropping a bomb on a residential quarter, he feels nothing but a “slight bump on the wing.”
Regev hit the headlines with her speech and was rewarded with numerous TV interviews, in which she distinguished herself by using the language once attributed to fisherwomen (no insult to fisherwomen intended). She was, to put it bluntly, disgusting.
While on the subject of disgust, I have a personal hobby. Every week I choose - strictly for myself - the most disgusting person in Israeli public life. For the last few consecutive weeks my chosen laureate was Eli Yishai of the Oriental Orthodox party Shas.
Shas is totally dominated by one person - Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. He hires and fires the party’s political leadership. His word is law. When the last leader was sent to prison for stealing, Rabbi Ovadia produced Eli Yishai from nowhere.
As Interior Minister, Yishai has served mainly as a conduit of government money to his party’s institutions. In all other functions he has failed dismally.
For Yishai, the anti-African hysteria is a gift from his God. After telling the public that the migrants are criminals, carry diseases and endanger the Jewish state, he declared war on them.
Now the whole country is mobilised. Every day the number of deported Africans heads the news.
Yishai’s special “immigration police” are photographed pushing Africans into police vans. Yishai himself appears daily on TV to boast of his accomplishments.
The Knesset is discussing a Bill that would impose stiff prison terms (five years), plus a fine of half a million shekels (€100,000) on anyone employing an “illegal” worker.
Fortunately this law is yet in the works and will not apply to the wives of Defence Minister Ehud Barak and Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein who were caught employing illegal migrants at their homes. Their husbands of course knew nothing about it.
Most of all, Yishai brags about the huge manhunt now in progress. Africans cower in their miserable homes, not daring to go out into the streets. At night they are alert to every noise, fearing the dreaded knock of the immigration police on their door.
Trouble is, most of the 60,000 Africans come from Eritrea and North Sudan, to which the migrants cannot be sent back, because the Supreme Court has forbidden it.
Their repatriation would put their lives in danger. This leaves only the citizens of the new state of South Sudan, which has been liberated with the help of Israeli military advisers and arms. They are now being rounded up, in the full glare of publicity, to be deported.
What about the others? The government is now feverishly at work building huge tent camps in the arid Negev desert, in the middle of nowhere, in which tens of thousands of migrants will be imprisoned for three years in what cannot be anything other than inhuman conditions.
Since no foreign country is ready to take them in, they will probably stay there for much longer.
As of now, there is no water nor sanitary conditions. Women and children - born in Israel and Hebrew-speaking - will be housed separately. In the summer temperatures will easily reach 40°C. Life inside the tents will be hell.
Yishai and his colleague have a flair for laundered language. The migrants are called “infiltrators,” deportation is called “returning” and the prison camps will be called “residence camps.” Not concentration camps, God forbid.
I am aware that in several other “civilised” countries, migrants are treated as badly, or worse. This does not comfort me in the least.
I am also aware that there is a real problem which has to be solved. But not this way.
As a citizen of a state that calls itself “Jewish,” or even “the state of the Holocaust survivors,” I am disgusted.
I have heard innumerable times about nazi Jew-hunts, as well as US lynch mobs and Russian pogroms. There is no comparison of course but the pictures are popping up in my mind. I can’t help it.
Our treatment of the African refugees and migrants has nothing to do with the old conflict with the Arabs. It cannot be justified with arguments that concern the war and national security.
Israel is the one country in the world that feels threatened by simple demographics; Israel is an ethnocracy, an apartheid state, that is compelled to maintain a Jewish majority in the country. Simply having more non-Jews than Jews is a threat to the nation.
I wonder how Obama feels about this? With America being psychotically pro-Israel and Israel is deportation thousands of Africans and sending the ones that can’t be deported to a tent city must be weird for Mr. Obama.
And this is another tactic of Israel to place blame on another group of people. It’s always somebody else threatening Israel and that needs to be attacked - Iranians, Muslims, Palestinians, Africans, protestors, Arabs, even international protestors.
Israel is Nazi Germany reincarnated. (Didn’t the Nazis also hate Africans/Blacks?)
The St. Louis Underground Music Festival Was DOPE!
Our Third Annual SLUMFEST was successful, thanks to all the emcees, B-boys/girls, writers, deejays and supporter for making it beautiful. Special shout to our Chicago family for coming through and rocking — See You Soon!!
Riots broke out in 1992 after the officers were acquitted in his beating
King had said he had forgiven the officers who beat him nearly to death
Los Angeles (CNN) — Rodney King, whose beating by Los Angeles police in 1991 was caught on camera and sparked riots after the acquittal of the four officers involved, was found dead in his swimming pool Sunday, authorities and his fiancee said. He was 47.
Police in Rialto, California, received a 911 call from King’s fiancee, Cynthia Kelly, about 5:25 a.m., said Capt. Randy DeAnda. Responding officers found King at the bottom of the pool, removed him and attempted to revive him. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital, DeAnda said.
There were no preliminary signs of foul play, he said, and no obvious injuries on King’s body. Police are conducting a drowning investigation, DeAnda said, and King’s body would be autopsied.
"His fiancee heard him in the rear yard," he said, and found King in the pool when she went outside.
Kelly was a juror in King’s lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles in 1994.
Rodney King remembers the L.A. riots
2011: King a symbol of police brutality
2011: Rodney King, 20 years later
King’s beating after a high-speed car chase and its aftermath forever changed Los Angeles, its police department and the dialogue on race in America.
King was 25 and on parole after a robbery conviction in April 1991. In an interview in 2011, he recalled he had been drinking and was headed home from a friend’s house when he saw a police car following him and panicked, thinking he would be sent back to prison. So he attempted to flee.
"I had a job to go to that Monday, and I knew I was on parole, and I knew I wasn’t supposed to be drinking, and I’m like ‘Oh, my God,’" he told CNN.
He realized he couldn’t outrun the police, but looked for a public place to stop. “I saw all those apartments over there, so I said, ‘I’m gonna stop right there,’” he said. “‘If it goes down, somebody will see it.’”
An amateur cameraman caught the scene as four white police officers struck King more than 50 times with their wooden batons and used a stun gun on him.
King said as the officers beat him, they yelled, “We are going to kill you, n***er,” although the officers denied using racial slurs.
The video shows King cowering on the ground and attempting to crawl away as he is surrounded by a crowd of police officers. Four of them used their nightsticks to strike him.
King was beaten nearly to death. Three surgeons operated on him for five hours.
The video of the beating appeared on national television two days later, focusing attention on the issue of racially-motivated police brutality.
"We finally caught the Loch Ness Monster with a camcorder," King attorney Milton Grimes said.
Four LAPD officers — Theodore Briseno, Laurence Powell, Timothy Wind and Sgt. Stacey Koon — were indicted on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and excessive use of force by a police officer.
But following a three-month trial in the predominantly white Los Angeles suburb of Simi Valley, three of the officers were acquitted of all charges. The jury, which had all white members, deadlocked on one charge of excessive force against Powell, and a mistrial was declared on that charge.
Powell’s attorney, Michael Stone, said earlier this year the unedited video worked against King and helped prove the officers’ case.
"Most of the nation only saw a few snippets where it’s the most violent," Stone said. "They didn’t see (King) get up and run at Powell."
But African-Americans in Los Angeles exploded in outrage. Rioters ran through the streets — looting businesses, torching buildings and attacking those who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. The violence was responsible for more than 50 deaths and $1 billion in property damage.
On the third day of rioting, King emerged from seclusion to make a plea: “People, I just want to say, can we all get along? Can we get along?”
The violence ceased, but the debate did not.
Nearly a year later, the four officers stood trial in federal court on civil rights charges. Two African-Americans were picked for the jury, and King testified. He hedged, however, on whether police used racial slurs during the beating. He told CNN in 2011 that slurs were used, but said he vacillated on the stand because his mother had told him to avoid talking about race.
Koon and Powell were found guilty and sentenced to 30 months in prison. Briseno and Wind were acquitted.
"It was like … I just hope we just get one," King said. "I hope we just get one on that. If we get one, we’re good. So to get the two, I was really happy."
King also sued the city of Los Angeles.
"Half of them had no sympathy whatsoever," Kelly, his fiancee, told CNN earlier this year about her fellow jurors. "… They just didn’t care. Like, ‘He broke the law. He deserved what he got.’ I told them they were crazy. It was about justice for what happened to him. No one deserves to get beat like that."
The other jurors came around, and King was awarded $3.8 million in damages.
In later years, King had several more run-ins with the law, including a 90-day jail stint in 1996 for a hit-and-run involving his wife at the time. On the 20th anniversary of the beating in 2011, he was pulled over and ticketed for a minor traffic violation.
"The trouble that (people) see me in is a part of my life that I’m working on," he said in 2011. "I’ll always have an issue when it comes to alcohol. My dad was an alcoholic. The addiction part is in my blood. What I’ve learned to do is arrest my addiction — arrest it myself, so I don’t get arrested."
In 2008, King appeared on the VH1 reality show “Celebrity Rehab.” He also released a memoir, “The Riot Within,” in which he describes his difficult upbringing and his reflections on the beating and its aftermath.
The ranks of Los Angeles police are much more diverse than they were at the time of King’s beating. Changes have also been made — some compelled by the courts — in the way certain neighborhoods are patrolled and how complaints are handled.
King said earlier this year he has forgiven the officers who beat him.
"Yes, I’ve forgiven them, because I’ve been forgiven many times," he said. "My country’s been good to me … This country is my house, it’s the only home I know, so I have to be able to forgive — for the future, for the younger generation coming behind me, so … they can understand it and if a situation like that happened again, they could deal with it a lot easier."