Friday, May 05, 2017

You Might Want to Keep this List

From Time Magazine

The American Health Care Act stipulates that states can allow insurers to charge people with pre-existing conditions more for health insurance (which is banned under the ACA) if the states meet certain conditions, such as setting up high-risk insurance pools. Insurers still cannot deny people coverage outright, as was a common practice before the ACA's passage, but they can hike up premiums to an unaffordable amount, effectively pricing people out of the market.

While it depends on the insurer—they have the right to choose what counts as "pre-existing"—these ailments and conditions were universally used to deny people coverage, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit focusing on health care research.

- Alzheimer’s/dementia
- Anorexia
- Arthritis
- Bulimia
- Cancer
- Cerebral palsy
- Congestive heart failure
- Coronary artery/heart disease, bypass surgery
- Crohn’s disease
- Diabetes
- Epilepsy
- Hemophilia
- Hepatitis
- Kidney disease, renal failure
- Lupus
- Mental disorders (including Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Schizophrenia)
- Multiple sclerosis
- Muscular dystrophy
- Obesity
- Organ transplant
- Paraplegia
- Paralysis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Pending surgery or hospitalization
- Pneumocystic pneumonia
- Pregnancy or expectant parent (includes men)
- Sleep apnea
- Stroke
- Transsexualism

But Cynthia Cox, Kaiser's associate director, notes that the above list is a conservative sampling of all of the issues and maladies that insurers could count as pre-existing conditions. " There are plenty of other conditions, even acne or high blood pressure, that could have gotten people denied from some insurers but accepted and charged a higher premium by other insurers" says Cox.

Here are some examples of those other conditions that experts have noted could hike premiums:
- Acid Reflux
- Acne
- Asthma
- C-Section
- Celiac Disease
- >Heart burn
- High cholesterol
- Hysterectomy
- Knee surgery
- Lyme Disease
- Migraines
- Narcolepsy
- Pacemaker
- Postpartum depression
- Seasonal Affective Disorder
- Seizures
- "Sexual deviation or disorder"
- Ulcers

The left-leaning Center for American Progress notes that high blood pressure, behavioral health disorders, high cholesterol, asthma and chronic lung disease, and osteoarthritis and other joint disorders are the most common types of pre-existing conditions.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

A Loss for New Orleans

By CHEVEL JOHNSON, Associated Press
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Writer and cultural advocate Deborah "Big Red" Cotton, who was among 20 people wounded during a 2013 Mother's Day parade in New Orleans, died Tuesday. She was 52.
Linda Usdin, a friend of Cotton's, confirmed she died at University Medical Center of complications from the shooting. Cotton lost a kidney and gall bladder, half of her stomach and portions of her intestines and pancreas from one of the bullets sprayed as the Original Big 7 Social Aid and Pleasure Club was leading its annual neighborhood Mother's Day parade in 2013 in New Orleans' 7th Ward.
Usdin said a series of second-lines will be held in Cotton's honor culminating in a memorial service, a date for which has not yet been set.
Flozell Daniels Jr., president and CEO of Foundation for Louisiana, said he had worked with Cotton for the last two years on community issues including criminal justice reform.
"She is a treasure lost for this community," Daniels said. "She was the exemplification of what it means to have a true and authentic love for the people of a city and its culture. She was an authentic and rightful and loyal supporter and participant in the fabric of our culture."
Four brothers — Akein, Shawn, Travis and Stanley Scott — pleaded guilty to multiple charges arising from their involvement in the Frenchmen-Derbigny gang. Akein and Travis Scott received life sentences; Stanley and Shawn each received 40 years.
Despite her injuries, Cotton did not blame the men who were charged with the crimes. In fact, she has told media outlets that she feels sorry for them.
"They have ruined their lives. They're not coming out of jail. Clearly they have violence in their heart, but they have other good qualities the world won't get to benefit from," she told WVUE-TV ( ) a couple of years after the shooting.
Daniels said even after her experience with violence, Cotton "showed up as a real leader of a generation. She showed up in the spaces of criminal justice reform, touting before committees that 'you can't throw away these bad committers of crimes.' She fought like a warrior. And as recently as six weeks ago, she testified with me and others as a voice of a victim, saying we have to stop the madness of mass incarceration. She was an inspiration and we've lost a great champion."
Cotton, a Los Angeles native, moved to New Orleans in 2005 just before Hurricane Katrina struck. For years, she covered second lines and New Orleans' street culture for Gambit Weekly, documenting the city's uniqueness.
"Deborah Cotton was a friend, a colleague, a writer and a culture-bearer," the newspaper said in a statement. "Her contribution to New Orleans' second line and brass band communities was immense, and her generous spirit of forgiveness and hope was a model for us all."
Survivors include her mother, Carolee Reed, of Pasadena, California.