EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first article in the series on the Obama administration’s campaign to enroll lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens in Obamacare, which force private insurers to cover the high-risk population by distributing the burden to other citizens and away from government.
NEW YORK – The Obama administration’s emphasis on enrolling the LGBT community in Obamacare strongly suggests it has an unspoken agenda of shifting to healthy citizens the extraordinary financial burden of providing services to the unique demographic, which is afflicted disproportionately by AIDS and other health issues.
“The Affordable Care Act has the potential to transform the lives of countless LGBT people and improve the health and well-being of our community – for generations to come,” proclaims the White House Blog in a Dec. 17 posting.
The White House Blog posting noted that since taking office, President Obama and his administration “have taken significant steps to advance equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.”
“You’ve probably heard of many of these accomplishments: repealing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ prohibiting anti-LGBT discrimination in hospitals and in housing, promoting international LGBT human rights, standing up against DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) and then implementing the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor.
The post concludes by emphasizing the steps being taken by the Obama White House to work with the LGBT community to raise Obamacare awareness:
“That’s why we have been working closely with organizations like Out2Enroll, CenterLink, the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, PFLAG, the Equality Federation, and the Gay and Lesbian Victory Institute over the last few months to raise awareness of the Affordable Care Act. And we’ve also been working with LGBT community centers, Pride organizations, philanthropic foundations, LGBT health centers, and HIV/AIDS service providers to empower local LGBT communities with the information and resources they need to get access to quality, affordable health care.”
An infogram in the blog post lists the “Top 5 Affordable Care Act Benefits for the LGBT Community”:
- Plans purchased through the Marketplace can’t discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity;
- You can’t be charged a higher premium just because you’re lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender;
- No denial of coverage because of pre-existing conditions like HIV/AIDS, cancer, or mental health diagnoses;
- Legally married same-sex couples are treated equally for same-sex couples are treated equally for financial assistance when purchasing coverage in the Health Insurance Marketplace, regardless of where they live;
- No more lifetime limits on coverage for people with chronic diseases like HIV/AIDS.
In effect, by eliminating health underwriting, Obamacare has transformed health insurance for the LGBT into a “guaranteed-issue,” even if the applicant has HIV/AIDS.
Under Obamacare, all health insurance providers must accept any applicant who applies and is willing to pay. The insurers are prohibited from asking applicants about their “gender identity” or sexual orientation.
The message appears to be at the center of the White House public relations campaign to encourage the LGBT community to purchase health insurance through an Obamacare health-insurance exchange.
The Obamacare exchange is designed to eliminate the ability to pay as the last possible barrier to obtaining health insurance by providing low-income applicants with subsidies and/or access to Medicare/Medicaid.
The White House, therefore, has configured Obamacare so that the only reason an LBGT person would not obtain some form of health insurance coverage is because the person simply does not want to have health care or otherwise refuses to apply.
White House endorses ‘Out2Enroll’
WND reported a private LGBT advocacy group group, “Out2Enroll,” funded by the Center for American Progress, the Sellers Dorsey Foundation, and the Federal Agencies Project, has produced a video that spoofs LGBT lifestyles in an effort to promote Obamacare enrollment.
Out2Enroll launched operations Sept. 12 with a briefing at the White House that featured remarks from Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett, Secretary of Health and Human Services head Kathleen Sebelius and various LGBT health experts.
In a separate posting on the White House website Sept. 17 under the banner “President Obama and the LGBT Community,” Sebelius explained the importance of the LGBT community to the success of Obamacare.
“All of this is good news for the LGBT community, particularly when we consider that one in three lower income LGBT adults in our country do not have health insurance,” Sebelius said. “Starting October 1, they are going to have the opportunity to sign-up for quality, affordable coverage through the new Health Insurance Marketplace for coverage beginning as early as January 1, 2014.”
Sebelius said “most of these Americans are not yet aware of their new options.”
“You don’t have to be an expert to figure out what we need to do to get the word out. It’s outreach. It’s education. It’s communication,” she said.
Sebelius recounted the Sept. 12 event in which she joined with Jarrett and nearly 200 LGBT community leaders and allies from across the country for a briefing on Obamacare and the LGBT community.
“The purpose of this briefing was to equip community leaders with the tools, information, and resources they need to get involved and help local LGBT communities get access to quality, affordable health care,” she said.
A 21-minute YouTube video shows presentations by Jarrett and Sebelius at the Sept. 12 event.
Jarrett made clear in her presentation that the White House considers advancing the LGBT agenda with Obamacare a moral imperative. She equated discrimination against the LGBT community to discrimination against women that Supreme Court rulings have addressed.
Sebelius said that 19 days before the official Oct. 1 implementation date for Obamacare, HHS was determined to move forward with Obamacare regardless of any problems or barriers.
She reminded those attending the briefing that Obamacare is “a law that is going to happen in spite of the efforts of some of our friends on the Hill who continue to debate this issue as if it were a political debate.”
She went on to add that Obamacare is “what I like to call ‘a law,’ a law that was passed, signed, upheld by the Supreme Court, and the president got re-elected.”
To reinforce the point a third time, she said, “This is a law and people are entitled to these benefits.”
Sebelius echoed Jarrett's statement that the LGBT community was entitled to constitutional protection for gender identity and sexual-practice differences.
“The journey isn’t complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like everyone else under the law,” Sebelius said, “and that is a critical framing statement. And [President Obama] has made it very clear that belief needs to be enacted throughout he administration.”
'Requiring insurers to cover'
Protecting our right to access quality, affordable health insurance. Starting in 2014, the health care law prevents insurers from denying us coverage or charging us a higher premium because of a pre-existing condition or because we are LGBT.
Removing lifetime dollar limits on coverage. That means that people with chronic diseases, like HIV/AIDS, cancer and mental health concerns, can get the care we need. And starting in 2014, all annual limits will be illegal, too.
Promoting wellness by requiring insurers to cover preventive care at no additional cost. LGBT adults and teens can get screened by a health professional for HIV and depression without paying co-pays or deductibles. Other preventive services, like cervical cancer screening for sexually active women, obesity counseling for people at risk, and well-woman visits are also covered at no extra cost.
Helping more LGBT Americans find affordable health insurance. Starting Oct. 1, 2013, all Americans without insurance and those looking for better options will have a new place to shop for plans, the Health Insurance Marketplace, and may qualify for lower costs on monthly premiums.
HHS introduced a graphic on June 26 during “Gay Pride Month” to market Obamacare to the LGBT community:
HHS stressed that by "protecting consumers, promoting prevention, and expanding access, HHS and the Affordable Care Act are now leading the way to greater equality, security, and wellness for LGBT Americans – one more reason this is a Pride Month to celebrate!”