Health Care Reform Passes: What’s Next, Gaymos? (Is Rush Limbaugh Moving to Costa Rica?)

HEALTHCARE: If you feel confused about this $940 billion dollar health care plan, then check out this New York Times Health Care Chart. And clearly the Huffington Post, which never wants to impose itself upon your time, has the hearing condensed into ten minutes and laid out some of the challenges facing the bill. Furthermore, NPR, the smartest people in the world, have a variety of resources on Health Care on their health care page.

Also, if you missed it the first time around, This American Life did two great shows about health care a few months back which are definitely worth a listen (and I would not understand health care if I hadn’t listened to them): More is Less and Someone Else’s Money.

Further Reading:

RUSH LIMBAUGH:

+ Rush Limbaugh said he would go to Costa Rica if health care passed. So is he gonna go now? We’re ready. He can go now.

LGBT FEELINGS:

+ NGLTN: Executive Director of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force Rea Carey released a statement about this historic measure and the importance of GLBT people being counted and getting equal rights.
+ Joe my God has a list of all the house Dems who voted against Health Care Reform.
+ The HRC is “disappointed” that Congress abandoned the LGBT health care provisions. (@queerty)
+ Andrew Sullivan: “This is an important victory — the first true bloodied, grueling revelation that his persistence, another critical Obama quality, finally paid off in the presidency. He could have given up weeks ago, as the punditry advised (because they seem to have no grasp of substance and mere addiction to hour-to-hour political plays). But he refused. That took courage. And relentlessness.” (@the daily dish)

WOMYN FEELINGS:

+ Abortion: “Baby Killer:” Or, How The Abortion Health Care Compromise Pisses Off Everyone. (@jezebel)
+”In the end, after all the posturing and breast-beating and fighting over abortion and health care reform, we’ve come back full circle to the Hyde Amendment. That would be the same old familiar old restriction on federal funding for abortion Congress passed in 1976.” (@slate)
+ Pelosi: Should women be happy with Nancy Pelosi for making health care happen? “It’s hardly an open question whether this was more a political victory than a policy victory: a year ago, Pelosi swore there would be a public option. There is none. There is no cap on what insurance companies can charge people with so-called pre-existing conditions, including being a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault — insurance companies just can’t refuse to cover you, but they can charge what they like and, worse yet, you’ll be required to buy it or pay a fine.” (@jezebel)

OTHER FEELINGS:

+ Michael Moore: The Great Thing About the Health Care Law That Has Passed? It Will Save Republican Lives, Too.
+ Reports of Health Care’s death greatly exaggerated.
+ Let the lawsuits begin! States start suing over Health Care Reform. (@phb)
+ John McCain is a crabby old man: “John McCain phoned in to Good Morning America today to announce that the GOP intends to overturn the health care reform bill via “lawsuits, tea party rallies, and the ballot box.” (@jmg)

PROM:
A hearing will be held today to hear a motion brought against the Itawamba School District by the ACLU. Constance McMillen is also suing the school district in federal court; both suits ask the school to overturn their decision. Since the official prom’s cancellation, a private prom has been set up by parents at the suggestion of the school, and Constance and her girlfriend have not been invited.

This is sad because who would not want to attend a prom at the Tupelo Furniture Mart, which is where the private prom will be held. ELVIS WAS BORN IN TUPELO you guys. ELVIS PRESLEY. So wtf. (@examiner)

TEA PARTIERS:
A bunch of tea partiers said crazy and offensive stuff, which seems like it shouldn’t even be news but it was so crazy and offensive we can’t not talk about it. Specifically, they shouted the n- and f-words at Representative John Lewis and Barney Frank respectively. Rep. James Clyburn, a veteran of the civil rights movement along with John Lewis, said “It was absolutely shocking to me… I led the first demonstrations in South Carolina, the sit ins… And quite frankly I heard some things today I have not heard since that day. I heard people saying things that I have not heard since March 15, 1960, when I was marching to try and get off the back of the bus.” Just to remind you who these people are and what they value, here’s a video of their protest in DC via Gawker:

Since the incident this weekend, several prominent Republicans have spoken out to denounce the racist and homophobic behavior. GOP Chairman Michael Steele said that “the incidents were “reprehensible,” and added, “we do not support that… What you had out there yesterday were a handful of people who just got stupid and said some ignorant things.” Some people, on the other hand, were less apologetic: Rep. Devin Nunes from California said that “When you use a totalitarian tactic, people, you know, begin to act crazy,” Nunes said on CSPAN. “I think that people have every right to say what they want. If they want to smear someone, they can do it.” (@gawker) (@pamshouseblend) (@wapo)

DISCRIMINATION:
A former partner at Korn/Ferry International, the world’s largest executive recruitment firm, tried to sue her company for discrimination against its gay employees, but the California Superior Court has refused to hear her case. “The lawsuit claims that Jeff Rosin, president of Korn/Ferry Canada, cautioned employees against associating with gay employees, including Ms. Smye, and that Mr. Rosin fired another Korn/Ferry employee, Denise Tobin-McCarthy, after learning that Tobin-McCarthy and Smye were dating.Today the Superior Court of California, Los Angeles, through a successful summary judgment proceeding, threw out Dr. Smye’s action, before she was even heard on the facts of her case, based on Korn Ferry’s assertion that the California Court does not have jurisdiction to hear the case; that the law of Florida applies, due to a choice of law clause that appears in the employment agreement between Korn/Ferry and Smye.” (@lezgetreal)

INDIA:
Plans are in the works in Delhi to change legislature that currently defines same-gender sex as criminal. “A communication from the MHA to the Ministry of Law and Justice, sent earlier this week, asks the latter to prepare a draft of an amendment Bill to the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the most striking feature of which is that Section 377 would no longer deal with the offence involving voluntary “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” between consenting adults of the same gender. ” (@indianexpress)

CENSUS:
You already know you should be queering your census, but do you know about, you know, all the rest of it? Mary “Bside” Buckheit is here to help you queermos out. (@queerty)

EDUCATION:
A college instructor in California is facing punishment from his university for teaching anti-gay rhetoric in the classroom. “An instructor at Fresno City College who made anti-gay remarks is in trouble with the administration after students complained that he was using the Bible to teach his Health Sciences class.
Administrators at the publicly funded school promised to take appropriate action against Dr. Bradley Lopez, who told his students that homosexuality is a mental disorder and should be treated with psychotherapy.
Students also complained that Lopez told students to use the Bible to explain climate change, the genetic makeup of Jesus, among other study assignments.
” (@sdgln)

WALES:
A gay couple was turned away from a private bed & breakfast when they tried to go for a weekend trip near Maidenhead, Berkshire on Friday. The bed & breakfast owner claims it’s her right to refuse service to whomever she wants, as she runs a private business out of her home. “A spokesman for Stonewall, the gay rights campaign group, said turning a couple away because of their sexual orientation was illegal. Derek Munn, director of public affairs, said: “Stonewall was delighted when the law changed in 2007 so that lesbian and gay couples could go on their holidays like anyone else. In open-and-shut cases of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation the law’s quite clear – it’s illegal for businesses to turn away gay customers or discriminate against them when providing goods or services, and this can’t be overridden by personal prejudice.” (@walesonline)

Rachel is Autostraddle's Managing Editor and the editor who presides over news & politics coverage. Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy." You can follow her on twitter and instagram.

Rachel has written 1076 articles for us.

48 Comments

  1. On the Limbaugh bit it should say Costa Rica instead of Puerto Rico.

    Limbaugh unfortunately said much earlier that he only meant he would go there for health care, not to stay. Sigh. Though if he wants to change his mind, I’d be glad to give him my frequent flier miles.

    Also, the kids in Constance’s school are a disappointment. But I have absolute confidence that their kids and grandkids will be appalled to learn that they went to a private prom that excluded gay couples.

    And oh yeah, Hey Itawamba Class of 2010: some of you are going to have gay kids. Probs within the next few years even. So try not to be asshats about it then too. Thanks.

    • Meanwhile, I have publicly stated that if our Supreme Court interprets HEALTH CARE as unconstitutional, I will no longer live in this country (or I should say, never again, since I don’t presently live in the US, anyway). That’s just too ridiculous. I will not live in a country where the highest court does that. Something is severely wrong with that country.

  2. Pingback: Dems: Send Rush to Costa Rica | Internet Buzz

  3. It’s been interesting to read the comments in the UK press re: Maidenhead. The more, shall we say, right-wing voices have flagged up the Bed and Breakfast owner’s Christianity as a good reason for why she is apparently in the right. Ahem.

    Religious Fundamentalism: a shield, a sword, and a legitimate excuse to act like an asshole. They should print that on Bibles.

  4. Limbaugh has taken the first step in his move by having his New York condo up for sale. You can view his gaudy showplace at:

    A place truly fit for the queen that Limbaugh is.

    • Rush is such a classless punk. I hate him. HATE. If I was in a room with him, Robert Mugabe, and Luis Echeverria, and I had a gun with two bullets, I’d shoot Rush twice to make sure he was dead.

  5. who is may bside and why have i never heard of her before? she is wonderful and should make another video explaining the new healthcare laws to me because right now, school has reduced my attention span to 0.

  6. I want universal health care because I don’t want to awkwardly explain to my friends in other, more reasonable countries why we hate poor people. And WHO THE FUCK says that healthcare is a privilege and not a right?

    • I know! Someone just made an “Americans need a pull yourself up by your bootstraps mentality” speech on their Facebook status. And I’m showing a lot of restraint by not shouting REALLY?! You really think YOU and the baby you just accidentally had at 21 would afford care if your parents weren’t so supportive? But other people who aren’t so lucky just aren’t trying hard enough???

      Health isn’t something you should have to EARN.
      And not having health care doesn’t mean you are lazy or even really poor. My family is very much middle class but without help from an employer and with pre-existing conditions, no coverage.

    • I think it goes beyond being a right or privilege, into the realm of just being a thoroughly sensible idea.

      When we learnt at school about why the NHS was created and all the acts that led up to it, the reason that has stuck in my memory is that it’s in your interests to look after the people that are going to make you money.

      Employers subsidise employees’ healthcare to maintain a healthy workforce, which leads to a healthier business, everyone concedes the logic in that. How is it a stretch of the imagination to realise that the general public is the workforce of the entire country, and it might be in your interest to spend a few dollars fixing someone up so that they get healthy enough to contribute back even more?

      A little over-simplified perhaps, but when I see clips of aggrieved riled people claiming that their money will be “stolen” to pay for poor folk, I’d like them to entertain the possibility that the poor folk might be significantly less poor if they were healthy enough to work, thus would be paying more tax, which might just mean that aggrieved riled person can pay a little less. i.e. consider the world beyond their own back yard.

      On your other point about America hating the poor… As an outsider, I find the whole thing odd. From personal experience and from various statistics, I know that Americans are the most generous people in the world, yet it seems like they have the hardest time giving to their own. Like, pull your socks up America please. Thanks.

      • I think that last statement has so much natural truthiness in it that we could probably sell it at an organic hippiemart as truth juice. I don’t really know what your deal is. We seem to assume that everyone in America who is poor got there because they are lazy or want to sponge off the government when I don’t feel that’s really the case.

        Anecdata: If I had been raised by a single mother, I would ave been homeless. After Mom died, there was nothing left from her estate. We’d mortgaged the house to pay for her treatment and end of life care, I had dropped out of school to take care of her…I would have been left with about 2,000 dollars and some family photos. As it was, I was able to move in with Dad, and get back on my feet. But not everyone has a parent to rely on, or maybe their parents are just as poorly off, and all it takes is one round of terminal cancer and poor healthcare to bankrupt someone.

          • Considering how frustrated I got just reading your story, I can’t imagine what an angering and numbing blizzard of shit you and your family must have gone through.

            While the desperate situation of the majority of the world’s population is bad enough, it seems somehow worse that the most advanced country in the world lets its hard-working citizens bankrupt themselves to fight to live, or to be able to die with dignity.

            This is not a new or exciting sentiment, but i feel like I have to rant on behalf of others because of a misguided sense of embarrassment over having been born with the privilege of universal health care which I don’t even currently need to use.

            Side note: am I completely weird and stuck in the past for feeling that trawling through people’s blogs is like an invasion of privacy despite them putting all that stuff out there voluntarily?

          • We’re like the only first world country that doesn’t have a public option I think and it’s NUTS. And how nuts is it that we had to lose mom’s house to pay for her care? Wtf, man.

            And I get what you’re saying, but yeah, people only put out there what they want others to know. And I always have this dream that someone finds something they can learn from or relate to in my stupid stories.

  7. I’m glad that, in theory, I don’t have to worry about dying when I’m out of grad school due to no health care.

    On the other hand, I’m not really psyched to pay the king’s ransom to have the privilege to stay alive. You KNOW they’re going to slam all us pre-existers with unaffordable plans.

    “Hey, it’s not OUR fault Wren is refusing to take the health care we offered her.”
    “But the plan you offered has monthly premiums 5 times her annual income.”
    “Yeah, but we OFFERED it to her!”

  8. America is so crazy! I wish i had time to read and understand all those links but I suppose it’s more important for people who actually live in America. Anyway, I’m happy that change is happening!

  9. Dude, Costa Rica is great! What? Is moving here supposed to be an insult or something?? Our health care ALREADY IS universal. … ¬¬ I really don’t appreciate this… 🙁

  10. I apologize in advance for the rant and over sharing that’s about to happen… I’m a park ranger. It’s an awesome fucking job. The only problem is that I only get insurance for about half the year. I get paid in the winter, but I don’t have to go in to my park much, so I don’t get health insurance. I spend my late fall, winter, and early spring volunteering at an animal shelter and as an EMT because I feel like I should give back to the world. A little over a year ago I was diagnosed with aplastic anemia, a disease that’s going to fucking kill me without a bone marrow transplant. And then still might kill me. I can’t get insurance to cover me year-round because now it’s a pre-existing condition. My half-year insurance won’t cover my treatment unless I’m actively working, which I won’t be BECAUSE I’M SICK AND NEED A BONE MARROW TRANSPLANT. I can’t just get treatment and pay it back because it’s going to cost millions of dollars. That’s a lot of zeros, friends. Watching other people bicker and call each other names and generally act like babies while determining if I have the right to live or die is the most scary, upsetting, and angering thing I’ve ever had to do. I feel like it’s some awful cosmic joke or something. Like people can’t really think that denying people healthcare is a good idea, right? Apparently 212 people do.

    • See? You SHOULD move to Costa Rica :D. Actually a lot of “gringos” (Americans) come here to receive medical procedures! It’s cheaper and although I don’t like the whole idea of “medical tourism” I think you should do it. I’m sorry about the situation in the States though… 🙁 You should look at it this way though… at least you CAN get married in some states there… homophobia here won’t ever allow that. EVER. I MEAN IT. (ok maybe if you guys do approve it on a federal level we might go “OOOOH daddy America did it! Let’s follow Dad’s footsteps!”)

      • Ok what I meant is… no country is perfect. 🙁 but we, the citizens of Costa Rica, would gladly pay for what you need to live a happy, healthy life. I mean it. If you really wanna think about it I guess I could help you get info. 🙂 (oh man I sounded like an ad but I really do say it from the bottom of my heart)

        • The idea of medical tourism has always made me angry, and still does, but I’ve been thinking about it. The problem I keep running into is the amount of time I’d have to be in the country. I’m going to need to be in a hospital for about 6 months.

          And you’re right, no country is perfect. I don’t understand why people have such problems with basic human rights.

          Thank you for your kind words!

          • Oh, you’re right about that… My gf is from the States and she was volunteering here for six months. She told me she had to leave the country for more than one day every three months. So, I don’t know how that would work… But like I said, I’d be glad to find out for you.

  11. I haven’t quite figured all this insurance stuff out yet but I wish there was some sort of public option (with no bans on pre-existing conditions) that started *yesterday* because I am unemployed and uninsured and my asthma meds are running out tomorrow and the doctor won’t authorize a refill unless I make an appointment to actually go in a see her, and just refilling the script without insurance is expensive enough. I just want to not die and not be overcharged for being a fat asthmatic. Is that asking too much?

    • I’m about to admit to illegal activities, but with good reason. I have asthma too and I didn’t want to have to pay to go to the doctor just so he could tell me what disease I have and have had for 30 years! So, I now have a “pusher” for my inhalers–my aunt. She gets a Rx and has too many, so she mails them to me. *wink-if you need the hookup with an inhaler for a while, let me know. we will create our own health care system…autostraddle style.*

  12. i was at the rally in DC yesterday of health care professionals who support reform, which was planned way earlier but because of the Sunday vote was more of a show of appreciation/support. anyway a few members of congress spoke at the press conference and it was really encouraging, because even though the bill is far from what it needs to be, it’s a huge step in the right direction. and it’s going to get worse before it gets better, but it’s not going to go back to the way it was. and it’s only a matter of time before the ignorant masses begin to realize that this bill is going to help them, too.

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