National US health care plan, what does ‘public option’ mean?

Posted on March 29, 2010 by compassiontara at Bound, not Gagged

Thank you to Melora from SWOP-Boston for putting this all together.

Primary Source: TIME magazine
Secondary Sources:,,, various google searches (checking search lists for irregularities, will only site every source used upon request)


If you do not fall under one of the categories below, you will experience no change in coverage or costs. For the purposes of the following, Medicare means both Medicare, and Medicaid.

Have questions? Ask!

Have opinions? Dare to debate.

Effective 2010:

* Uninsured with pre-existing condition receive immediate coverage (though i have not yet put together HOW – it depends on a plethora of factors that vary from one individual to another including income, employment, and geographic.
* Uninsured and age 26 or younger are now approved to be covered by their parents’ insurance
* Insurers no longer allowed to deny care to a patient who becomes sick (currently private companies are able to suspend coverage of individuals who develop certain illnesses, despite having paid their premiums)
* Insurers no longer allowed to end coverage after a patient reaches a certain age (many companies will not cover you if you live past 80, for example)
* Insurers no longer allowed to deny coverage to children with pre-existing conditions
* Employers of small businesses to receive tax credits if they purchase insurance plans for their employees.
* Medicare prescription drug beneficiaries receive $250 as a stipend when they hit the doughnut hole.
* What is the doughnut hole? A rule in medicare part D prescription drug coverage that states that once Medicare has paid $2,700 in prescription drug coverage for an individual, they are then on their own to cover the full cost of prescription medications until they have reached $6,154 in prescription drug expenses.

Effective 2011:

* Insurers required to spend 80% of premiums collected on Continue reading

MS: Official wants phone records in prostitution case (or, Feds in our bedrooms)

By: The Associated Press | 02 Jul 2009 | 11:28 AM ET

JACKSON, Miss. – Dr. Roger Weiner, a Coahoma County supervisor accused of soliciting prostitutes on, wants records from a cellular telephone apparently used by an undercover agent involved in a sting operation.

Federal prosecutors claim Weiner thought he was meeting two prostitutes when he was arrested by the FBI at the Shady Nook truck stop on May 17. Weiner’s plan was to take the women to his cabin on Moon Lake near Clarksdale, according to court records. Continue reading

Seattle: Strip club boss Colacurcio, son and others indicted


One year after police raided his businesses, Northwest strip club mogul Frank Colacurcio Sr. and his son, Frank Colacurcio Jr., and four others have been indicted by a grand jury on allegations that they promoted prostitution inside their clubs.

In an indictment returned a week ago and unsealed Tuesday, federal authorities accuse the Colacurcios and their associates of racketeering, using interstate commerce to facilitate prostitution, money laundering and mail fraud. At issue are allegations that the strip clubs — Rick’s in Seattle, Sugar’s in Shoreline, Honey’s in Everett and Fox’s in Tacoma — were used as fronts for prostitution and allegedly garnered the men $25 million in the past four years. Continue reading

KS: Trafficking task forces prevailing

By Jan Biles
Created June 27, 2009 at 10:32pm
Updated June 27, 2009 at 11:56pm

Kristy Childs ran away from an abusive stepfather when she was a teenager, and within a few months found herself under the control of a pimp and turning tricks first in Denver and then in other cities across the country.

Sometimes, the teenager and the men paying to have sex with her would be arrested and taken to jail. She would be charged with prostitution while the men would be released and told not to go back to the area of town where prostitutes worked.

Childs didn’t understand why she was punished more harshly. Continue reading

What Obama should do to save lives

YEARENDER: Politics of sex
Posted : Tue, 16 Dec 2008 05:09:24 GMT
Author : DPA

Washington – If you don’t talk about sex, you can’t save lives. But sex is complicated, and when it collides with politics and science it usually generates controversy.

Sexual and reproductive health are uncomfortable subjects – emotionally charged, morally loaded and politically sensitive – because they delve into the most intimate aspects of people’s lives.

Public health experts are clear that all government actions must be based on scientific evidence, but say that for several years, reproductive health policies in the United States have relied more on morality than science.
They hope once president-elect Barack Obama takes office, he will reverse many of the regressive sexual health policies of President George W Bush’s administration, which have damaged the reputation of the US at home and at abroad, and potentially put millions of lives at risk.

“With the election of … Obama … (we) look forward to an end to the Bush administration’s relentless assault on women’s reproductive health and rights,” said Nancy Northup, president of the Centre for Reproductive Rights (CRR), a New York-based legal advocacy group.

“For eight years … we have suffered under the yoke of an administration that has suppressed science to the detriment of health and has done damage to constitutional and human rights value,” CRR wrote in a letter to Obama after his November 4 victory.

Continue reading

The Sex Workers Project Welcomes Increased Protections for Trafficked Persons


Last update: 12:32 p.m. EST Dec. 12, 2008

NEW YORK, Dec 12, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ — This Wednesday, in the waning days of the 110th Congress, the House and Senate passed the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, a bill which increases protections for people coerced into all forms of labor, including sex work.

“The bill will ensure better protection and assistance for immigrant victims of trafficking into labor and commercial sex, and will facilitate reunification with their families,” said Sapna Patel, a staff attorney at the Sex Workers Project. “It softens some of the burdensome requirements that trafficking victims must meet to obtain immigration status, making it easier for them to stay in the U.S. free from harm if they choose to.” Continue reading

Perpetuating the Prostitution Pledge: Allegiance to Failure

Sex Worker Rights Are Human Rights

By Juhu Thukral, On The Issues Magazine
Posted on August 28, 2008, Printed on August 29, 2008

The idea of sex workers fighting for their human rights is a foreign concept to most people, even those who identify politically as progressives or feminists. Sex workers have lived on the margins of society through most of human history, and despite the prevalence of this work all over the world, sex workers are often treated as less than human, both in cultural attitudes and public policy. In fact, it cannot be said enough: sex workers are people — friends, neighbors, family members, wage earners, and parents — and they deserve the same human rights as everyone else.

What Human Rights?

Feminists and advocates of all stripes have argued that they want to work for the human rights of sex workers, often without an analysis of what human rights for sex workers might look like.

While many people would agree that access to human rights includes the right to be free from harm, to have access to health care and housing, and to seek safe employment that pays a living wage, there is fierce debate as to what any of this actually means. Some feminists argue that sex work is inherently harmful and that the very act of trading sex for money is a violation of a person’s sanctity or dignity, and is, in and of itself, an act of violence. For these feminists, the story ends there, even when sex workers all over the world speak out, not to ask to be pulled out of sex work, but to demand that their rights be protected as they work.

Others, like the Sex Workers Project, believe that a human rights framework includes active participation of sex workers from different backgrounds and experiences; efforts to combat violence, whether it is at the hands of customers or of the police; advocate for public health programs that promote the autonomy of sex workers, and work to empower sex workers so that they can make the best choices for themselves and their families, assessing their life circumstances as best as they can. These elements are key to any effort to respect the human rights and health needs of sex workers; to properly assist those who want to leave sex work for other work, and to protect the rights and safety of those who continue in sex work.

Another key issue that gets less attention is the fight over the role of the criminal justice system. Some feminists view prosecution and punishment through the criminal justice system as the cornerstone for helping victims of violence. Others view rule of law as one of many important keys toward guaranteeing human rights, but argue that an excessive focus on the criminal justice system is detrimental to many marginalized groups, including sex workers, who have been victimized by the police. There are fundamental clashes between the needs of a criminal justice prosecution, and the needs of a human being who would most benefit from a rights-based approach.

Feminists Line Up Differently on Law Revision

These debates, often centered on agency and autonomy, might seem theoretical and unimportant in the realm of people’s daily lives. However, the debate often plays itself out in concrete policy terms, especially around the issue of human trafficking.

While human trafficking involves the experience of force, fraud, or coercion in any type of labor, such as domestic work, agricultural labor or sex work, it has been salaciously painted as being synonymous with prostitution. The idea that prostitution equals trafficking has been burned into the public mind by lurid headlines that scream of victims rescued from their captors, often without follow-up news items that might explain that the reality is more complicated, and that any number of prostitutes decided to go into that work because it was a way to make enough money to live on and also support their families, who are often in other countries.

Feminists who wish to abolish prostitution entirely have found strong allies in the Christian right and in the Bush administration. The efforts to incorrectly equate prostitution and trafficking as the same have culminated in recent efforts around the federal anti-trafficking law that Congress has been considering for reauthorization in 2008 (final vote still pending in early July).

The House version of the legislation includes a dangerous and unnecessary change to the Mann Act, a federal law that prohibits interstate travel for the purpose of prostitution. This change has nothing to do with human trafficking, and thus far, the Senate has bravely withstood pressure from some feminists and have not included this expansion in their version of the bill, SB 3061.

The federal anti-trafficking law, enacted in 2000, already defines anyone under 18 who is involved in commercial sex acts, and anyone in prostitution who experiences force, fraud or coercion as a victim of human trafficking. Changing the definition of trafficking so that law enforcement does not need to look at a person’s age or experience of coercion (the heart of the trafficking crime) will put the focus squarely on prostitution, rather than on labor and prostitution situations in which people are living under a climate of fear and experiencing genuine human rights abuses.

Are We Listening?

As law enforcement look for more victims, they will inevitably arrest more sex workers, and will lessen their focus on people who are trafficked into sectors other than prostitution. This will lead to untold harms to people who have been trafficked into other labor sectors and who cannot receive the help and attention they deserve; and to those who work in prostitution for reasons as diverse and complicated as any that go into deciding how to make money and build a life. At the Sex Workers Project, we find that most of our clients go into sex work because they can make more money and work more flexible hours than in other industries. In our 2005 study, 67 percent of the sex workers we interviewed did not make a living wage in other jobs such as waitressing, administrative work, or retail. For many, sex work was not their only form of work — 46 percent supplemented their income from mainstream jobs with sex work.

The people we see every day at the Sex Workers Project are just like everyone else — they want to know that if they are a victim of a crime, that they will receive the same attention as anyone else. What they do not want is to be classified as a victim of human trafficking as they go about the complicated business of living their lives and supporting their families as best as they can.

All feminists need to agree that when we hear the voices of sex workers advocating for their human rights, we need to really listen, rather than impose our own views of what life decisions we might deem acceptable.

Juhu Thukral, Esq., is the director of the Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center in New York City. She has been an advocate for the rights of immigrant women in the areas of health, work, and sexuality for fifteen years.

© 2008 On The Issues Magazine All rights reserved.
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Taking On the Traffickers

August 23, 2008
NYT Editorial


The Federal Trafficking and Victims Protection Act of 2000 was an ambitious attempt to rescue women and children who are smuggled into the country as sex slaves and to step up prosecution of the pimps and traffickers who drive this ghastly business. It has fallen short on both counts.

The law is now up for reauthorization, and Congress must strengthen it and extend protections and services to victims born in the United States.

The legislation provides federal funds to local trafficking task forces made up of prosecutors, law enforcement officials and social service groups. The social service groups are supposed to help identify victims and then provide them with the guidance and support they need to rebuild their lives.

According to federal estimates as many as 17,000 people — most of them women and children — are brought into this country and forced to work in brutal and inhumane conditions, often as prostitutes. The 42 federally funded task forces that have been set up have only been able to identify a small fraction of those victims.

There are many reasons for this. Traffickers are experts at moving people around without being detected. They also train the women they exploit to fear the police. The task forces are often understaffed, with too few investigators to do the job effectively. That needs to change if the country is going to get at this problem.

Prosecutors are also having a hard time making cases against traffickers and pimps. Even victims who are not too terrified to testify, must meet a very difficult standard. They must prove that they did not consent to become prostitutes and did so because of “force, fraud or coercion.”

The House reauthorization would help prosecutions by adding the Mann Act’s somewhat easier-to-prove standards that calls for prosecution of pimps who “persuade, induce, entice” women into prostitution. The Senate should add that language as well.

The social service groups that help prostitutes on the streets have zeroed in on another serious shortcoming: the government’s failure to protect and support sexually exploited women and children born in this country. The House reauthorization requires the Justice Department to conduct a study of domestic victims so that there is at least an understanding of the scale of the problem. That would be a start but is not enough.

Congress was right to take on the problem of sexual trafficking. Now it needs to pass a more effective law; one that will provide real protection and help for all exploited women and children.

Legal Momentum Applauds Senators Biden and Brownback on the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act

Last update: 3:41 p.m. EDT July 21, 2008
NEW YORK, July 21, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — As the oldest legal advocacy organization dedicated to advancing and defending the rights of women and girls, Legal Momentum stands with our allies who work every day with trafficking victims to support the Senate version of the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act co-sponsored by Senators Joe Biden and Sam Brownback.
“The United States Congress enacted historic legislation eight years ago, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, to combat the scourge of human trafficking,” said Legal Momentum’s President Irasema Garza, “and this legislation has helped thousands of victims escape slavery and receive protection, while their traffickers are prosecuted.”
But these gains are in jeopardy because of a House-passed bill that would distort the definition of human trafficking by expanding it to include adult prostitution.
Victims’ advocates and survivors oppose equating adult prostitution with human trafficking. Under current law, human trafficking is defined as labor or commercial sex performed under force, fraud or coercion or any commercial sex performed by minors. The House legislation proposes a major change in this definition. It removes the force, fraud or coercion requirement from adult commercial sex cases. By doing so, it places under federal jurisdiction cases, which are traditionally the province of state and local authorities.
Changing the definition will not make trafficking cases easier to prosecute. In fact, by requiring federal authorities to expend resources investigating adult prostitution cases which are traditionally under the jurisdiction of state and local authorities, it will spread thin the resources dedicated to policing trafficking. It will harm the most vulnerable victims of human trafficking — children — by reducing the resources dedicated to finding and prosecuting predators who go after children.
The Senate bill improves victim protections and strengthens the ability to prosecute human trafficking. It builds on the House-passed bill and expands protections for minors who are trafficked, and eliminates many of the obstacles trafficking victims have faced in accessing protection. This bill goes far beyond any of the prior reauthorizations and reaffirms the United States’ commitment and leadership towards eliminating modern-day slavery.
While trafficking cases are difficult to prove, federalizing prostitution will not make trafficking cases any easier to prosecute. The Department of Justice stands in solidarity with the Fraternal Order of Police, the National Association of Attorneys General, and the National District Attorneys Association, all of which agree with victim’s rights, women’s rights and human rights organizations and the Senate bill on the need to preserve the current definition of human trafficking.
Any change in the legal definition of human trafficking attacks the fundamental integrity of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) and will severely undermine our government’s ability to battle what is now an international trade in children and women. Senators Biden and Brownback have taken a courageous stance to protect women from modern-day slavery. Their bill expands our country’s commitment to protect vulnerable women and girls beyond the historic efforts to which our government dedicated itself with adoption of TVPA eight years ago.
SOURCE Legal Momentum

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