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Affordable Care Act

A Week In Review: Same Sex Marriage, Charleston, and Human Worth

Recently there have been a whirlwind of monumental shifts in our country,  and although this blog is focused on the very specific goal of highlighting and promoting women in the criminal defense field, I feel compelled to discuss these events. By far, the most powerful among them was the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell vs. Hodges, and the related cases that held that same-sex marriage is a guaranteed Constitutional right.  At first glance this case appears to be about marriage, but in reality it sheds light on much deeper issues of human rights.  This case was about equality and human worth – as Frank Bruni, Op-Ed Columnist from the New York Times, so eloquently stated in Our Weddings Our Worth; “It was about worth. From the highest of this nation’s perches, in the most authoritative of this nation’s voices, a majority of justices told a minority of Americans that they’re normal and that they belong — fully, joyously and with cake.” This was not the only significant case ruling this week. The day before the same-sex marriage ruling, the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act.  Otherwise known as Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act provides healthcare to all Americans. This is yet another huge statement about how we strive to see worth and value in every citizen, by assuring them access to medical care. There was also the memorial for the horrific shooting in Charleston, and the video of President Obama delivering a powerful eulogy that moved our nation. Hopefully his words serve to heal some of the pain caused by the hatred and bigotry behind that senseless crime.  This event forces us to remember that prejudice and bigotry are alive and that we must continue fighting to assure that every person is treated equally and with value regardless of race, sex, or sexual orientation. Lastly, it would be negligent to not mention that the Supreme Court also issued a ruling on Friday relevant to criminal defense in Johnson v. United States.  The case determined that imposing an increased sentence under the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA) residual clause was a violation of due process due to the fact the clause was unconstitutionally vague. As criminal defense attorneys we, more than most, understand fighting and struggling for others to see the worth and value in every citizen.  Our clients are often society’s most hated and disregarded citizens.  At the core of what we do is the belief that a person is more than the worst thing that they have done in their life and that they have worth beyond a criminal act.  The theme that rings loud and clear this past week is a theme we appreciate and have to value.  When our nation demonstrates compassion and understanding in the way that it has this past week, we are all better for it. The post A Week In Review: Same Sex Marriage, Charleston, and Human Worth appeared first on Women Criminal Defense Attorneys.
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How to Get an Obamacare Deadline Extension

An Obamacare deadline extension is coming to the rescue of Americans who say they won't be able to enroll in health plans via the federal insurance marketplace by the March 31 deadline. The extension, announced Tuesday, is an attempt to prepare for a last-minute surge of people trying to sign up before the deadline. That sudden spike could leave some people unable to get through the system. Here's what you need to know about who's eligible for an Obamacare deadline extension and how to claim it: Who's Eligible for an Extension? All consumers who have begun to apply for coverage on HealthCare.gov, but who do not finish by Monday, will have until about mid-April to ask for an extension, The Washington Post reports. (The official cut-off date for extensions has not yet been announced.) The extension is based on an honor system: No one will be asked why they need an extension. The following groups of people will especially benefit from the extension: People who already have a place "in line" by the deadline to complete enrollment, either online or over the phone; People whose applications have been held up because of the website's technical problems; and People who haven't been able to get through the system to calculate subsidies to help them pay for coverage. Claiming an Extension Consumers will be able to claim an extension by checking a blue box on HealthCare.gov to indicate that they tried to enroll before the deadline. But since it's an honor system, Big Brother won't be trying to find out whether the person is telling the truth, the Post reports. Starting about mid-April, people will no longer be able to get extensions through HealthCare.gov. Instead, consumers will need to request them through one of the federally sponsored call centers nationwide. However, the grounds for an extension during that period will be narrower, such as having a new baby, getting a divorce, losing a job with health insurance, or experiencing technical difficulties while signing up through HealthCare.gov. Through a method called "self-attestation," people will be trusted to tell the truth about why they need more time to enroll. If you've been procrastinating on enrollment, now would be a good time to start the sign-up process -- if only to be able to get an extension. Related Resources: U.S. to extend some Obamacare enrollment past March 31 deadline: report (Reuters) Heath Care: What is the Individual Mandate? (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life) What Is Obamacare's Penalty for No Health Insurance? (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life) Who Is Exempt From Obamacare's Mandate? (FindLaw's Law and Daily Life)
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