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Musicians And Artists Have Special Stake In Obamacare Success

NOV 19, 2013 – Musician and filmmaker Julie Sokolow saw firsthand the problem her and other musicians and artists in the Pittsburgh area having the same problem she had, trying to find an affordable health care insurance plan for a single person. So, she formed an organization called "Healthy Artists" to push for a single-payer health care system.  After the ACA, or "Obamacare", was rolled out she started using the organization to help musicians and artists not only learn more about the Affordable Health Care Act, but also help it roll out more smoothly and be successful. Musicians and artists have a special stake in the successful roll out and implementation of the ACA, because many musicians are self-employed and have never even thought about health care and insurance. Read more about Julie in her work on PittNews.com here, and check out Healthy Artists website here. Watch musician-activist Matt Dull from the group Young Brokaw talk about getting a bill for $1200 because he had no health insurance after he slipped on the ice. He talks about the need for everyone to have health insurance, so please sign up if you do not have health insurance yet. In some states it is very low cost, and many people will get subsidies to help you pay for it. JTMP asks our musician supporters to sign up for health care insurance through the exchanges by December 14th, 2013 by going to the government's health care insurance exchange website here.

Maine Approves Medical Marijuana For Veterans With PTSD

NOV 13, 2013 – We have been honoring veterans all this week since Monday was Veterans Day, and one way we can "support the troops" is to support legal medical marijuana in your state for one possible treatment for veterans with PTSD. There have been many studies showing medical marijuana can be used as a treatment in a wide variety of health issues, and PTSD is one of them. Dr. Sue Sisley in a YouTube video by MAPS below explains the evidence showing medical marijuana can be beneficial in treating PTSD. One organization, Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access, is working hard at getting veterans access to medical marijuana.

Earlier this year, Maine's state government approved PTSD to be on the list of conditions patients can get medical marijuana prescriptions for and Governor Paul LePage quietly signed it into law. In an article on CannabisNews.org, retired Marine Corps Sgt. Ryan Begin, who lost part of his arm in an IED explosion and suffers from PTSD, talks about using medical marijuana to treat his pain and PTSD saying, "It balances me. Instead of being on a roller coaster, you're more even keeled. You don't get too far up, and you don't get too far down." Maine joins California, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, and New Mexico that allow vets to use medical marijuana to treat their PTSD, which can consist of flashbacks and anxiety attacks.  JTMP urges our supporters to contact your state and local officials, and tell them you support the troops, and you support medical marijuana for use in treatment of PTSD by veterans.  (photo credit: ODea/CC)

Obamacare Rolls Out

OCT 1, 2013 – President Barack Obama's Affordable Health Care Act rolls out a huge piece today, the "mandate"; the requirement for individuals to carry health insurance. The AHCA, or "Obamacare", requires that all persons who do not have insurance already either through your employer or whatever, purchase individual insurance in the "Health Insurance Marketplace" the federal government has set up where one can shop around, and get the lowest price. In fact, it is similar to when the conservatives were whining about "exchanges across state lines". Now, one is not tied down to the health insurance company that one's employer uses either. People are now free as an individual to purchase a competitive policy. In fact, early reports coming in is that most of us will be paying very little, as little as $28 a month. Many people in poor states such as Mississippi will pay as little as $8 a month.  Read more about the low costs reported by the CBO on CBSNews.com.

So, if you do not have health insurance through work or an individual insurance policy, or you are not covered under Medicare or Medicaid, head on over to HealthCare.gov and get your heath insurance going. Senator Angus King (I-ME) said right-wing extremists who are using the government shutdown to try and stop "Obamacare" are "guilty of murder"; because having health insurance saved his life. When you have health insurance and you have checkups, they may find cancer early like they did with him; the doctor will remove it before it gets worse and save your life. Having more people access to check ups will save lives, and money. For it costs more to treat a disease in the later stages. This, and millions of other people joining the market, should bring the "cost curve" down. For more info, check our HealthCare.gov.  (Photo credit: Pete Souza/CC)

Registering For Health Insurance Under Obamacare Also Registers You To Vote

REPUBLICANS FURIOUS (OF COURSE)

SEP 27, 2013 – JTMP believes health care is a human right and a civil right, and we support steps like Obamacare that takes us toward a better system. We actually support Medicare For All, but hopefully this is a step towards a more universal and fairer system in doling out health care to our citizens. Turns out the Affordable Heath Care Act has an added benefit on top of getting people more access to our health care system, it automatically registers one to vote, and that is totally pissing off conservatives. Why are they always angry when our government tries to make it easier to vote? They fought the Motor Voter Bill, they hate early voting, etc. Addiciting Info has a great article on it, and how the roll out of Obamacare may crush their efforts of voter suppression at the state level they have been engaged in recently. Read more on AddictingInfo.org here. If you want to start your Obamacare registration check out HealthCare.gov, and register to vote…AND VOTE! Especially for midterms and the local and state level elections. VOTE EVERY TIME, EVERY ELECTION! 

Obamacare Premium Levels Lower Than Expected

AUG 26, 2013 – The Congressional Budget Office just released health insurance premium numbers for 36 states at the exchanges set up by the federal government, and they have come in at around 16% lower than expected. The new law will take effect in just 5 days, and this is good news, for it will make people feel more at ease and help them afford health insurance once the mandate kicks in. Yes folks, after October 1, 2013, one must do the responsible thing and purchase health insurance. The good new is the large pool and the exchanges might bring the prices down to a really affordable level; some people will just pay around $100 a year for health insurance. To read more on the low numbers, check out MotherJones.com here.

For those of of you who must buy health insurance after October 1st and need help, the Obama administration has set up the HealthCare.gov website. Just punch in your information, and they will tell you how you find affordable insurance; or they will let you know if you qualify for subsidies to help you pay for your health insurance. Check out the HealthCare.gov website for more information.

Linda Ronstadt Discloses Her Fight With Parkinson’s Disease

AUG 24, 2013 – Linda Ronstadt opened up publicly that she has been fighting Parkinson's disease for over 8 years, and it has taken away her ability to sing. Linda Ronstadt was a huge icon in the 1970s as a solo vocal performer selling tons of albums and tickets. About 8 years ago she noticed trembling in her hands, and then it eventually affected her vocal chords. She finally saw a neurologist who diagnose her with Parkinson's disease, and she was shocked. I remember rockin' out to Linda's albums as a teenager, cranking up her version of "When Will I Be Loved" and other great songs. JTMP wishes her good health and long life. You can read the interview on AARP.com here.  (photo credit: Carl Lender/CC)

Jon Bon Jovi, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson to Help Educate Public About Obamacare

July 24, 2013 – Jon Bon Jovi, Alicia Keys, and Jennifer Hudson will be teaming up with the Obama administration to help raise awareness and educate young people about the new Affordable Health Care Act, or "Obamacare", and how young people will need to be signing up  and buying individual health-care coverage as of October 1, 2013. This crowd is the toughest crowd to sell this too, because young people tend to not want to pay for health insurance, for they feel invincible, and don't feel they need it; but everybody needs health-care sooner or later. If young people do enroll in health-care coverage in droves, costs for health-care coverage should lower considerably. JTMP recommends that our young supporters enroll in health-care coverage, and help bring down the costs of health insurance, and get regular checkups, eat healthy, and make our society healthier and safer. The White House says they need about 2.7 million young people to enroll in health insurance coverage. 

The Obama administration have also urged organizations and websites to help in their efforts to educate the public about this, and JTMP will be helping out over the next few months. The website Funny or Die has pledged to make videos to educate young people about the Affordable Health Care Act, and other organizations will join in as the date draws closer.

If you are curious on how the Affordable Health Care Act will affect you, check out the Affordable Health Care Act website the White House has set up here.  Read more on WashPo here(photo credit: John Shankbone/CC)

Zach Sobiech and Ray Manzerek lose battles with cancer

MAY 20, 2013 – Two musicians lost their battle with cancer yesterday. One was the keyboardist Ray Manzerek from the iconic band The Doors, who lost his battle with a long fight with bile duct cancer. Manzerek was part of the 60s music social revolution, but spent his last years as a simple farmer with his family. The Doors guitarist Robby Krieger said in a statement, "I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and bandmate Ray Manzarek today. I'm just glad to have been able to have played Doors songs with him for the last decade. Ray was a huge part of my life and I will always miss him." The family asks that in lieu of flowers that people help out the great cancer-fighting organization, "Stand Up To Cancer".  (photo credit: KingTrivia/CC)

Also, on a very sad note, Zach Sobeich, a Minnesota musician who battled osteosarcama and whose video and song "Clouds" went viral, lost his battle with cancer and also passed at home surrounded by family and his girlfriend. His song "Clouds" was all about facing his mortality, and he had said, "I want everyone to know you don't have to find out you're dying to start living." His family said in a statement, “It is with heavy heart that we announce the passing of our son Zachary David Sobiech. Our family has been blessed not only by his amazing presence in our lives, but also by the love and support of our family and friends and by so many people in the community. In particular we'd like to thank those people who listened with their hearts and helped Zach bring his message and his music to the world.” Zach had worked closely with Children's Cancer Research Fund, and a group of celebrities had lip-synced his song in an effort to help raise funds for his struggle earlier this month. Zach's video of his song "Clouds" has received over 3 million views, and you can watch it below. JTMP calls for more funding for cancer research, and Medicare For All, so people don't have to fight bill collectors and health insurance companies while they fight cancer.

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