Tag Archives: President Barack Obama

Harlem, wondering what are most common Health Care Reform Q and A’s? Learn more here

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Harlem, the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, has been in the news for quite some time. Whatever your position is about this subject matter, learning more about it empowers us all. EmblemHealth provided an article to HarlemGal Inc that covers some of the most common questions and answers about Obamacare. Given the significance around the subject matter, this blog is sharing the article in its entirety. Hope you find it helpful -HG.

Answers to the Most Common Health Care Reform Questions

By Sana Hashmi, Director of Health Care Reform and Product Design at EmblemHealth.

Through the open enrollment period, more than 1 million New Yorker’s are expected to sign up for health insurance online through NY State of Health, part of the national health care reform law known as the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare. But what do you need to do and how do you do it?

Experts from EmblemHealth have been answering a lot of questions. To help New Yorker’s choose an insurance plan, below are some of the most common questions and the answers.

Q. What is the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare?
In 2010, President Obama signed this law to make quality, affordable health care available to more Americans and offer financial assistance to those who need it most. It also requires most Americans to have health insurance starting in 2014 or pay a penalty.

Q. What happened October 1?
NY State of Health, the state’s health insurance marketplace, opened. You can learn all about it at http://www.nystateofhealth.ny.gov. Anyone who enrolls in a health plan between October 1 and December 15 will be eligible for health insurance starting January 1, 2014. The deadline for enrolling on the health plan marketplace in the first enrollment period is March 31, 2014.

Q. Do I need to sign up for health insurance?
Unless you already have health insurance, the answer may be yes. The federal law says that most people in the US (legal residents and “lawfully present” immigrants) must have health insurance starting in 2014 or pay a penalty. If you don’t have health insurance right now, the law is designed to help you get an affordable plan.

Q. How can I afford health insurance?
People who qualify will be eligible for tax credits and subsidies to help lower the cost of coverage. Household income and family size are used to decide who gets help with costs and how much help they can get. You may be eligible for this help if your income is between 100% and 400% of the Federal Poverty Level. The only way to know the exact dollar amount is to apply through the marketplace.

Q. Am I eligible for subsidies or tax credits?
Many people will be. Under the new law, you may get financial assistance when you apply for a plan on NY State of Health. You may get tax credits to lower monthly payments, subsidies to lower out-of-pocket costs when you go to the doctor, Medicaid (no-cost health coverage) or Child Health Plus (a low-cost health plan for young people up to age 19).

Q. I already have insurance but my spouse needs it. Will my salary affect her ability to receive a subsidy or a tax credit?
Yes. Eligibility for tax credits and subsidies is based on total household income.

Q. How do I sign up and what information do I need?
You can sign up for a health care plan online, in person, over the phone or by mail. You will need social security numbers for all family members you plan on enrolling, or document numbers for legal immigrants. Also, have employer information and income information at hand, and policy numbers for any health plans covering members of the household.

Q. Can I enroll my entire family?
Yes. The law requires most citizens and legal residents to have health insurance.

131021-obama-healthcare-hmed-240p.380;380;7;70;0Q. I have health insurance through my company. Will I need to sign up on NY State of Health?
If you have health insurance through your employer, you may not need to sign up. To be sure, ask your employer’s health benefits administrator (the person who assists with health benefits) or someone in the human resources department.

Q. I heard the new employer mandate was delayed. How does this affect me?
The employer mandate was delayed until January 2015. Once it takes effect, employers with 50 or more full-time workers must provide adequate, affordable health care coverage to their full-time employees or pay a penalty. (Adequate, affordable coverage means the plan covers 60% of total health care expenses and costs employees no more than 9.5% of their household income.)

If you have health insurance through your employer, you may not need to sign up. If you don’t have health insurance through your job, you can visit NY State of Health to look at your options. For more information, ask your employer’s health benefits administrator (the person who assists with health benefits) or someone in the human resources department.

Q. Can I still buy insurance directly from a health insurance company?
Yes, you can buy health insurance directly from a health insurer. But financial assistance is available only through NY State of Health.

Q. What are “metal” plans?
All health insurers participating on NY State of Health will offer four types of metal plans — Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum plans. They cover the same benefits but, between health insurers, differ in monthly costs and in the choice of doctors, hospitals and other health care providers. “Catastrophic” plans will be available for people under age 30 and others who qualify. This plan covers essential health benefits, routine preventive-care services and three annual visits to a primary care doctor at no out-of-pocket cost to you. It has similar benefits as the metal plans, but different costs.

Q. What will be covered?
All health insurance plans will be required to provide coverage for these essential benefits:
1. Routine doctor visits
2. Visits to the emergency room
3. Hospital care
4. Maternity and newborn care
5. Mental health and substance-abuse treatment
6. Prescription drugs
7. Habilitative and rehabilitative services
8. Laboratory tests
9. Preventive and wellness services and chronic-disease management
10. Pediatric services, including vision care
Certain preventive care services, like cholesterol tests, will be covered at 100% so that it’s easier to stay healthy.

Q. I don’t want health insurance. Will I be penalized?
If you don’t have health insurance in 2014, you may have to pay a penalty when you file your taxes. For 2014, the penalty is $95 per adult and $47.50 per child or 1% of taxable household income — whichever is higher. For example, if you are a single adult with $50,000 of taxable income, the penalty would be $500.

The penalty will go up each year until 2016, when it will be $695 per adult and $347.50 per child or 2.5% of taxable household income — whichever is higher. After 2016, the penalty will continue to go up with the cost of living.

It’s important to think about more than just cost when considering your options. Health insurance is essential to protecting both your physical and financial health, in case something happens.

Q. Where do we go for more information?
The NY State of Health website, nystateofhealth.ny.gov, is a good place to start. Customer service information is available at 1-855-355-5777. EmblemHealth also has extensive information at emblemhealthreform.com.

Traffic jam expected in Harlem today, Michelle Obama hosting spouses of Heads of State at Studio Museum, Dance Theatre of Harlem expected to perform

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Look out for a traffic jam today in Harlem around The Studio Museum in Harlem, i.e. 125th between Lenox Ave and ACP! Why? Our First Lady Michelle Obama will be hosting an afternoon event at The Studio Museum in Harlem for the spouses of Chiefs of State and Heads of Government participating in the UN General Assembly, which is happening all week.

Mrs. Obama is expected to will deliver brief remarks at the event and the Dance Theatre of Harlem is planning to perform for the First Lady and her guests.

As for traffic, expect major delays and back up leading up to 125th Street from East to West. To get the latest on traffic, HarlemGal Inc recommends following @gridlocksam for the latest!
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Celebrate Martin Luther King Day and President Obama’s Second Inauguration at Ginny’s Supper Club in Harlem

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Lots to celebrate this coming Monday. And if you need a place to celebrate in Harlem, Ginny’s Supper Club in Harlem, 310 Lenox Ave, is inviting us all over. In celebration of Martin Luther King Day and President Obama’s second inauguration, Ginny’s Supper Club will host two special events.

The first is an inauguration watching party at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, January 21st. Guests can order from Marcus Samuelsson’s acclaimed upstairs restaurant and Red Rooster Harlem, while watching a live-feed of the inauguration downstairs at Ginny’s Supper Club. In 2011, the President Obama held a swanky fundraiser at Red Rooster Harlem and in 2009, Marcus Samuelsson was chosen to cook the Obama Administration’s first State Dinner.

The celebration of Dr. King’s dream continues into the evening of January 21st, with a two-set special performance by Amanda Brown of The Voice. Brown’s performance will be complemented by excerpts of Dr. King’s iconic “I have a Dream” speech. Ginny’s small plates and playful cocktails will round out the celebratory evening. Guests can make reservations by calling 212-421-3821 in advance. There is no cover. Shows start at 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.

Harlem’s Democracy Prep Public Schools to host ‘Inauguration of a DREAM’

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This January 21st, Democracy Prep Public Schools, which operates six charter schools in the Harlem area, will be hosting “Inauguration of a DREAM: a Celebration of Education, Service, and Democracy” from 10 am to 4 pm at the Harlem Armory. This event is free and open to the public. It will feature live music, guest speakers, food, door prizes, and community service opportunities to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This event will coincide with the second Presidential Inauguration of President Barack Obama.

If interested in attending this event, please RSVP by January 15 at Eventbrite.com.

Democracy Prep is a growing network of six free, open-enrollment, high-performing no excuses public charter schools committed to preparing scholars for success in the college of their choice and a life of active citizenship. Teachers and staff currently educate more than 1,500 scholars in grades K-12 at six schools across the Harlem neighborhood. To learn more about Democracy Prep Public Schools, visit their website.
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Where to watch 2012 Presidential Debates in Harlem?


The first political boxing match, aka Presidential Debates, is happening this Wednesday, October 3, and so far two establishments have reached out to HarlemGal Inc. announcing they will be showing the 2012 Presidential Debates on the big screen at their establishments.

The Harlem4Obama organization will be hosting a viewing party at the Corner Social located on 126th Street and Lenox Avenue. So if you want to watch President Obama verbally take down Gordon Gekko, aka Mitt Romney, head to the Corner Social!

Over on Frederick Douglass Blvd., Harlem Food Bar, one of the new dining establishments on Harlem’s restaurant row, will be showing all three debates this month at their 2100 FDB location, starting this Wednesday, Oct. 3rd at 9 pm. And Harlem Food Bar will also be having an Election night party. So mark your calendar for November 6.

I have a feeling more Harlem dining establishments will host Presidential Debate viewing parties. If you’re aware of more viewing parties happening in Harlem, please chime in!

Putting the boxing terminology aside and name calling, this is a serious matter. HarlemGal Inc. encourages all Harlemites, no matter which political party affiliation, to watch all the 2012 Presidential Debates. And more importantly, do not forget to get out and vote on November 6, 2012. See you at the polls!

My photos of President Obama appearing at the historic Apollo Theater in Harlem




I had the privilege and delight of attending a fundraiser to re-elect President Obama at Harlem’s Apollo Theater (read actual tweets here). The event was filled with great entertainment from Lin-Manuel Miranda MCing, to India Arie performing, to the Rev. Al Green blessing us with his singing sermon. And yes, POTUS Obama sang too, i.e. Let’s Stay Together. Here are a few photos from the Jan. 19 event at the Apollo. Hope you like them! Enjoy!

More tickets available to see President Obama at Harlem’s famous Apollo Theater, January 19

I just checked out the Facebook page of Harlem4Obama and its says there are more $100 tickets available to the January 19 event, which is The Obama Victory Fund Concert. Go to this link here and get your $100, $300 or $5000 tickets. They just added more this evening.

I am going with another fellow Harlemite. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I don’t want to miss it! Hope you will join me in seeing President Obama at the Apollo!

What should President Barack Obama order at Red Rooster Harlem?

Mar 29, 2011 @ 7:00
By HarlemGal
The barricades are up on Lenox Avenue and 125th Street, the $30k checks are in, and the articles have been written about how POTUS Barack Obama will be in Harlem this evening (March 29) at Red Rooster. I feel like I have all the information that’s out there about this visit with the exception of one thing! No one has covered the menu for this swanky fundraiser-that I am aware of. I wonder if there is a special menu for 30 grand. Let’s pretend there is not a special menu and that President Obama is using the everyday dinner menu for this expensive occasion. Under this scenario, shall we ask the question? What should President Obama order at Red Rooster?

First off, I think he should hang out at the bar for a while and throw back a few drinks, such as the Brownstoner or Rooster Punch. POTUS Obama needs to drink a lot so that he can move the Secret Service out-of-the-way in order to stand close to the window so some of us can see him from afar. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Then after a few cocktails, Obama should sit down with guests that should be asked to fork over another $30k for actually getting to eat at Red Rooster before most Harlemites get to and then discuss reelection strategy over cornbread, Pulled Pork; and Dirty Rice and Shrimp. Those food items seem appropriate for the conversation and asking for the additional funds…don’t ya think?

For the main course, I believe Obama should either have the Braised Oxtail or the Uptown Steak Frites. For $30,000 dollars a head, OBAMA PLEASE DON’T EAT CHICKEN or FRIED YARD BIRD. That is a no, no given the price guests are paying to dine with an awesome POTUS. Plus the Food Network police will never forgive you or Marcus if you eat chicken at such an expensive event!

As for desert, it is a toss up on what Obama should order. I like both the Sweet Potato Doughnuts or Spiced Bread Pudding. I have had them both and they are delicious!

After his fabulous meal at Red Rooster Harlem, I hope President Obama walks a long rope line near the popular restaurant and shakes plenty of Harlem hands. My guess is there will be a ton of people waiting and watching for him to arrive and depart. Given who President Obama is and what Harlem stands for, in my opinion it would be a perfect way to end the evening to what I am assuming will be a perfect meal.