•••••••••• July 2016 ••••••••••
What Low Income LGBT AIDS Treatments?
Many of you now reading this are under the illusion that if one is poor, he is covered for all his health needs at zero cost...especially since the advent of Obamacare’s expanded Medicaid. This is poppycock, though exactly what the government and mainstream media want you to believe. The truth is that our state, California, is a blue state, and thus has accepted expanded Medicaid.
While I don’t think anyone destitute enough to be eligible for Medi-Cal should be charged any share of cost, the Golden Bear State instituted share of cost (SOC) in 2007 under the watch of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Though it is absurdly based on the cost of living 18 years prior: 1989 (and never been raised since)! Which means that Medicaid will not kick in until you’ve paid the remainder of your income above $600. For example, if you collect $1,100 monthly, your SOC will be a whopping $500 per month.
Other blue states have followed suit, except for a few fair-minded ones such as Minnesota, which charges zilch on incomes below $1,301. For affirmation of my claim, get on the web and check out: http://tinyurl.com/SOC411
How does this impact low-income LGBT’s in San Francisco? Very badly, as you can imagine. “But can’t they go to free services such as the city clinic, to make up for this shortfall?” you may be asking right now. Well, for some things, yes, such as certain vaccinations and STD treatments. But not for preventing or healing AIDS. While they offer PrEP and PEP capsules under Medi-Cal billing, you are still required to match your SOC first, which is impossible for those collecting Social Security whose monthly income exceeds $600 (unless they starve or go homeless in order to cover the cost, I guess). Thus you’ll be charged out of pocket the full price, even though in this meager financial state you’re lucky if you can cough up $10.
This means that, while affluent queers now enjoy partying and humping to their heart’s content with no fear of HIV complications, the poor in our community remain stuck in a virtual 1980’s era of the “gay plague.” For should they be unlucky enough to contract that disease (and more likely they will for obvious reasons), low income LGBTs cannot afford any AIDS treatment, as well. As I walk by billboards and posters of handsome young men smiling because they only need a single pill to vanquish This Demon of Decimation, and live a good life, I shudder to think of my brothers (and some sisters) who must live in terror and misery due to denial of such a providential cure.
Thanks to the wonders of medicine provided only to the affluent for whom the poor, such as myself, remain invisible and even unwelcome. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party elitists pat each other on the back over the “miraculous” success of Medicaid.
Ezekiel J. Krahlin
•••••••••• April 2016 ••••••••••
Blackish, season2/episode 18: in the first minute of the show the wife picks up a biohazard bag from the kitchen table and says, “Jack’s lunch almost gave him AIDS.” I know she plays a surgeon on that show, but I find that joke highly offensive. And ignorant, ‘cause you can’t get AIDS that way. Early in the first season, Blackish has made an occasional “gay” joke in bad taste, too. Just feeling pretty disheartened after their sterling episode two weeks prior.
•••••••••• May 2015 ••••••••••
Our so-called Queer Community
I have no idea what some LGBT folks find so wonderful in our so-called Queer Community. My experience of many years living here (since 1973 believe it or not) has been mostly filled with sabotage of relationships and backstabbing. Not just in the alcoholic-dysfunctional scenario of gay bars, but in our everyday life throughout San Francisco. While I have achieved many breakthroughs on behalf of gay rights, I remain vilified by petty idiots, some of whom are established and respected for their own pro-gay efforts. The exclusivity of San Francisco’s Homophile Family is almost as egregious as the worst of our homophobic enemies. We cannot expect any sort of liberation if our own brothers and sisters in power mock and injure those good souls who fight bravely for same-sex-lover liberation. All I can conclude is no wonder so many among us commit suicide that has nothing to do with homophobia, but everything to do with evil wrought upon our own kind, by our own kind.
Ezekiel J. Krahlin
•••••••••• October 2014 ••••••••••
Yes on H
The November election pits a grassroots initiative protecting Golden Gate Park against a SF Recreation and Park Department (RPD) park power grab.
The Rec and Park Department has been pushing to demolish the natural grass fields at the Beach Chalet soccer fields in western Golden Gate Park to make way for a seven-acre artificial-turf soccer field containing toxic tire waste and 150,000 watts of stadium lighting on 60-foot-tall poles. Located right next to Ocean Beach, the lights would be kept on until 10 p.m. every night of the year.
This summer more than 15,000 San Franciscans signed initiative petitions to give you the opportunity to weigh in on this project by casting a simple “yes” or “no” vote on putting artificial turf and sports lighting in the western part of Golden Gate Park. Proposition H also requires the City to maintain those same sports fields as grass.
But, fearful of San Franciscan’s love for Golden Gate Park, Rec and Park created a competing initiative, Proposition I, which amends the Park Code to “authorize renovation of children’s playgrounds, walking trails and athletic fields where a certified environmental impact report documents at least doubling in anticipated usage.”
But, Prop. I presents a Pandora’s Box of unforeseen consequences for all of San Francisco’s parks.
Prop. I is unnecessary – Rec and Park already possesses the authority under the City Charter to renovate city parks; it is misleading – it does not provide any new funding for renovations; and Prop. I’s dependence on “anticipated usage” data opens the door for Rec and Park staff to create their own data. The department can then use that data to decide unilaterally which projects should take precedence in your neighborhood park.
Additionally, Prop. I’s “doubling in usage” criteria could be tied to virtually any development, including commercial or private activities in your parks.
Prop I impacts your control over your local park. Prop I supporters have already admitted that Prop I would prevent any new laws from being passed to protect a park after a project had been through an EIR. Prop I’s impact on the public’s right to challenge or appeal a project - or even to file a ballot initiative – is unclear.
Prop I is not “for the children.” In reality, Prop. I is just a thinly veiled Rec and Park power grab, disguised as a measure that will somehow benefit children. Protect your say over your parks.
If you want to maintain control over your park – your playing fields, your playgrounds and your walking trails – then please think seriously about voting “no” on I.
To protect Golden Gate Park, join the 15,000 people who signed petitions and vote “yes” on H.
For more information, go to the websites at www.protectggp.org and www.sfoceanedge.org.
Katherine Howard is a landscape architect and community activist who helped put Prop. H on the ballot.
© Castro Courier 2018