Obamacare covers veterans

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 — The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, made health insurance plans in the United States more inclusive, affordable and accessible. The act also requires all citizens and permanent residents sign up for health insurance that meets a certain standard.As a veteran, if you are signed up for any of the VA health care programs, then you already have insurance that meets the federal standard and you do not need to do anything under the new law. If you are a veteran not enrolled in VA health care, you can apply for immediate coverage at any time. Generally, there are no enrollment fees, monthly premiums or deductibles. However, some members may have small co-payments for services or prescription drugs.Information about VA health care eligibility can be found at va.gov/healthbenefits/apply/veterans.asp.

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County celebrates 150th anniversary

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 —America, as we know it, is a young country. Even though some historians argue Leif Erickson or some of his Viking family members or friends may have landed in the new world before Columbus, we usually trace the recorded history of our continent as far back as only 1492. Of course, we should recognize native peoples inhabited this land for many millennia before the Europeans arrived in their sailing ships.

In the centuries after Columbus many settlers came to the new world seeking fame, fortune and freedom, and, with the Declaration of Independence, a new country began in 1776. Almost from the beginning, emigrants moved westward from the Atlantic shores creating farms and towns and eventually cities, counties and states.

Read more: County celebrates 150th anniversary

VA offers dental insurance program

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 — VA has partnered with Delta Dental and MetLife to allow eligible veterans, plus family members receiving care under the Civilian Health and Medical Program, to purchase affordable dental insurance. More than 8 million veterans who are enrolled in VA health care can choose to purchase one of the offered dental plans.This three-year pilot program has been designed for veterans with no dental coverage, or those eligible for VA dental care who would like to purchase additional coverage.Participation will not affect entitlement to VA dental services and treatment.

There are no eligibility limitations based on service-connected disability rating or enrollment priority assignment.People interested in participating may complete an application online through either Delta Dental at deltadentalvadip.org, or MetLife at metlife.com/vadip.Coverage for this new dental insurance began Jan. 1. Also eligible for the new benefits are nearly 400,000 spouses and dependent children who are reimbursed for most medical expenses under VA’s civilian health program.Generally, civilian health participants are spouses, survivors or dependent children of veterans officially rated as “permanently and totally” disabled by a service-connected condition.

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Land of the free, home of the brave

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 — I had the honor of spending some time recently with a man born and raised in Montgomery, Ala., during the escalation of the civil rights movement in the South.

  Charlie Hardy, who is now 73, grew up in an era when “every facet of life was segregated.” From schools to drinking fountains to restaurants, segregation was a fact of everyday life.

  This remained true, especially down south, even after the 1954 Supreme Court ruling in Brown vs. Board of Education. That unanimous decision stated “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal,” paving the way for desegregation in all aspects of life.

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Change is coming to our political landscape

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 — They say nothing is certain in life except death and taxes. Somebody needs to add change to that list, especially when it comes to the political landscape here in Susanville and Lassen County.

A number of elected officials have decided they will not seek elective office in the city and the county, making room for new candidates with new ideas. To many of our neighbors, that’s a good thing.

Voters in the city of Susanville will elect at least one new member to the city council. Councilmember Cheryl McDonald has decided not to seek re-election. Residents have an opportunity to select two councilmembers from seven candidates seeking office, including incumbent Mayor Rod De Boer. Two councilmembers will be elected in the June Primary Election and seated before July 1.

Read more: Change is coming to our political landscape


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