Yes, you may omit the being in almost all circumstances, and it has no effect on the meaning.
The only situation I can think of in which you must use being is when you are describing a temporary behavior rather than enduring quality, just as you distinguish “John is being a jerk” from “John is a jerk”.
And the only situation I can think of in which you should not use being is when the complement is an active participle:
okThe accident victim was described as walking with her head down.
∗ The accident victim was described as being walking with her head down.
A little playing with Google Ngrams suggests that in the early 19th century the two versions were in pretty much free variation, but incidence of the being version has steadily declined since then to 5%-10% of the incidence of the version without being.