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Manager’s Amendment Restricts Abortion Coverage; The Final Bill Should Not

Posted by Micole Allekotte, Fellow | Posted on: December 23, 2009 at 02:48 pm

by Micole Allekotte, Health Fellow
National Women's Law Center

Why health insurance coverage of abortion is important

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With Senate Health Reform Passage Likely, Women Hold Out Hope for Improvements

Posted by Julia Kaye, Former Health Policy Associate | Posted on: December 22, 2009 at 04:41 pm

by Julia Kaye, Health Policy Associate, 
National Women's Law Center 

At 9:30am on Saturday morning, my cell phone buzzed. “Blizzard AND healthcare reform?” my friend texted. “Nelson budged!” Elated, I leapt out of bed and ran over to my laptop. “Democrats Say They Clinch Deal on Health Care Overhaul,” the New York Times declared. 

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Senate Health Reform Bill Must Be Improved in Conference

Posted by | Posted on: December 19, 2009 at 09:09 pm

NWLC Calls Abortion Compromise Unworkable and Unfair

Today, Senate Democratic leaders said they reached an agreement on the details of their legislation to reform the health care system.The following is a statement by Marcia D. Greenberger, Co-President of the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC):

“The Senate bill, while containing some major advances for women, falls short of what’s needed to truly protect women’s health.

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Pregnancy Is A Pre-Existing Condition for Expectant Dads Too

Posted by Brigette Courtot, Senior Health Policy Analyst | Posted on: December 18, 2009 at 08:42 pm

by Brigette Courtot, Policy Analyst,
National Women's Law Center

In the individual health insurance market, insurance companies are generally allowed to treat pregnancy as a “pre-existing” condition. In practice, this means that they can reject a pregnant woman’s health insurance application altogether or offer her a plan that excludes coverage for the care associated with her condition—in this case, maternity care.

Through our “A Woman is Not a Pre-Existing Condition” campaign, NWLC is working to raise awareness about this and a whole host of other discriminatory insurance industry practices that make it more difficult (or even impossible) for women to get the health care they need.

But lest you think that pregnancy complicates coverage only if you’ve got ovaries, I refer you to a recent Colorado news article featuring a healthy 41-year-old man who can’t get individual market insurance because he is an expectant father. His wife has job-based coverage, but it’s too expensive to add the family to her policy, and so he tries his luck—literally—in the individual market. He is routinely denied, and learns that the basis for his rejection is his wife’s pregnancy. 

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Hold That Line: Update on Abortion in Health Reform

Posted by Micole Allekotte, Fellow | Posted on: December 17, 2009 at 07:56 pm

by Micole Allekotte, Health Fellow, 
National Women's Law Center 

As the clock ticks down on a Senate vote on Health Reform, my high school cheerleaders’ rallying cry to the defense, “HOLD—THAT—LINE!” comes to mind. Health reform will ensure insurance coverage for millions of Americans who currently must go without, so this is a very high stakes game indeed. But as we advance towards our end goal of insuring all Americans, we are also playing defense on abortion rights.

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The Recovery Act: It’s a Wonderful Life-line

Posted by Amy Quinn, Senior Policy Analyst | Posted on: December 17, 2009 at 05:42 pm

by Amy Quinn, Senior Policy Analyst,
National Women's Law Center

State-by-state, the story is the same. Difficult economic times have brought high unemployment and threatened the economic stability of families and the nation. Yet, state-by-state, there is one common guardian angel for which we can be grateful this holiday season. 

According to a new report released today by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Recovery Act has lifted out of poverty thousands, and sometimes hundreds of thousands, of persons in each of the thirty-five states analyzed, totaling six million persons nationwide (state-level analysis was not performed for some states, due to insufficient data).

In addition, the severity of poverty was reduced for 32.7 million persons across the nation, thanks to the Act. As impressive as these numbers are, they are conservative estimates, as only seven of the Act’s many provisions were considered, representing $205 billion, or about one-fourth of the Act’s total spending. The complete report is available at

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Unemployed? Happy Holidays: Now You’re On Your Own

Posted by Nancy Duff Campbell, Co-President | Posted on: December 16, 2009 at 08:34 pm

by Nancy Duff Campbell, Co-President,
National Women's Law Center

Cross-Posted from Huffington Post.

Here’s a sobering thought for our holiday season: one million workers will become ineligible for unemployment benefits in January 2010 unless Congress reauthorizes the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)’s unemployment insurance and COBRA health insurance programs by the end of this month.

What a way to ring in the New Year: a vital lifeline that helped these jobless women and men keep a roof over their heads, put food on the table, and get medical insurance coverage will evaporate. By March the number of affected Americans could swell to more than 3.2 million workers if Congress doesn’t act.

One group of jobless workers is especially vulnerable: single mothers. The unemployment data released earlier this month show that 11.4 percent of women who head families are unemployed, compared to an overall unemployment rate of 10 percent. Since the recession began in December 2007, unemployment among women who head families has consistently been higher than the unemployment rate for men and women generally.

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NWLC in the News

Posted by Andrea Maruniak, Media Manager | Posted on: December 16, 2009 at 06:14 pm

by Andrea Maruniak, Program Assistant,
National Women's Law Center

Washington Examiner, December 13, 2009
Credo: Nancy Duff Campbell

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