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NWLC in the News

Posted by Andrea Maruniak, Media Manager | Posted on: November 18, 2009 at 08:09 pm

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

The Colorado Independent, November 17, 2009
Colorado Health Insurance Lobby Vows to Fight Mandatory Maternity Coverage

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Register Today: Call on State Early Childhood Advisory Councils

Posted by Helen Blank, Director of Child Care and Early Learning | Posted on: November 17, 2009 at 06:28 pm

by Helen Blank, Director, Leadership and Public Policy,
National Women's Law Center,
and Danielle Ewen, Director of Child Care and Early Education,
CLASP

So what are states doing with economic recovery funds that are allocated to fund State Early Childhood Advisory Councils?

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Tell Your Senators that You Need It All

Posted by Judy Waxman, Vice President for Health and Reproductive Rights | Posted on: November 17, 2009 at 04:10 pm

by Judy Waxman, Vice President for Health and Reproductive Rights, 
National Women's Law Center

Why should women have to make a trade-off between our ability to get abortion coverage and trying to eliminate other unfair and discriminatory insurance practices against women in health reform?

We shouldn’t.

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Putting Women Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Accept a System That Insures More People, Lose Your Reproductive Rights

Posted by Micole Allekotte, Fellow | Posted on: November 17, 2009 at 02:39 pm

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

Ezra Klein recently posted to his blog about how the Stupak amendment unfairly limits low- and middle-income women’s access to insurance plans that cover abortion. 

The House health reform bill creates an insurance exchange where people who receive government subsidies will go to choose among insurance plans. The Stupak amendment forbids plans that are offered to people who receive subsidies from covering abortion. This means that people receiving subsidies will not be able to buy a comprehensive insurance plan that covers abortion, even if the abortion coverage would have been paid for using the personal premium dollars and not the subsidies (which was the compromise reached before the Stupak amendment). Because most people will receive subsidies, insurance plans on the exchange will also be unlikely to offer a separate comprehensive plan that covers abortion for non-subsidized individuals, so even people who do not receive subsidies at all may not be able to find a plan that covers abortion on the exchange. 

Mr. Klein’s post reminded me of three thoughts:

1) Low income women already get no respect when it comes to being allowed to make reproductive decisions. All women should have the right to make whatever decision is best for themselves and their families. But Medicaid doesn’t cover abortions because of the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funds from being used for abortion except in extremely narrow exceptions. Only 17 states use their own funds to cover all medically necessary abortions for women on Medicaid. Health reform makes many more women eligible for Medicaid, which means more women will have health insurance, but at the expense of the government taking the power to make personal decisions away from women.

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Weekly Round-Up

Posted by NWLC Intern, Intern | Posted on: November 17, 2009 at 12:15 am

by Katherine Beauchemin, Communication Intern, 
National Women's Law Center 

The American Prospect took a look at Title IX through the eyes of a father as he witnessed the positive impact of Little League baseball on his daughter.

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NWLC Files Comments with Georgia Department of Education

Posted by Kolbe Franklin, Program Associate | Posted on: November 16, 2009 at 09:55 pm

On September 30, the Center filed comments [PDF] with the Georgia Department of Education regarding the state’s proposed new rule on homebound instruction services.

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Abortion Coverage Matters: The High-Stakes in the Fight Over the Stupak Amendment

Posted by Kelli Garcia, Senior Counsel | Posted on: November 16, 2009 at 03:18 pm

by Kelli Garcia, Fellow,
National Women's Law Center

Some proponents of health-care reform are urging those who support abortion rights to accept the restrictions imposed by the Stupak Amendment in the name of the “greater good.” What is health insurance coverage for abortion compared to extending coverage to 35 million Americans, they ask? According to Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne Jr., the whole debate is a bunch of fuss over nothing much. He cites a 2001 study by the Guttmacher Institute that found that only 13 percent of abortions in 2001 were billed directly to providers as support for the notion that the Stupak Amendment will have little real impact on women. Of course, as the Guttmmacher Institute notes, this number is misleading for two primary reasons.

First, the study looked at all women who obtained abortions in 2001, including women on Medicaid and those who were uninsured. Obviously, women who are uninsured will not have abortion coverage and current law restricts federal funding for abortion services for Medicaid recipients (although some states do use their own funds to pay for abortion coverage). According to the Guttmacher Institute, had they looked only at women with private insurance, the percentage of abortions billed to insurance companies would be “substantially higher”.

Second, the study did not include women who obtained reimbursement from their insurance company directly, which is relatively common, because many abortion providers are not part of private insurance networks. The Gutmmacher Institute also found that in 2002, 87 percent of typical employer-based insurance policies covered medically necessary or appropriate abortions. Notably, “the 87 percent of plans that covered abortions did not include those plans that offered abortion coverage only in very limited circumstances, such as rape and incest, or to protect the woman’s life.”

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