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Senator Kennedy’s Commitment to the Economically Vulnerable Encouraged Us All

Posted by Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security | Posted on: August 26, 2009 at 04:19 pm

by Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security, 
National Women's Law Center

Senator Kennedy always fought the good fight, and inspired others to do the same. Some were high-profile struggles to ensure health care for all, expand civil rights, and increase the minimum wage -- and many people will be remembering those. Others were less well known –- but also received his passionate and personal attention.   

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Senator Kennedy's Passion for Making It Right for Children

Posted by Helen Blank, Director of Child Care and Early Learning | Posted on: August 26, 2009 at 02:53 pm

by Helen Blank, Director of Leadership and Public Policy, 
National Women’s Law Center 

Ted Kennedy touched all of our hearts when he led the audience of children, legislators, and advocates in singing the Eensy Weensy Spider at the ceremony held in the House of Representatives to mark the passage of the 2007 Head Start reauthorization.

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Know the Facts About Health Reform

Posted by Lisa Codispoti, Senior Counsel | Posted on: August 25, 2009 at 06:56 pm

by Lisa Codispoti, Senior Advisor, 
National Women's Law Center 

Summer may be coming to an end, but the fight for health reform is just heating up. And with the misinformation machine in full swing, it is crucial that each of us educate our network about why we can’t wait for health reform.

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Weekly Round-Up

Posted by Mary Robbins, Program Associate | Posted on: August 24, 2009 at 03:09 pm

by Mary Robbins, Program Associate, 
National Women's Law Center 

The Nation looked at “Why Women Need Healthcare Reform.”

Soo Ji Min wrote at the American Forum about the harmful consequences of the Illinois parental notification law.

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Health Reform: Good for Mothers, Good for Families

Posted by Julia Kaye, Former Health Policy Associate | Posted on: August 21, 2009 at 05:29 pm

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

Cross-posted from Say Ahhh!

There is a common misconception that all low-income people -- or, at least, all poor parents -- are eligible for Medicaid. It may derive from a mistaken comparison with Medicare; an assumption that just as Medicare covers all people above a certain age, Medicaid must cover all people below a certain income level. In fact, only certain, limited categories of low-income people -- children and pregnant women are two examples -- are currently eligible for Medicaid, and the income threshold for each of these eligible populations varies by state.

While most states do not provide Medicaid coverage to childless adults at all -- even those without any income -- parents with dependent children are categorically eligible for Medicaid. In other words, states must cover some parents. However, because states are given great flexibility in setting the income eligibility threshold for parents, even very low-income parents often do not qualify for coverage. In Arkansas, a parent is only eligible for Medicaid if her income is below 17 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) -- $3,112 a year for a family of three. In Alabama, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri, and Texas, a parent of two making more than $5,310/year is ineligible for Medicaid. It's no wonder that, as Martha Heberlein previously noted, 41 percent of parents with incomes below 150 percent FPL are uninsured.

It is important to note that when we talk about "parents" and Medicaid, we're mostly talking about women. Over 20 million women are covered under Medicaid, comprising the majority (69 percent) of the program's adult beneficiaries. Women are more likely than men to qualify for Medicaid because they tend to be poorer and are more likely to meet the program's stringent eligibility criteria. Women are also more likely to hold low-wage or part-time jobs that do not offer employer-sponsored health benefits, so Medicaid may be their only possible source of coverage.

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Fired Up and Ready to Go: Health Reform Advocates Brave Summer Heat to Show Support

Posted by Candace Webb, Outreach Manager | Posted on: August 20, 2009 at 09:55 pm

By Candace Webb, Outreach Manager, 
National Women's Law Center

Today, several National Women's Law Center staff members braved the summer heat and joined hundreds of other enthusiastic advocates for a health care reform rally near the Democratic National Committee headquarters. We were all eager to greet the President’s motorcade as he approached the site of where he would discuss the importance of passing real health reform this year.

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