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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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Weekly Round-Up

Posted by Andrea Maruniak, Media Manager | Posted on: December 14, 2009 at 10:34 pm

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

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The Medicare Buy-In Option: What We Would Like to See

Posted by Kelli Garcia, Senior Counsel | Posted on: December 14, 2009 at 08:04 pm

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

Although NWLC strongly supports a real public option, the alternatives under consideration by the Senate nevertheless require scrutiny. One such alternative, the Medicare buy-in for Americans between the ages of 55 and 64, has important implications for women, who currently comprise 51% of the uninsured in that age group. Under the proposal, people aged 55 to 64 would have the option of purchasing health insurance coverage through the Medicare program. 

Although the specific details of the program are currently unknown, it is likely that until the proposed health insurance exchanges are in place, the coverage would be available for purchase without subsidies, but once the exchanges are active, federal subsides could be used to purchase the coverage through the exchanges. The Medicare buy-in could address some of the barriers to health care access that currently plague older uninsured adults, who are more likely than younger uninsured adults to be in poor health and have a one-in-five chance of having two or more chronic conditions.

Women in particular could benefit from the increased access to health care. Even among the insured, women are more likely than men to report having difficulty obtaining needed health care because of cost. In contrast, compared to those with employer-sponsored insurance coverage, Medicare beneficiaries report that they have easier access to physicians, have fewer billing problems and are more likely to get needed tests and medications without facing costs or access problems. In fact, they are generally more satisfied with their insurance coverage than those with employer sponsored plans.

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Rosie the Riveter High School Breaks Down Barriers for Women in Non-Traditional Careers

Posted by Kolbe Franklin, Program Associate | Posted on: December 10, 2009 at 03:37 pm

by Kolbe Franklin, Program Associate, 
National Women’s Law Center

Rosie the Riveter took the country by storm as the symbol for women in non-traditional careers during World War II. Over 60 years later, her legacy is influencing an entirely new generation of men and women.

Enter Rosie the Riveter High School.

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