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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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Oklahoma Court Strikes Down State Abortion Law

Posted by Bethany Sousa, Senior Counsel | Posted on: August 19, 2009 at 09:15 pm

by Bethany Sousa, Senior Counsel,
National Women's Law Center

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