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Improving Maternal Health by Including Nurse-Midwives: Kudos to New Jersey

Posted by Grace Lesser, Program Assistant | Posted on: August 14, 2009 at 08:00 pm

by Grace Lesser, Program Assistant, National Women's Law Center

This week, one governor’s signature signified a big step for maternal health. During a visit to the Newark Community Health Center, Governor Jon Corzine of New Jersey signed a maternity health bill that would allow nurse-midwives the authority to make medical decisions around the disability benefits of their patients. 

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Paula Abdul and Pay Equity – an Expert Opinion

Posted by Robin Reed, Director of Online Communications | Posted on: August 13, 2009 at 07:37 pm

by Robin Reed, Online Outreach Manager, 
National Women's Law Center

You might’ve heard, if you’ve been following your entertainment news, that Paula Abdul is leaving “American Idol” due at least partly to a dispute over her pay. Abdul was said to earn millions less than her male co-stars Simon Cowell and Ryan Seacrest.

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Whole Foods CEO Fails to See the Whole Picture When it Comes to Health Reform

Posted by Julia Kaye, Former Health Policy Associate | Posted on: August 13, 2009 at 01:11 pm

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

I, like some Presidents who shall remain nameless, happen to be a big fan of both arugula and Dijon mustard. When I can afford it, I love to splurge on Whole Foods produce and dairy. John Mackey, co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market Inc., clearly has a vision when it comes to creating a high-quality, environmentally-friendly grocery store.

However, his op-ed on health reform in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal reveals a significant blind-spot when it comes to the realities of low- and moderate-income people’s lives and the barriers they, particularly women, face to accessing health care. Mackey argues that health reform as currently envisioned is too expensive and unsustainable; that health care is not an “intrinsic right”; and that first and foremost, American adults are responsible for their own health (just eat better, ok?). In addition, Mackey’s op-ed promotes eight health reform policies that fail spectacularly to address the challenges women face in accessing affordable, comprehensive health care—and in some cases, exacerbate them.

Let’s assess his op-ed point-by-point:

1)    Health reform is too expensive: Though Mackey includes the perfunctory “While we clearly need health-care reform” before arguing that we nevertheless can’t afford health care reform that will create “new unfunded deficits,” he fails to acknowledge the high costs of failing to pass health reform. The Urban Institute estimates in a new report that, “absent reform, total health care expenditures, public and private, will total $33.0 trillion, over the ten years 2010-2019.” Without reform, “there would be considerable loss of employer coverage, particularly among the middle class, and a substantial increase in the number of uninsured.” Additionally, “employer costs would also increase substantially, as would costs to individuals and families from higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs.”

Moreover, the House Tri-Committee health reform legislation (H.R.3200) raises questions about Mackey’s dire warnings of so-called “unprecedented new taxes” and “unfunded deficits.” The House bill is paid for fairly and responsibly. It achieves this through a combination of measures: reducing excessive subsidies to the insurance industry and pharmaceutical companies; reforms to slow the growth of health care costs; requiring individuals, employers, and government to share responsibility for obtaining or providing coverage; and proposing a progressive tax on the richest 1.3 percent of Americans for a total tax increase that is far less than the amount this group received from the Bush Administration’s tax cuts for the 2001-2010 period.

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NWLC in the News

Posted by Mary Robbins, Program Associate | Posted on: August 12, 2009 at 02:52 pm

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

MSNBC, August 10, 2009
Five reasons behind soaring health care

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New Study Claims Women Responsible for Glass Ceiling – What?

Posted by Kolbe Franklin, Program Associate | Posted on: August 12, 2009 at 01:56 pm

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

A headline yesterday morning caught my eye and made me pause – it read, “Study: Women create own glass ceiling.” Instantly wary, I clicked on the link hoping that the headline was possibly misleading. Or perhaps the author meant to write that a study revealed successful strategies for combating the glass ceiling?

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EEOC says Catholic-Affiliated College Must Provide Insurance Coverage for Contraceptives

Posted by Jill C. Morrison, Senior Counsel | Posted on: August 11, 2009 at 07:30 pm

by Jill Morrison, Senior Counsel, 
National Women’s Law Center 

The Charlotte District Office of the EEOC has just ruled that Belmont Abbey College discriminated against women when it removed coverage for contraceptive drugs from its employees’ health insurance plan. Read all about it here.

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Health Care '09 - It's Up to Us! What's at Stake and What You Can Do

Posted by Thao Nguyen, Director of Outreach | Posted on: August 11, 2009 at 06:50 pm

by Thao Nguyen, Outreach Manager, 
National Women's Law Center

By now, you've probably heard about health care reform opponents making trouble at town halls all across America.

They are trying to kill health care reform by interrupting a productive, rational conversation about what reform will do for you and me. We can't let them stifle debate or we will not win reform this year.

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Take Action: Support the Early Learning Challenge Fund

Posted by Helen Blank, Director of Child Care and Early Learning | Posted on: August 11, 2009 at 04:16 pm

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

Parents and advocates know that getting kids ready for college starts with early learning. That's why the Early Learning Challenge Fund is such a key component of the higher education legislation — the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act that the House will soon consider.

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