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Same Sex Marriage To Do List: Check Health Insurance Options

Posted by Dania Palanker, Senior Counsel | Posted on: July 02, 2015 at 04:40 pm

When you’re planning a wedding, the to do lists just keep growing. You need a location. You need a caterer. A florist. An officiant. A health insurance assistor. A photographer. You need to pick out invitations, trim down the invitation list, pick the best health coverage option, choose a menu.

Wait, what was that about health insurance and health coverage?

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The Real Lives at Risk in the Supreme Court's Health Care Decision

Posted by Thao Nguyen, Director of Outreach | Posted on: July 02, 2015 at 04:28 pm

After all the politics have been debated and the newspapers recycled, the bottom line is that the Supreme Court’s decision in King v. Burwell means that millions of women will be able to keep their affordable health coverage.

And that saves lives.

LaDonna Appelbaum is one of those lives.

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Revenues vs. Spending Cuts: Misplaced Priorities

Posted by Maureen Moody, Intern | Posted on: July 02, 2015 at 10:46 am

Congress has taken an ax to programs that low- and middle-income families rely on. As a result, fewer families have been eligible for housing vouchers, fewer children have enrolled in Head Start, and workers across the country have lost access to valuable job training programs. Since 2010, Congress has slashed many non-defense discretionary programs by an astounding 15 percent [PDF].

Now, the House Appropriations Committee has approved a Labor, Health and Human Services funding bill [PDF] that would cut an additional $3.7 billion from critical health care, workforce training, and education programs. 

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The House's Spending Plan Will Harm Millions

Posted by Kandace Watkins, Legal Intern | Posted on: July 02, 2015 at 09:46 am

On June 24, the House Appropriations Committee approved the Fiscal Year 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services funding bill, announcing that the proposed “[l]egislation will rein in damaging regulatory overreach, roll back harmful ObamaCare provisions, cut wasteful spending, and target investments to proven national programs.”

Well, not really.

The bill would cut spending for the Departments of Labor, Education, Health and Human Services by about $15 billion (9%), compared to the President’s proposed budget.

According to the Office of Management and Budget, cuts to these so-called “wasteful” programs and “harmful” provisions would:

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King v. Burwell: It's Finally Over

Posted by Sami Alsawaf, Legal Intern | Posted on: July 01, 2015 at 03:18 pm

Has the Supreme Court had enough? Could we finally be done with challenges to the health care law? In King v. Burwell [PDF], the Court ruled against the most recent challenge to the health care law and upheld one of the key provisions in the law—tax credits are available to people enrolled through a federal or state Exchange. Along the way, the majority also made it seem as though they don’t plan to hear any more ACA cases.

To challenge the health care law, the Competitive Enterprise Institute recruited four people from Virginia who didn’t want to buy health insurance. The plaintiffs argued that the IRS impermissibly provided tax credits that made health insurance affordable in states, like Virginia, that have federally run exchanges.  They claimed they are harmed by these tax credits because, once health insurance is affordable, they will be required to purchase coverage or pay a tax penalty.  Without tax credits, they wouldn’t have access to affordable insurance, so there would be no tax penalty. 

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Add "Accommodating Pregnant Workers" to Rhode Island's Reasons to be Proud

Posted by Abigail Bar-Lev, Fellow | Posted on: July 01, 2015 at 09:50 am

Rhode Island was the thirteenth state to enter the Union in May of 1790, and the first of the thirteen colonies to renounce allegiance to the British monarchy.  As we approach Independence Day, Rhode Island has a lot to be proud of. And now it can add accommodating pregnant workers to that list.

Just last week, Governor Raimondo signed Rhode Island’s pregnancy accommodation bill into law. With this bill, passed unanimously, Rhode Island joins fifteen other states that make it unmistakable: employers must provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers.

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King v. Burwell: Victory for Women's Health!

Posted by Alex Hahn, Intern | Posted on: June 29, 2015 at 02:14 pm

Crisis averted! The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in favor of the Affordable Care Act. The case, King v. Burwell, challenged a key component of the law.

As a 24-year-old graduate student, I spend most of my time focusing on classes, internships and making the most of my time in school. My time shouldn’t be spent worrying about my health insurance. Before the ACA, my options for health insurance wouldn’t have been great. Fortunately, the law created more options for people like me. In particular, it provides tax credits to help people with low and moderate incomes buy health insurance through the Marketplace. About 28 percent of those enrolled in the Marketplace are young adults 18-34. A recent Supreme Court case put this coverage at risk.

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Young Parents Deserve Dignity in Health Care, Housing, and Child Care, Too!

Posted by Allie Bohm, Legal Intern | Posted on: June 29, 2015 at 10:36 am

Last week, I wrote about the recent Title IX Anniversary Young Parents with Dignity Briefing, which was co-sponsored by the National Women’s Law Center. But, I didn’t tell you the full story (too many words for one blog post!). The young mothers also talked about their struggles finding affordable healthcare, housing, and childcare.

Leydi Bautista, one of the young mothers on the panel, characterized her housing hunt as follows: “Discrimination comes first … I can afford to pay [the rent], but the [would-be landlord] asks all these questions that are uncomfortable like, ‘How big is your family?’ ‘Are you planning to have more kids?’”

Shatia Burks, another young mother panelist, who had graduated high school at age 15 and started college, nonetheless found herself homeless after her pregnancy, surrounded by the refrain that having a child would ruin her life. She was unable to enroll in Medicaid, because she refused to name her son’s father, a man who had been a toxic force and whom she did not want to have rights to her kid.

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