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Lisa Codispoti, Senior Counsel

Lisa Codispoti is Senior Counsel with the Health and Reproductive Rights Team, where she advocates on behalf of low-income women and families in the fight to achieve comprehensive, affordable health care. Before joining the Center, she worked with the Service Employees International Union for nearly 10 years; she also worked in private practice in Albany, N.Y., and for the New York State Assembly. She earned her law degree from Albany Law School, a Master of Public Administration from SUNY Albany and a bachelor's degree from SUNY Cortland.

My Take

The Check is in the Mail Today for Those in the Medicare Prescription Drug "Donut Hole"

Posted by Lisa Codispoti, Senior Counsel | Posted on: June 10, 2010 at 11:43 am

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

The new health reform law has many different parts. If you or someone you know is on Medicare and has fallen into the Medicare prescription drug coverage gap known as the “donut hole,” one of those benefits starts today with a rebate check for $250 in the mail. Seniors don’t have to do anything to get their rebate check – it will be sent automatically once they have fallen into the donut hole.  

The “donut hole” describes the Medicare prescription drug coverage gap. Put most simply, under Medicare, the senior pays 25 percent of the cost of prescriptions for the first $2,830 of prescription drugs; but then the senior falls in the donut hole – where the senior has to pay the entire cost of prescription drugs out of pocket, until the senior has reached $6,440 for prescriptions that year, when Medicare coverage picks back up again.

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What Women Should Be Listening For at the Bipartisan Health Reform Summit

Posted by Lisa Codispoti, Senior Counsel | Posted on: February 24, 2010 at 09:38 pm

by Lisa Codispoti, Senior Counsel, 
and Brigette Courtot, Policy Analyst, 
National Women's Law Center

On Monday, President Obama released his health reform plan in advance of Thursday’s bipartisan health reform summit. The President’s plan bridges some of the differences between the Senate and House health reform bills, but largely builds from the Senate bill (see NWLC's comparison of key provisions of the House and Senate bills). Now we wait to hear from Republicans what concrete proposals they will offer to address our nation’s health care crisis (although many of their proposals have been included in the President’s proposal). But what does all this mean for women and access to comprehensive, affordable, quality health care? 

At the start of this debate some time ago, the National Women’s Law Center issued “8 Questions to Ask About Health Reform Plans” to guide advocates in analyzing whether health reform proposals meet the needs of women. Below, we’ve used these questions to analyze President Obama’s proposal, and will do the same for the Republican proposal once they release it. These questions can be a helpful guide for women’s advocates as they watch the Summit (you can watch it live Thursday at 10am) -– to decide for themselves if different health reform proposals will truly provide access to affordable, high quality, comprehensive health care. 

Whatever the outcome of the Summit, make no mistake: Congress must move forward to quickly adopt comprehensive health care reform. Women and their families can no longer wait. 

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Health Reform Is Very Much Alive

Posted by Lisa Codispoti, Senior Counsel | Posted on: February 09, 2010 at 07:52 pm

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

Opponents of health reform would like you to believe that it is dead. To be fair, it’s been hard of late to know whether to be optimistic, pessimistic or just plain in denial about the chances for passing comprehensive health reform this year. Given the last few weeks, which have felt a lot like a big roller coaster, it’s been hard for even for someone like me ― a perennial optimist ― to feel optimistic about the chances for passing comprehensive health reform.

Before the special election in Massachusetts, we were tantalizingly close to a deal that ironed out the key differences between the House and Senate bills. The change in the composition of the Senate following the special election in Massachusetts has paused momentum while the Congressional leadership and the President decide the best way forward. Publicly, they have turned their attention to the much-needed jobs legislation.

Rest assured, privately, the leaders are meeting to determine the best ways forward on health reform. But while leaders meet to decide the best way forward, the unfortunate result is that the public silence on health reform has even led to some press accounts characterizing health reform as near death. But to paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of the death of health reform have been greatly exaggerated. While there has been a public “pause,” behind the scenes meetings are still taking place, conversations are still ongoing, discussions about the best way forward continue.

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Now Is No Time to Abandon Hope – or Our Efforts - for Health Reform That Works for Women...

Posted by Lisa Codispoti, Senior Counsel | Posted on: January 20, 2010 at 04:29 pm

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

There is a lot of Wednesday morning quarterbacking about the reasons for, and impact of, yesterday’s election in Massachusetts. 

As it relates to health reform, I think that more than a few people are getting it wrong. Regarding those who say that the election was a rebuke of health reform, or that health reform is dead, I would say, they are full of Boston Beans. 

Here’s why: Massachusetts already has health reform, with an individual mandate, an employer mandate, and, at 97 percent, the highest rate of people with insurance in the country. As of last fall, a full 79 percent of Massachusetts residents supported their reform plan. And health reform legislation, like in the Senate bill, expressly contemplates allowing states like Massachusetts to continue along. 

And to those who would say health reform is dead, I would say, hold on!! Will it be harder? Yes -- there is no denying that both substantively and politically, it will be a tougher road to hoe. But as we have repeatedly said, if health reform was easy, we would have done it decades ago. 

In my mind, the key reason why health reform is not dead -- and cannot be dead -- is that the 31-million-plus reasons why we need health reform did not disappear with yesterday’s election. Simply put, yesterday’s election did not end the problems of people who lack health care, nor did it end unaffordable health care, nor insurance discrimination, nor gender rating, nor insurance coverage that doesn’t meet the needs of women. 

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Health Reform Will End Gender Rating, Kind of, Sort of, Maybe…

Posted by Lisa Codispoti, Senior Counsel | Posted on: January 15, 2010 at 07:21 pm

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

As we’ve discussed here many times before, gender rating is the harmful and discriminatory insurance practice of charging individuals and employers different premiums based on gender.  

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