22 July 2009

Health Care Reform Updates from Raising Women's Voices

We wanted to share some helpful updates--some of which deserve applause, or at least a sigh of relief, and some a frightening "gulp"--from the blog of Raising Women's Voices, a Ms. Foundation grantee that's closely involved in and following developments of the heated health care debate:
Kucinich proposes single-payer amendment
Dennis Kucinich proposed an amendment in the House of Representatives committee on Education and Labor last Friday that would make states able to set up single-payer systems independent of the federal government. His amendment passed in committee, so it may end up in the conglomerate health care bill at the end of the line.

Successes for comprehensive sex education in the House Energy and Commerce Committee
Last night there were amendments to the Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 proposed and subsequently shot down by the Energy and Commerce Committee in the House of Representatives. These amendments would have expanded abstinence only education programs among other things.

The issue of abortion in health reform
This article from the New York Times gives an updated look into what the White House is saying about abortion coverage in health care plans in reform. Even though federal funds are explicitly excluded from funding non-rape, non-incest abortions for recipients of Medicaid, Republicans are worried about federal funds going toward abortions. This could potentially be the case, if subsidies given by the government to women of low income are used for abortion care.

Some of the quotes from the article are painfully out of date, with quotes from Kathleen Sebelius from April that are actually just wrong. She is quoted in the article as saying that most health insurance plans don’t cover abortion services. This isn’t true, and the Guttmacher Institute has found that about 89% of private insurance plans cover abortion care.

In other news...
RH Reality Check outlines the amendments put forward by Steve Buyer (R-IN) proposing higher premiums for those who engage in unprotected sex. Wow. Check out this other article ["Women's Concerns Often Missing in Health Care Debate"] from the AFL-CIO website that cites our own Amy Allina from the National Women’s Health Network, and this article that makes the case for including immigrants in health care reform.
Read more updates and continue to follow the health care reform debate on the Raising Women's Voices blog!

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