Health Reform Applauded; Insurers Bill Women More

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(WOMENSENEWS)–

Cheers

On March 23, the second anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act –and right before the constitutionality of the individual mandate goes to the Supreme Court next week –women’s organizations were ramping up support and explaining the law to voters. The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health issued a press release explaining how Latinas in particular benefit from the law. A national campaign, Countdown to Coverage, launched March 23, is telling American women about the benefits and protections they and their families are gaining from national health reform law. The goal is to remedy a lack of understanding about the law. More than 45 million women can receive recommended preventive services with no cost-sharing under the Affordable Care Act, according to data released March 20 by Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

More News to Cheer This Week:


  • New York artist Robin Antar is the first female artist to exhibit at POP International Galleries, the gallery announced in a press release March 19. The award winning artist will have numerous works represented at the gallery in Manhattan.

  • An attempt to repeal New Hampshire’s same-sex marriage law failed in the House of Representatives, with members of the Republican-dominated chamber voting 211-116 to kill the bill, reported the New York Times March 22.

  • Dean Heller (R-Nev.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) became the 60th and 61st co-sponsors of the Violence Against Women Act, or VAWA, which means that it no longer faces a filibuster in the Senate, according to a press release March 21.  Some Republicans voiced concerns about new provisions for same-sex couples, immigrants and Native Americans.

  • With a mix of humor and dead seriousness, female state legislators introduced mocking legislation to create an understanding of what’s at stake in restricting contraception and choice, according to an article March 21 at the Women’s Media Center.

  • The initiative We Belong Together is bringing a group of women from across the country to Alabama to investigate human rights abuses against women, children and families, according to the organization’s website on March 21.

  • Women in Texas flooded Gov. Rick Perry’s Facebook page with questions about  menstruation, yeast infections, mammograms and pap smears, Washington Post’s She The People blog first reported on March 20. The comments are still coming and the outcry has come in the wake of the recent end to federal funds for the Texas Women’s Health Program.

  • Six women–five Democrats and one Republican–won congressional primaries in Illinois, according to the Center for American Women and Politics March 21.

  • Israel passed a law expediting the sanctioning of husbands who refuse to give their wives a get, or bill of divorce, the Jerusalem Post reported March 21.

  • Israel passed a law banning the use of underweight models in advertising, reported Haaretz March 20.

  • Wisconsin’s largest medical association asked Republican Gov. Scott Walker to veto a bill that would add new requirements for doctors to ensure a woman isn’t forced into an abortion, The Winona Daily News reported March 20.

  • Saudi Arabian newspaper, Al-Hayat, says Crown Prince Nayef has approved plans for the conservative Muslim country to send female athletes to the Olympics for the first time at the London Games, ESPN reported March 20.

  • Circle of 6, the winner of the White House "Apps Against Abuse" Technology Challenge, launched an iPhone application designed to prevent sexual assault and dating violence among young adults, according to a press statement on March 20.

Jeers

Women purchasing insurance on the individual market are paying $1 billion more than men, according to a report from the National Women’s Law Center, The New York Times reported March 19. Women pay more than men for the same coverage because, insurers say, women ages 19 to 55 tended to use more health care services such as visiting doctors, getting regular checkups and taking prescriptions drugs. While the new federal health care law will prohibit gender-based disparities in insurance costs starting in 2014, gaps persist and insurers in states where the practice is legal are not yet taking steps to eliminate them.

More News to Jeer This Week:


  • The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states cannot be sued for money damages for violating The Family and Medical Leave Act, which gives workers time off for a serious medical condition or to take care of sick family members or newborns, the Huffington Post reported March 20.

  • Female members of an Afghan government council charged with seeking reconciliation with the Taliban have been sidelined from main consultations and now are trying to forge a united voice within the council, one of the members said, Reuters reported March 22.

  • The Turkish government passed a new domestic violence law that advocates say was watered down before it was passed on March 8, TrustLaw reported March 21.

  • Workplace discrimination costs companies around $64 billion annually, according to a report from the Center For American Progress, reported the Huffington Post March 23.

  • Liu Ping, 47, a rights activist who has angered officials in China with her advocacy of free elections and support of labor and women’s rights issues, has been missing since early this month, The New York Times reported March 20.

  • Myanmar soldiers fired at civilians, raped women and forced children as young as 14 to work as porters on the front lines, a report of Human Rights Watch revealed, Bloomberg Business Week reported March 20.

  • Tennessee lawmakers will consider a controversial measure that could intimidate women seeking abortions by requiring that the names of doctors who perform the procedures be published online, Think Progress reported March 19.

  • A mandatory ultrasound bill in Idaho that passed in the state Senate went to the House, only to have a house hearing on the bill cancelled with no further hearings scheduled, according to UPI March 22. House leaders met with anti-abortion activists who were intent on resurrecting a measure, according to the AP March 22.

  • At least 943 Pakistani women and girls were murdered last year for allegedly defaming their family’s honor, the country’s leading human rights group said, reported the AFP March 22.

  • Women in Arab countries continue to suffer from unemployment problems despite a campaign by some regional nations to tear down social barriers about women and employment, Emirates 24/7 reported March 18.

  • Thirty-seven percent of married Palestinian women were subject to violence by their husbands in 2011, Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics’ survey shows, Maan News Agency reported March 19.

  • For people in financial-sector jobs–such as insurance agents, security sales agents, financial managers and clerks–men out-earn women by a wider margin than in any other area of the economy, according to a recent analysis of Census data released March 21 by Bloomberg News.
  • Noted:

  • CEO of Komen’s Greater New York City affiliate, Dr. Dara P. Richardson-Heron, announced her resignation on March 21–becoming the second recent high-profile leader to do so in recent months, reported the New York Times March 21.

  • President Barack Obama leads former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in Virginia, 50 – 42 percent, his biggest lead over Romney in this election cycle, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released March 20. The president leads Romney 52 percent to 39 percent among women, but also wins men 48 percent to 45 percent.

  • While the number of women-owned businesses is increasing at a rate exceeding the national average, women-owned small businesses have difficulty growing, according to a study based on Census Bureau data, reported Business Wire March 21.

  • A group of Republican women will kick off their 21-day national bus tour on May 11, according to a press release from ConservativeWoman.net March 22.

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