COBRA’s High Cost Bites Into Jobless Safety Net

As unemployment rises more women are turning to COBRA for health insurance coverage, but discovering it’s either too expensive or not available. Women who shop for individual insurance often face higher rates due to “gender rating,” a recent study found.

Jordanian MP Celebrates Her Post-Quota Victory

In Jordan, Falak Jamaani won her seat in parliament without relying on the quota system that reserves six seats for women. Activists say her victory is an important milestone of women’s gradual inroads to political representation.

Pre-Roe Doctors Speak Up; Health Care Erodes

(WOMENSENEWS)Cheer:A group of doctors is sharing first-hand memories of either performing or playing some role in providing illegal abortions back in the days before the 1973 Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision that made abortions legal, Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health said Friday in a press release. With the future of legal abortion uncertain, the group wants to stress the dangers of returning to a time when women are forced to undergo unsafe procedures.”This Supreme Court nomination may be the most important one in our lifetimes. We’re speaking out because we know what’s at stake,” said one of the physicians in the statement. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s surprise retirement announcement last week has led many pro-choice groups to quickly mobilize to protect legal abortion.

Medicaid Saved; Osteoporosis Rules Flunk

(WOMENSENEWS)–CheersThe Senate dealt a major blow Thursday to President Bush’s plans to reduce the deficit by sharply cutting federal spending on a wide array of government programs, including many that aid women and children.Democrats and moderate Republicans banded together to strip language from the fiscal 2006 budget resolution cutting entitlement spending by $15 billion, most of which was expected to come from Medicaid, the government-subsidized health insurance program. Instead, the Senate agreed to establish a commission that would study ways to slow the program’s growth.”We shouldn’t risk the health of millions for the sake of expediency,” Sen. Gordon Smith, a Republican from Oregon who sponsored the amendment, said in a statement. “A short delay will allow a full study and ensure that any changes improve Medicaid’s sustainability while maintaining access to care.”Senators also rejected proposed cuts in health care, education, community development and other programs before passing their final version late Thursday.The vote sets up a battle between the Senate and the House, which approved budget resolution with the program cuts on the same day. House and Senate negotiators will attempt to resolve their differences in conference committees later this year.Other reasons to Cheer:–The House of Representatives approved an amendment last week to an emergency supplemental spending bill that would send $3 million in aid to pregnant women who were victims of the tsunami that struck Southeast Asia late last year. The $3 million would represent about 11 percent of the total amount requested by the UNFPA to meet the immediate needs of tsunami victims, according to a statement issued by one of the amendment’s chief sponsors, New York Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney.