Posts Tagged ‘Health care’

Romney Skewered by Candidate He Endorsed?

Indiana GOP Senate candidate Richard Mourdock told debate viewers last night that he opposes abortion even in the case of rape, because pregnancy from rape is “something that God intended to happen.” This occurred just as Mourdock’s campaign unveiled a new on-camera endorsement from Mitt Romney.

To his credit, Mourdock’s opponent, Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly, later said that Mourdock’s comments didn’t reflect what “my God or any God” would intend to happen. And it’s no secret that most Americans, including Romney by own official campaign statements, reject such extremist views.

But Mourdock’s comments can’t help but damage Mitt Romney by association. Such a wild-eyed position by a candidate he has endorsed drives one more nail into Romney’s campaign coffin by revealing the stark truth about the extreme anti-woman positions the Romney campaign has been forced to take by the extreme right wing of his party.

Just as Todd Akin did with his misogynistic attempt to parse what kind of rape is “legitimate” and what is not, Mourdock cruelly dismissed women’s moral autonomy and even their right to defend their own bodies against the assaults of their attackers. He even invokes God’s name to justify his position.

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The Young Politica: How Obamacare Affects College-Aged Women

You may have heard the word ‘Obamacare’ spinning around the election coverage, but here’s what it’s all about and how it can affect you.

Obamacare (formally known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) is a set of newly-passed (2010) healthcare reform mandates that ultimately aim to provide insurance to the uninsured by lowering the overall costs of health care. The planned changes, which have already begun and will last until 2020, include:

  • offering free preventative counseling and birth control to women (unless you work for certain religious institutions or possibly unless you work for a company that does not support birth control, depending upon how the courts interpret the Constitution on this one),
  • guaranteeing that those who apply for insurance with preexisting conditions are not turned away,
  • and an annual penalty to those who do not have insurance by the year 2014.

Many of the changes won’t go into effect until 2014 (or unless Mitt Romney wins the election and repeals Obamacare as he has promised, but some have already gone into action.

Here are some changes Young Politicas should expect to affect them immediately and in the future:

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Politics and Court Picks: Who Should Be Most Concerned?

Conservative pundit Marc A. Thiessen writes in the Washington Post that Chief Justice John Roberts’ health care ruling is just the latest surprise from Supreme Court justices nominated by Republican presidents. Thiessen, a former George W. Bush speechwriter, cites various “liberal” rulings by Roberts, Justice Anthony Kennedy and former Justices David Souter and Sandra Day O’Connor: “Democrats have been virtually flawless in appointing reliable liberals to the court. Yet Republicans, more often than not, appoint justices who vote with the other side on critical decisions.”

Excuse me. Can he spell S-c-a-l-i-a?

Thiessen is saying exactly what one would expect a conservative columnist to say about the judiciary, especially when a decision has gone against them.

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Victory for America as Supreme Court Upholds Affordable HealthCare Act

Today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act is a big victory for Obama and a HUGE victory for the American people.

But the most meaningful victory is for the integrity of these United States.

In this ruling (National Federation of Independent Businesses v Sebelius), the Court affirmed our ability as a nation to create policies important to all Americans, policies that make e pluribus truly unum.

While much remains to be sorted out, it is crystal clear that even the very conservative Chief Justice Roberts realized the country could split apart, threatening Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, and every other Federal initiative essential to the economy and Constitutional justice if the individual mandate had been thrown out.

Every Supreme Court ruling murks up some legal waters as it clarifies others. The New York Times summarized the rulings key points as follows:

The decision did significantly restrict one major portion of the law: the expansion of Medicaid, the government health-insurance program for low-income and sick people. The ruling gives states some flexibility not to expand their Medicaid programs, without paying the same financial penalties that the law called for.

The debate over health care remains far from over, with Republicans vowing to carry on their fight against the law, which they see as an unaffordable infringement on the rights of individuals. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, has promised to undo it if elected.

But the court ruling is a crucial victory for the law that will allow its introduction to continue in the coming years

The center must hold and today it has. Now the president must do what he failed to do during the health care debate in Congress: educate, inspire, and persuade the American public about the value of universal health care coverage to their lives and to the economy.

There will be much more to discuss about the ruling after a full study of its various elements. But topline meaning is: Obama wins big and so does America.

And P.S. If you think it doesn’t matter whether women hold high level positions, take a look at this photo of who voted for and against your access to health care, and think again.

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And Then They Came for Birth Control

As the Senate took up the Blunt amendment that would allow any employer to refuse to provide birth control coverage to employees based on an undefined “religious or moral” objection, women and men are asking me every day what in the heck is going on—are we back in the dark ages? Why do we have to keep fighting these battles?

I recently had the chance to give my answer to that question when I talked with with iVillage host Kelly Wallace and 2012 Election Editor and Correspondent Joanne Bamberger (aka Punditmom) about the many attacks on birth control and abortion. On her own blog, Joanne wrote:

“I feel like I’m living in the time of Hester Prynne and her Scarlet Letter in light of the ongoing and escalating attacks on women’s health, especially when it comes to anything concerning our ‘lady parts.’ Some women on the right say birth control has nothing to do with our health. I say, “What?” ...are we headed back to 1850 or is this just a blip on the political radar?”

There are unfortunately some people who never made it out of the 1850’s or at least the 1950’s.

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Women See Red, Get Over Komen Pink, and Embrace Power

This commentary was published yesterday on the Daily Beast with the title “Komen Incites Women’s Tahrir Square Moment.” If you haven’t read it there, please hop on over and give me a share, stumble, and/or comment. There’s quite a lively conversation going on. Then come back and tell me what you think here.

Mostly, I’d like to start a conversation about taking the great passion this kerfluffle between Komen for the Cure and Planned Parenthood has generated and catapult it into a more vibrant, durable, and most of all proactive women’s movement. Clearly, the huge outpouring was about more than the two organizations themselves. There was a lot of pent up readiness for activism and just plain demanding respect as women–as persons–with brains, hearts, and moral autonomy–not as subjects of society’s political whims or social narratives that we did not write.

Let me get off my soapbox and let you read on….

“I am off to feed my daughter (with breasts that were examined by Planned Parenthood doctors when I had no health insurance).”

Allie Wagstrom, a young mom in Minnesota whom I know only via Facebook, posted this on my page after she heard the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, parent of the ubiquitous pink-ribboned “Race for the Cure,” bowed to political pressure from the right and announced last week that it would no longer fund breast exams and breast health education at Planned Parenthood clinics. Komen’s astonishingly sloppy handling of the situation (for which they have now apologized and semi-retracted) put a black mark in indelible ink on their sweet pink ribbons.

Planned Parenthood Supporters
Planned Parenthood supporters demonstrated following a press conference by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) outside at a Planned Parenthood Clinic on Feb. 3, 2012 in Seattle, Washington., Stephen Brashear / Getty Images

Facebook popped a picture of Cynthia Nixon, the lead actor in the Broadway drama about ovarian cancer, Wit, next to Allie’s comment in an advertising tactic. Nixon’s bald head and gaunt face shocked the breath out of me, while social media exploded with the wrath of millions of women who felt scorned by a charity for which they had raced and purchased pink products they didn’t need.

Why this outpouring, even from women who had never openly supported Planned Parenthood?

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The Feministing Five Interview

Feministing.com’s Chloe Angyal asked me the five questions that the terrific online community puts to a different feminist every week. In case you have ever wondered what food, beverage, and feminist I’d take with me to a desert island, read on…

Gloria Feldt is a force to be reckoned with. Feldt is the former President and CEO of the Planned Parenthood Foundation of America and has devoted her entire working life to women’s rights. This week marked the conclusion of efforts to pass health care reform, and because abortion coverage was used, successfully, as a wedge issue in the debate over those efforts, it’s important to reflect on what went wrong, what we did right, and what our next steps should be. And who better to help us understand that than Feldt?

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Time for Women to Drive Our Own Health Care Bus

Check out this new video from new Women’s Media Center website notunderthebus.com. You can also follow @notunderthebus (or check out hashmark #underthebus) on Twitter, and please become a fan on Facebook. It’s going to be a long drive, but together we can turn this bus around starting today.  [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUtLTB6zKbo&feature=player_embedded[/youtube] The Senate passed its version…

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Not Under the Bus This Time

December 10 is Human Rights Day. Appropriately today, there’s a new campaign for women’s human rights that I want to share with you.

On the heels of the Senate’s defeat of anti-abortion measures, Bart Stupak published a defense of his amendment in the New York Times (“What My Amendment Won’t Do.” His aggressive protest clearly illustrates the crusade against women’s rights won’t stop any time soon.

The Women’s Media Center is proud to announce the launch of its new media campaign NotUnderTheBus.com, a platform that amplifies the voices of women and organizations devoted to a health care reform that is fair to women.

NotUnderTheBus.com’s first call to action is to stop the Stupak Amendment, the Hatch-Nelson Amendment, and others like them which are the most draconian restrictions on women since the 1977 Hyde Amendment that cut federal funding for abortions by Medicaid.

NotUnderTheBus.com will serve as an aggregator and media resource center in the fight to safeguard women’s reproductive rights in the national health care reform debate.

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