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Posts tagged ‘health care’

Birth Control Access

action-180Dear Gabriel,

The Obama Administration made every reasonable effort to compromise with religiously-affiliated employers when implementing rules on women’s access to birth control coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

An update to the birth control benefit in the health care reform gives religious employers the ability to hand the responsibility to provide birth control coverage to a third party insurance company. But right-wing opponents led by the Conference of Catholic bishops are still balking at the plan.

President Obama did the right thing for women when he rejected the demands of rightwing activists and gave all women access to no-cost birth control through their insurance coverage. But before these new guidelines go into effect, his administration is holding a public comment period on the new rules. We know that anti-woman activists will flood President Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services with comments urging the administration to overturn its historic decision.

President Obama needs to hear that the vast majority of Americans support his decision to ensure access to no-cost birth control for all women. Click here to submit a public comment in support of access to birth control.

The Department of Health and Human Services and the medical community agree that providing no-cost birth control is an essential part of preventive health care for women. And Kathleen Sebelius, the director of HHS, said that providing birth control at no cost to women should be like “covering flu shots.”4

However, before activists from CREDO and Planned Parenthood began petitioning President Obama, the New York Times reported that the president was dangerously close to caving to the demands of the anti-woman lobby by adding a giant loophole that would keep a large number of women from being able to access no-cost birth control.5

CREDO members sent over 160,000 petitions and made over 3,000 calls to the White House asking President Obama not to cave. In the end, President Obama listened to our call to protect women’s health. But that doesn’t mean our work is done.

Some right-wing organizations are already balking at the plan even though it allows religious employers to avoid providing birth control directly to their employees. These anti-woman extremists will surely use the public comment process to file reams of objections to the plan. So let’s make sure the president hears from those of us who want him to stand strong and protect access to contraception.

Make sure that President Obama hears that the vast majority of Americans support his decision to ensure access to no-cost birth control for all women. Click below to submit a comment in support of access to contraception:
http://act.credoaction.com/r/?r=14177296&p=birthcontrol_hhs_aca&id=56364-266627-5bh0wMx&t=4

Thank you for standing up for women’s access to birth control.

Jordan Krueger, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

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My Son Linus

Gabriel,

My son Linus loves to play video games, his favorite food is mac n cheese, and he was born with Asperger syndrome. We take Linus to a therapist for treatment — but now our health insurance company is planning to stop covering his visits, just because he’s turning 9 years old.

I was shocked when I found out that United Healthcare stops covering Asperger’s treatment at such a young age, forcing families like mine to pay thousands of dollars a year to continue caring for our children’s conditions.

I want Linus and kids like him to grow up with the best chance for a full and happy life. That’s why I started a petition on Change.org asking United Healthcare to change its policy and cover treatment for Aspergers and other autism spectrum disorders after age 9.

Click here to sign my petition.

Linus is beginning a chapter in his life when social skills are going to become very important. He has already experienced some teasing and bullying at school from classmates who don’t understand his condition. This is not just heartbreaking for me, but devastating for a kid that doesn’t understand how to do things like everyone else.

As a mom, I worry most about the isolation and depression that many children with Aspergers suffer from. I’ve read that kids with Aspergers are about 30% more likely to commit suicide than the population at large. That is a staggering amount — and it’s why I’m determined to keep Linus and children like him in the therapies that will help them navigate through their pre-teen and teen years.

I’ve tried speaking with several United Healthcare representatives, but so far none of them has offered a solution, leaving my family — and hundreds of others — on the hook for thousands of dollars in treatment costs.

Health insurance companies can set their own policies. I’m hoping that if enough people speak up for Linus and other children with Aspergers, United Healthcare will be forced to reevaluate their policy and set an example to other top healthcare providers. Will you help me fight for my son?

Sign my petition now to join me in asking United Healthcare to continue covering Aspergers treatment for children after they turn 9 years old.

Thank you so much for your help.

Mindy Armbrust
Doylestown, OH
Change.org

California Single Payer Saves

California’s Historic Fight for Single Payer Continues BIG TIME

Dear Gabriel,

On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that a man was denied health care insurance because years before he had donated one of his kidneys to save his daughter’s life. It didn’t matter that kidney donors live as long as people with two kidneys. To Blue Cross and Blue Shield, it’s always and only about the bottom line. As long as private, profiteering insurance companies are in charge, this will never change.

That’s why the California OneCare campaign will continue to fight for universal, single payer, improved Medicare-for-All regardless of the imminent decision from the U. S. Supreme Court. The Court’s ruling on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will come this month, perhaps even this Monday.

If the justices uphold the Act, the health care system will still be broken

More than 3 million Californians will remain without health insurance and millions of middle-income families will be required by law to buy second-rate health plans that will consume up to 9.5% of their income. Insurers will continue to tell us which doctors we may use, and medical co-pays will go on wiping out the life savings of families who thought they were covered.

If the law is struck down, we will be left as we are now

Seven million Californians will remain without health coverage, medical bankruptcies will escalate and medical costs will continue to spiral out of control.

Whatever the Supreme Court decision, the fight continues: a 19-City Bus Tour starts Tuesday in San Diego, then a Summer Conference on July 7-8

Last year, we joined the new statewide coalition of single payer activist groups called the Campaign for a Healthy California (CHC). CHC will help kick off a first-ever 19-city bus tour on June 19 and then stage a two day Summer Conference on the UCLA campus. To learn more about the coalition and how you can help, you’re invited to attend the CHC Summer Conference on July 7th & 8th.

Full Care, for All for Less!

With your continued help and support, the fight for single payer will not stop until ALL Californians are covered by California OneCare. We WILL Win.

Andrew McGuire, Executive Director
California OneCare

Women’s Health Care

Gabriel

There’s no question about this.

The Republican War on Women is real, and it’s extremely dangerous.

If you agree, add your name to our petition: 1,000,000 strong against the Republican War on Women >>

House Republicans are pursuing the most comprehensive and radical assault on women’s health and reproductive freedom in our lifetime. Over just the last year, Republicans in Congress have voted repeatedly to limit women’s access to health care and reproductive services.

They voted to redefine rape in order to limit women’s access to health care. They held a panel on denying access to birth control coverage with five men and no women. They voted to give corporations the power to deny women access to contraception. And last year, they nearly shut down the government in an attempt to defund Planned Parenthood.

As you know, Planned Parenthood is a critical provider of preventive services to millions of women in need of health care, including cancer screening, breast exams and HIV testing. Mitt Romney has already said, “Planned Parenthood, we’re gonna get rid of that.”

On the state level, numerous Republican governors have already forced through radical anti-women legislation.

We cannot back down in this fight. We must stand strong for women’s health. Will you join us?

http://dccc.org/Stop-the-Republican-War-on-Women

Thank you,

Kelly

Kelly Ward
DCCC Political Director

Unethical Supreme Court

The High Court’s Supremely Unethical Activists
Nation of Change
by Joe Conason

How the Supreme Court majority will rule on President Obama’s Affordable Care Act may well have been foretold months or perhaps years ago — not so much by their questions during argument this week, as by their flagrant displays of bias outside the court, where certain justices regularly behave as dubiously as any sleazy officeholder.

While the public awaits the high court’s judgment on the constitutionality of health care reform, it is worth remembering how cheaply Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas in particular have sullied the integrity of their lifetime appointments, and how casually Chief Justice John Roberts and their other colleagues tolerate such outrages.

What is most scandalous in Washington, as a wise pundit once suggested, are the things politicians do that are perfectly legal but shouldn’t be — an observation that applies with particular force to the Supreme Court, which is not subject to the ethics restrictions applied to lesser judges on the federal bench. That was why Scalia and Thomas, for instance, could appear as guests of honor at a fundraising dinner for the right-wing Federalist Society — which was sponsored by Bancroft PLLC, a major firm involved in litigation against the Affordable Care Act — on the very same day last November that they reviewed an appeal brief on the case from Paul Clement, the Bancroft attorney whose arguments they received so cordially this week.

In fact, Clement sat at a table “sandwiched between” the two justices. Scalia was seated with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who had told the Federalists that he would rely on them to help undo the “affront” represented by health care reform. And for good measure, Justice Samuel Alito enjoyed the event at another table nearby.

If they were mere federal district or appeals judges, neither Scalia nor Thomas would have been permitted to attend the Federalist celebration, while Alito’s attendance would have been questionable, to say the least. But members of the right-wing majority abuse their immunity from ethics regulation without sanction. Poised to reject the Affordable Care Act with the kind of sweeping opinion that could tear down decades of Commerce Clause jurisprudence, they merit the sharp scrutiny of their motives and conduct that they have largely escaped until now, even as they drift further and further toward the corporate right.

Investigative reports have revealed partisan and ideological ties that the justices themselves have sought to conceal, dating back to Scalia’s duck-hunting trip with then-Vice President Dick Cheney, who had pending before the court a lawsuit challenging the secrecy of his Energy Task Force.

No federal judge would have dared to rule in such circumstances, but Scalia dismissed the obvious appearance of conflict with an unbecoming sneer.

As Scott Horton reported in Harpers magazine, Scalia’s duck-hunting patrons in Mississippi had brought other vital matters before him to get their way, again in a manner that any self-respecting ethical jurist would instinctively abhor.

More recently, Scalia and Thomas were used as celebrity bait by the ultra-right Koch brothers, David and Charles, to draw well-heeled supporters to a secretive conference on undermining the Obama administration at a fancy Western resort. It would be hard to imagine any activity less appropriate for a Supreme Court justice, unless it was Thomas’ wife Ginny accepting huge payments from a tea party organization devoted to repeal of health care reform, which she did in 2010. The justices failed to report any of these screaming conflicts on their disclosure reports, compounding the offense with the coverup.

Read entire Op-ed at Nation of Change

Help Girls Education

Dear Gabriel,

Girls should be able to go to school. It’s something we take for granted. But around the world, nearly 37 million girls are out of school.

I want you to meet Pinki, a graduate of the first accelerated learning class in the Uttar Pradesh region of India. Pinki missed going to school as a child, but thanks to CARE’s Udaan project, she had a second chance.

Udaan means “flight,” and CARE’s program provides girls like Pinki a chance to overcome societal barriers by helping them gain confidence and skills they can use to escape poverty for good. Today, Pinki is in college and has her own apartment — a rare achievement for young women from her town.

Pinki has a chance at a bright future thanks to generous donations from our supporters. Remember, there are millions of other poor people around the world who are counting on you to support CARE’s life-changing work, such as programs that help girls and women get an education.

Please make a special gift right now to help empower poor women and girls to create a better world for all this year and beyond.

CARE’s innovative education programs help girls master basic skills, find their voices and prepare to become leaders in their communities.

And empowering young women like Pinki to succeed through education is just one way CARE fights poverty around the world. Your support also can:

Equip women with tools and resources that help them increase and save their earnings;

Help families access improved health care, including family planning services and gender-based violence counseling;

Connect pregnant and nursing mothers with the care they need to keep themselves and their children healthy; and
Deliver emergency aid to communities that experience disaster or war.

Please make a gift now to start empowering lives with CARE.

I trust you’ll join us in 2012 to defend dignity and fight poverty. Thank you for all that you do to champion new beginnings for young girls and women.

Sincerely,

Helene D. Gayle, MD, MPH
President and CEO, CARE

Health Care In U.S. Is Best?

From Nation of Change
IWatch News
by Wendell Potter

Despite GOP Claims, U.S. Health Care Nowhere Near ‘Best’ in the World

A little more than a year ago, on the day after the GOP regained control of the House of Representatives, Speaker-to-be John Boehner said one of the first orders of business after he took charge would be the repeal of health care reform.

“I believe that the health care bill that was enacted by the current Congress will kill jobs in America, ruin the best health care system in the world, and bankrupt our country,” Boehner said at a press conference. “That means we have to do everything we can to try to repeal this bill and replace it with common sense reforms to bring down the cost of health care.”

Boehner is not the first nor the only Republican to try to make us believe that the U.S. has the world’s best health care system and that we’re bound to lose that distinction because of Obamacare. I’ve heard GOP candidates for president say the same thing in recent months, charging that we need to get rid of a President who clearly is trying to fix something that doesn’t need fixing, something that isn’t broken in the first place.

Well, those guys need to get out more. Out of the country, in fact. They need to travel to at least one of the many countries that are doing a much better job of delivering high quality care at much lower costs than the good old USA.

If they’re not interested in a fact-finding mission abroad, then perhaps they might take a look at two recent reports before they make any other statements about the quality of American health care.

Last week, the 34-nation Organization for Economic Cooperation (OECD) released the results of its most recent study of the health care systems in its member countries, including the U.S., plus six others, for a total of 40. And those results are illuminating.

If Boehner and his fellow Republicans had characterized the U.S. system as the most expensive in the world, they would have been right on target. But they would have been way off base by calling it the best.

Read entire story at Nation of Change.

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