Results tagged “Obamacare” from Blog for Choice
House Republicans have rightly been taking a lot of heat in polls and the media lately for the government shutdown.
What you might not have heard is that these same anti-choice leaders tried to use the budget negotiations to give bosses authority to deny their female employees birth control coverage. Even when we were like 48 hours away from defaulting on our nation's debt and on the brink of a financial collapse, House Republicans had birth control on their brains.
Read more about these ridiculous antics on NARAL Pro-Choice America's Buzzfeed Community page.
Some of the nation's most extreme anti-choice Republican governors - who've been anything but timid about their opposition to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on political grounds - are changing their tune about expanding health insurance to millions of low-income residents in their states now that the ACA is becoming a reality.
Why? These governors simply can't ignore the benefits of the ACA. Just today, anti-choice Gov. Tom Corbett (R-PA), who previously sued to overturn Obamacare, issued his plan to take advantage of Obamacare's Medicaid program and ensure access to health care for thousands of Pennsylvanians.
Gov. Corbett now joins these other anti-choice Republican governors who decided that the health and well-being of their constituents was, in fact, more important than their own political ideology:
- Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ)
- Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL)
- Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IA)
- Gov. Rick Snyder (R-MI)
- Gov. Jack Dalrymple (R-ND)
- Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ)
- Gov. Susana Martinez (R-NM)
- Gov. Brian Sandoval (R-NV)
- Gov. John Kasich (R-OH)
- Gov. Bill Haslam (R-TN)
- Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX)initially rejected expanding Medicaid entirely, but then lobbied the White House to create a Medicaid program for the elderly and disabled with federal funds.
Even though we still disagree with these governors over women's reproductive rights, it's gratifying to see that so many have been persuaded to put aside their own political agendas and pursue the best policy for their constituents regarding access to health care.
For most people, implementing health-care coverage for low-income families is a no brainer. But as we've seen time and again, for many anti-choice governors, it's not about health care, it's about politics. And state officials who continue to play politics with peoples' health and reproductive choices will face the consequences when the elections roll around again.
Just over one year ago, Obamacare made contraceptive services available to women at no out-of-pocket cost, thanks in large part to your hard work. Under the new health-care law, prescription birth control, mammograms, STI counseling and treatment, and other services are now available without a co-pay. This is huge. Because over half of women 18-34 have struggled to afford prescription birth control, ensuring access to affordable birth control marks the greatest advancement for women's health in a generation. And already it's helped more than 27 million women. But even as we celebrate the benefit's first anniversary, many women are still footing the bill for their birth control. And they want to know why.If this has happened to you, you're not alone. Since the birth-control policy first went into effect on August 1, 2012, women's health advocates have heard similar stories--those of women facing co-pays at the pharmacy counter and insurance companies falling short of delivering on the law's full promise.
Here's what we know and what you can do if this is happening to you:
First, remember that Obamacare requires that all "new" health plans must comply with the contraceptive coverage requirement. "New" means plans that were created or purchased after Obamacare was enacted. Old plans--called "grandfathered" plans--don't have to comply. But keep in mind that "grandfathered" plans won't be grandfathered forever--if they change their plans in a substantial way, they lose that status. In fact, we expect 90% of grandfathered plans to lose their status in the next year or so, at which point they will be required to comply and provide birth control without a co-pay. So if your plan is grandfathered, that might be the reason you're still being charged a co-pay. Ask your benefits administrator if your health plan is grandfathered.
But if you're being charged a co-pay, it could also be because your insurance company believes that Obamacare allows it to pick and choose the contraceptives they cover cost-free. They have some wiggle room, to be sure. But even so, the birth-control policy is stronger than some companies think it is. Here's the skinny.
Some insurance companies are interpreting a section of the law
that lets them control costs to also allow them to charge a co-pay for some
forms of birth control but not others. This is why some women are being told
that they can't get the Nuva Ring without co-pay, or that only generics are
covered without a co-pay. Our allies raised concerns about this, and here's
what the government said in reply:
- Your insurance company can charge you a co-pay for a name-brand contraceptive, but only if there's also a generic version available. If there isn't a generic version, they have to cover the name-brand drug without a co-pay.
- And if your doctor determines that the name-brand drug is "medically appropriate" for you, then your insurance company must provide a waiver process that will let you get your name-brand birth control without a co-pay (see question 14 of the FAQs: http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq-aca12.html). (Keep in mind, this is different than the typical appeal consumers file when they're denied coverage for a service.)
If you're one of the women experiencing problems here, head over
to the National Women's Law Center (NWLC) website--they've built a toolkit to help you fight
for the coverage Obamacare says you should have. Its got answers to the
questions women are asking, a fantastic script to use when you call your
insurance company for answers, and sample letters to send your insurance
company if they charge a co-pay for your specific type of birth control.
The bottom line is, don't give up! It may take some work, but we fought too hard for birth-control coverage to give up easily! Not only that, but the work you do to educate your insurance company could make all the difference in the world for other women in your plan who may be missing out on the birth-control benefit.
Today is the 48th anniversary of Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court case that first identified the constitutional right to privacy and defeated a law that barred the use of birth control.
This ruling was monumental because it struck down a barrier that blocked women from controlling their futures. It gave them the power to choose whether and when to start and family.
Access to birth control is essential for millions of women and their families. Not only does birth control prevent unplanned pregnancy, it allows women to take better care of themselves and their families, support themselves financially, and advance their educational and career goals.
Studies show that using birth control is highly effective in reducing unintended pregnancies, and therefore the need for abortion care. Improving access to birth control is truly a win for everyone.
That's why we're so excited about the no-cost birth control policy under Obamacare, and the recent ruling that made some emergency contraception available over the counter without age restrictions for all women!
Today, staff and volunteers of NARAL Pro-Choice America joined Planned Parenthood and National Women's Law Center to deliver your comments in support of no-cost birth control to the Department of Health and Human Services. Together, we submitted more than 338,000 comments!
Hundreds of thousands of pro-choice activists submitted comments about why no-cost birth control is essential for women across the country who may otherwise not be able to afford it.
Access to birth control is so important because the ability to control when, how, and with whom to start a family empowers women to chart their own courses and achieve their goals in life. That's why we love the no-cost birth control benefit under Obamacare!
But we know that most Americans support the no-cost birth control policy and we're making our pro-choice voices heard!
Because when women have access to birth control they have the power to choose their futures.
Just when we thought we'd seen it all - anti-choice lobbyists in Arizona are trying to defund Planned Parenthood by exploiting the state's move to expand Medicaid through Obamacare.
Available as part of the Affordable Care Act, states can choose to expand Medicaid and provide health-care coverage to millions of uninsured low-income Americans.
These services include access to preventive-health services, including contraception, maternity care, and well-woman visits.
Unfortunately, rather than accept this opportunity to increase women's access to essential reproductive-health care, extreme anti-choice groups in Arizona are trying to change the Medicaid package so that it prohibits funds from going to Planned Parenthood.
These anti-choice tactics could torpedo the legislation all together since the bill needs bi-partisan support.
If the legislation is derailed or if it somehow survives with the Planned Parenthood defunding language intact, the outcome would be the reduction of essential reproductive-health care services for women across the state of Arizona. Blocking funds for Planned Parenthood in Arizona means fewer cancer screenings, STD testing and treatments and HIV tests - for low-income women and men - services that save lives and keep people healthy.
Sadly, these extreme anti-choice opponents never miss an opportunity to attack women's reproductive freedom, even at the expense of the thousands of women that could completely lose access to health-care if the Medicaid expansion doesn't go through.
This law is a huge win for women's health, and ensures that millions of Americans will have access to health care that they otherwise may not be able to afford, including no-cost birth control.
Here's a photo marking one of our favorite Affordable Care Act (ACA) moments from 2012. President Obama, in the Oval Office, speaks with the Solicitor General of the United States after learning that the ACA was upheld by the Supreme Court.
We fully support this huge advancement for women's health. Thanks to Obamacare, more than 30 million Americans will have access to affordable family-planning services, better access to contraception, and maternity care. We know that when women have control over their own health-care, they're empowered to make essential decisions about their families and their futures.
We stand with our pro-choice President Barack Obama and will continue our work to ensure that millions of Americans have access to the health care they deserve.
We're more than half-way through Women's History Month and our celebration is far from over!
This week, we're focusing on the legalization of birth control and how deeply it impacted the lives of women across the country.
But first, a quick history lesson.
In the 1965 landmark case Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court ruled that birth control should be legal for married couples.
In 1972, the Supreme Court took one step further and ruled that unmarried couples, as well as married couples, have the right to use contraception - effectively legalizing birth control across the country.
Access to birth control is essential for millions of women and their families. The ability to control when, how, and with whom to start a family empowers women to chart their own courses and achieve their goals in life.
That's why we're fully supportive of the no-cost birth-control benefit under Obamacare. Because when women have access to birth control they have the power to choose their futures.
Join the celebration of Women's History Month and the huge positive impact birth control has on the lives of women and their families by sharing our graphic on Facebook.
The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is back in town, and you know what that means - some of the most extreme anti-choice and anti-woman politicos in the country will be taking the stage.
In keeping with this year's theme, "America's Future: The Next Generation of Conservatives," CPAC will feature speakers that the organizers hope will resonate with Millennials. Here are just a few of some of the worst anti-choice speakers:
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) will take the stage as a keynote speaker this year. Sen. Rubio reintroduced the "Arrest Grandma Act" and just this week he called for a complete repeal of Obamacare, including the no-cost birth-control policy that guarantees affordable access to contraception to millions of American women.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) voted to defund Planned Parenthood and to allow private employers to refuse to cover birth control or any service required under the health-reform law for virtually any reason.
Guess who else made the list of speakers Millennials should watch at CPAC...
None other than 2012's anti-choice vice-presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).
Rep. Ryan has been candid about his extreme anti-choice views.
Rep. Ryan wants to ban all abortion care, with no exception for rape or incest. He also cosponsored forced ultrasound legislation and the "Let Women Die" bill. And his latest budget plan would repeal Obamacare, which would have a huge negative impact on women and families.
In case CPAC organizers hadn't made their anti-choice agenda clear enough, they have also secured Students for Life president Kristan Hawkins to speak during the conference.
Clearly the folks running CPAC don't want to accept the facts. Sixty-one percent of Millennials are pro-choice and these anti-choice speakers do not speak for them.
Keep an eye on our Twitter feed @NARAL for more news and updates on CPAC.
Ali Tweedt is a member of NARAL Pro-Choice America's communications and online advocacy strategies department.
We can hardly believe that election day is less than two weeks away.
This year, many pro-choice Americans will be voting for the very first time! We couldn't be more excited for all the pro-choice 18 to 22-year-olds who were too young to vote in the previous election, but will now get to vote for our pro-choice champion, President Barack Obama.
These Millennials have the chance to rock the pro-choice vote - and we definitely need their help on November 6.
When I voted for the first time in 2008, access to abortion and contraception weren't being attacked like they are today. I remember feeling so lucky to be able to use my political voice and vote for a candidate I knew was going to be a champion for choice and equality.
Lena Dunham, writer of the HBO show "Girls," talked about her first time voting in a new ad for the Obama campaign. Check it out!
President Obama has demonstrated his leadership time and again, standing with women and their families, and I am so thrilled that first-time voters will get the same opportunity to use their pro-choice voices and vote!
We cannot forget what's at stake in this election. Under a Romney-Ryan administration, women could lose their most basic rights:
- Mitt Romney vows to eliminate Obamacare, and with it, the no-cost birth-control policy.
- He threatens to defund Planned Parenthood and said, "Planned Parenthood, we're going to get rid of that." This plan would cut off access to birth control and breast-cancer screenings for millions of women.
- Romney supports policies that would outlaw abortion in almost all cases, even in cases of rape, incest, or when a woman's health is in danger.
- Romney threatened to appoint Supreme Court justices who would support overturning Roe v. Wade.
We're working to make sure that Millennials know that Mitt Romney is bad for women and their families. And come election day, we hope Millennials will vote for a person who has fought for women and our freedom and privacy.
For all those pro-choice people who just turned 18, use your political voice on November 6. Vote for the candidate who has stood with women, and trusts us with our personal health-care decisions: President Barack Obama.
Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
We're only 41 days away from the election!
Don't forget to tune in to the first presidential debate next week on October 3.
Jim Lehrer, the debate moderator, has already announced the topics of the debate. He will ask President Obama and Mitt Romney about two topics we think are of the utmost importance to pro-choice voters: health care and whether the government should meddle with a woman's private medical decisions.
We are all too familiar with Romney's attempts to dodge or deny his own anti-choice statements, but pro-choice voters are not going to let him get away with that!
Here are some questions Mr. Romney needs to answer about his extreme anti-choice position, as well as the policies he would establish if elected:
- Gov. Romney, you have threatened on numerous occasions to repeal the health-care law. The law - which we too like to call Obamacare - helps women in so many ways . It means near-universal coverage of maternity and prenatal care for women, insurance coverage of contraception without a copay, and an end to allowing insurance companies to discriminate by charging women more than men. These are all provisions broadly supported by the American people. Why would you reinstate discrimination against women in the insurance market and drive up costs for women's health-care services?
- Gov. Romney, you have said that you'd eliminate the Title X family-planning program because it is "not absolutely essential." Title X is the nation's only dedicated family-planning program. Millions of Americans rely on it for birth control, cancer screenings, and other basic health care. How do you propose that these Americans get access to birth control, cancer screenings, and other basic health care they need once you've eliminated Title X?
- When it comes to women's freedom and privacy, politicians in your party, including your running mate, have supported policies that would put government in the examining room with women. For example, right now there is a bill in Congress that would force a woman to undergo an ultrasound before she can receive abortion care, even if her doctor doesn't recommend it and even if it is against the woman's will. Women deserve to know how you'd govern on these issues. As president, would you sign a forced-ultrasound bill?
We're not going to let Mitt Romney shy away from his anti-choice position. We're holding him accountable! And so will voters on November 6.
There's only one candidate we can trust with women's freedom and privacy, and that's pro-choice President Barack Obama.
Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
It seems like everyone is running away from their anti-choice record these days.
When his Democratic challenger, Christie Vilsack, brought up his extreme position, Rep. King insisted,
"If I were opposed to it, I would have introduced a bill. I mean, look at my history. I have had 16 years out there. I don't know why they have to make things up."
Rep. Steve King has an extreme anti-contraception voting record. Let's take a walk down memory lane, shall we?
- This is the guy who thinks states should be able to ban birth control, but not foie gras.
- Since coming to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2003, Rep. King has voted six times to defund, block or restrict family-planning programs.
- Rep. King also cosponsored H.R.1179 - the House counterpart to the infamous Blunt Amendment, which would have allowed any employer to deny coverage of birth control to employees for virtually any reason.
- And just last year, Rep. King made these extreme comments on the House floor regarding the Affordable Care Act and the no-cost birth control mandate :
"Preventing babies from being born is not medicine. That's not constructive to our culture and our civilization. If we let our birth rate down below the replacement rate, we are a dying civilization."
Rep. King is trying to appear moderate on birth control, but we're not fooled. Nice try, Rep. King, but your extreme anti-contraception record speaks for itself.
Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, has a new guest post over at Latinovations' La Plaza blog.
She writes about how Obamacare is starting to affect women in their everyday lives - especially Latinas. Across the country, more and more women are no longer being charged a copay when they pick up their prescription birth control.
August 1 marked a momentous day for women: President Obama's no-cost birth-control policy went into effect as part of the Affordable Care Act. This law holds some of the most important advances for women that we will likely see in our lifetimes.
There are so many preventative services that women will now get at no cost, including screenings for gestational diabetes, breastfeeding support, and, of course, birth-control coverage.
At NARAL Pro-Choice America, we wholeheartedly believe that contraception is basic health care. In fact, 99 percent of all women use contraception at some point in their lives.
But until now, many women were forced to choose between their birth control and other necessities like groceries, because contraception is expensive. And even for women fortunate to have contraceptive coverage, many insurance plans charged high deductibles that put the medication out of reach. In fact, fifty percent of Latinas say that they can't afford to use birth control consistently due to the high cost. But this is all starting to change. Thanks to the new policy, many women will now have greater access to family-planning services.
Extreme anti-choice state lawmakers are at it again!
This law will allow bosses to refuse to cover birth control, abortion, and other health-care services in their insurance plans based on their personal beliefs. Women who work at these organizations may no longer receive comprehensive health-care coverage.
This is the furthest-reaching of any recent state bill on this topic.
When Gov. Nixon vetoed the bill in July, he delivered a strong rebuke against its intent to deny contraceptive-coverage to women. Watch his great remarks:
We've seen this kind of political interference in women's birth-control coverage at the federal level, too.
Earlier this year, another Missouri native, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), proposed an extreme amendment to allow corporations and insurance companies to refuse to cover birth control and other essential health-care services, including maternity care, HIV/AIDS screenings, mammograms and cancer screenings.
Keep up to date on what's happening in Missouri by following NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri on Facebook and Twitter. They are on the front lines, and we applaud them for doing everything they could to stop this attack on women's birth-control coverage.
Last week, ranking member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Henry Waxman (D - Ca.), published a report documenting all of the anti-woman and anti-choice votes held by leaders of the U.S. House Representatives since January 2011.
The report details 55 votes - all shamelessly anti-woman.
Here are just a few highlights/lowlights:
- A vote to ban abortion for women in Washington, D.C. who face complications later in pregnancy.
- Votes to repeal Obamacare and effectively take away women's access to affordable preventive-health services.
- A vote to allow hospitals to refuse to provide a woman emergency, life-saving abortion care, even if she could die without it.
Our own Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, was featured in the report:
"From the 'Let Women Die' bill to IRS rape audits to attempts to defund family-planning programs, Americans have seen an unprecedented number of attacks on women's health in recent months. Rep. Waxman's report documents the lengths to which this Congress has gone in trying to dismantle reproductive freedom - and will serve as a clarion call to every American woman who cares about her rights."
Rep. Waxman's report further exposes how anti-choice leaders in Congress are waging a War on Women.
We're not going to let these anti-woman politicians vote our rights away. On November 6, we'll show them that they won't get away with their anti-woman agenda.
Here's what Romney should have told the American people if he were being completely honest: that he will be an extreme anti-choice president who works to take away women's freedom and privacy.
This is the man who vetoed a bill that ensured rape survivors received information and access to emergency contraception. He claimed that the "Roe v. Wade one-size-fits-all approach is wrong." And when he promises to nominate justices who believe - like he does - that the Supreme Court decision recognizing a woman's constitutionally guaranteed right to choose was wrong, we must take him at his word.
We used to call anti-choice extremists "fringe." But now we call them governors, senators, and mayors. Let's make sure we don't call them Mr. President.
We know that you know that the best way to protect your pro-choice values is to vote pro-choice at the polls. We know that you understand full well what happens when we elect extreme politicians like Mitt Romney.
But unfortunately, a lot of pro-choice people don't connect their personal beliefs to taking political action. They might have watched Mitt Romney's speech and come away feeling like he's an okay guy who can be trusted with our rights.
We need your help to make sure your friends connect the dots - and act to protect what they believe in. We put together this video to do just that - encourage people who believe that choice is a very private and personal issue to get involved. Please watch it and share it far and wide:
By sharing our video today, you can actually persuade the voters in our communities who will make a difference this election.
Together, we won't let anti-choice extremists intrude on our personal and private decisions.
The anti-choice leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives just can't help themselves.
They're like Captain Ahab and Wile E. Coyote combined with their mad obsession with destroying the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare.
And even though the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare, the House will vote again tomorrow to repeal this landmark piece of legislation--the 31st attempt by the anti-choice House leadership to invalidate the law.
And just what are they voting to repeal?
- Improving women's access to maternity care
- Covering birth control without a copay
- Allowing young adults to stay on their parents' insurance plans until age 26.
- Refusing to let insurance companies discriminate against women.
What planet are these people living on?
Instead of taking action to create jobs and grow our economy, anti-choice members of the House are voting to attack our health care--again.
Call your representative at 202-224-3121, and tell him or her that enough is enough: vote NO on this latest attack on health care.
Good news: this morning, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare!
The law will bring 30 million Americans into a health-care system that includes affordable family-planning services, better access to contraception, and maternity care.
It's a HUGE victory for American women!
A group of my NARAL Pro-Choice America colleagues was out on the Supreme Court steps this morning speaking out for Obamacare.
Unfortunately, anti-choice politicians in Congress are still trying to repeal the health-care law. In fact, less than an hour after the Supreme Court issued its ruling, anti-choice U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell went to the floor of the Senate to call for a repeal of the law.
Today wraps up National Women's Health Week.
This week, NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC endorsed President Obama's re-election campaign. The president is the only candidate in this race who will stand up for women's health, and we're going to give 110 percent to make sure he's re-elected.
Here at Blog for Choice, we've been sharing stories about how Obamacare helps women get quality, affordable health care.
The Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, allows many small-business owners and self-employed Americans to get affordable health care for the first time. That's great news for Sarah in Minnesota:
I am a professional working woman who recently left a well-paying job to start my own consultancy and independent projects. As I build my contacts and résumé, I'm not making very much money. Thanks to a state-sponsored family-planning program, I'm able to access very low-cost birth control. This ability to prevent pregnancy while I build my financial stability for myself and my partner is an important part of my goals for a healthy, inspired work life. People might not connect these two things (birth control and financial security), but they are absolutely interdependent.
Millions of Americans' access to health care depends on keeping President Obama in the White House. It's as simple as that.
It's National Women's Health Week, and here at Blog for Choice, we're sharing stories about how Obamacare helps women--and men--get quality, affordable health care.
The Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, prohibits insurance companies from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions. That's great news for Ted in Wisconsin and his kids:
After losing our employer-sponsored health insurance, our family of five was uninsured for months. We had so many pre-existing conditions, such as our kids' asthma, every private insurance company denied our application for coverage. I'm happy that insurance companies can no longer deny coverage my asthmatic children. It's terrifying to witness your children struggling to breathe, knowing there's no way to afford the preventative medication they desperately need. To overturn the health-care law would return our family to the days of this terrifying desperation. To deny even children the basic right of accessible and affordable health care would be a moral outrage.
Thanks to Obamacare, Ted and his children can breathe a little easier. Literally.