An article by Kim Custer from themorningcall.com addresses the issue of community health centers, specifically women’s health centers like Planned Parenthood. She says:
“Today, one in four women who receives contraceptive care does so at a women’s health center. One in six who obtains a Pap test or a pelvic exam does so at a women’s health center, as do one-third of women who receive counseling, testing or treatment for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. This basic health care is essential, particularly during difficult economic times, to give women the tools they need to protect and support their families. This is particularly true when you consider that women of childbearing age spend a remarkable 68 percent more in out-of-pocket health care costs than men, in part because of reproductive health-related needs.”
These numbers are too significant to ignore. Community health clinics are vital to the reproductive and sexual health of women.
The Ways and Means Committee, one of the three committees in the House of Representatives working toward a health reform bill, has passed their version of the legislation. This comes after a few days of mark-up that featured the successful defeat of abortion-restricting amendments. Representatives Sam Johnson (R-TX) and Eric Cantor (R-VA) among others made attempts at restricting abortion coverage in the essential benefits package, meaning that basic health care plans would not include abortion. Also, the House Education and Labor Committee has passed their version of the bill. That means that we are passed the point the Clinton administration was fifteen years ago – this very well may happen!! (Also check out this article by Nancy Keenan about the Senate HELP Committee and the success they had in passing their version.)
In other good news, Washington DC is now able to use money to subsidize/fund abortions for women. Though this doesn’t apply to federal funds, it does allow the District to use locally-collected revenue for women in need. Though this passed, it is scary to see some of the opposition and the claims that they make.
Health Care for All New York has done an amazing job this past legislative session. From a recent press release:
“Last night, the Senate passed three insurance reform bills strongly supported by HCFANY:
1. A.8400/S.5471, which extends COBRA coverage from 18 to 36 months for workers who are laid off or have a reduction in hours;
2. A.9036/S.6030, which allows young adults (ages 19-29) to obtain a COBRA-like coverage through his or her parent’s insurance, while still preserving New York’s pure community rating system; and
3. A.8402/S.5472, which strengthens and updates consumer and provider protections in managed care and similar products, including enhanced access to cutting edge treatments for people with rare diseases.
These bills have already passed the Assembly, and HCFANY urges the Governor to sign them as quickly as possible.”
Super exciting! Check out their website here.