Raising Women’s Voices

Sonia Sotomayor nominated for the Supreme Court

Posted in Uncategorized by raisingwomensvoices on May 28, 2009

A little news: Christine C wrote a piece on the 26th about the Sotomayor nomination for Our Bodies, Our Blog. Check it out!

A little opinion: Also, there is an interesting piece in Feministing about gender and racial identity in the Sotomayor nomination here.

Holding down prices: a legal roadblock

Posted in Uncategorized by raisingwomensvoices on May 27, 2009

Yesterday Robert Pear reported on the most recent problem that showed up in the health care reform debate: American antitrust laws. The Obama Administration and Congress are facing a significant legal conundrum: include everyone in the health care reform debate, work together to lower costs and…face legal consequences?? “Antitrust lawyers say doctors, hospitals, insurance companies and drug makers will be running huge legal risks if they get together and agree on a strategy to hold down prices and reduce the growth of health spending.” Whenever there are lots of stake holders together negotiating prices, there is risk to competition and the chance that consumers will have to pay higher prices. Yet without the buy-in to reform by insurance companies, doctors, and drug companies, there is little hope for comprehensive change. Read more here.

Drug companies wanting to be part of the conversation

Posted in Uncategorized by raisingwomensvoices on May 27, 2009

Drug company CEOs have come out recently as willing to compromise in the debate for health care reform. These heavy-lifters are CEOs of huge companies with multi billion dollar profits every year (like Pfizer and Merck), and we’re not sure if compromise exactly represents what they are willing to do. Analysts say they have been driving up the cost of treatments in anticipation for the cost drops that will most likely happen with health care reform. But spokespeople for the Obama Administration stand firm next to the assertion that the drug companies are going to compromise because they realize “we can no longer live with the status quo”. I guess we’ll see!

Triggering – what?

Posted in Uncategorized by raisingwomensvoices on May 27, 2009

Jason Rosenbaum wrote an article about the “trigger option” for public health insurance proposed by some Republicans in the United States Senate. Our own Charles Schumer (D-NY) is not in support of this option and is looking for a “good, strong public option”, not one that needs to be “triggered” when things are bad. Schumer has come out and said that things are already bad, and that denying the production of a public health care option would be exactly what we DON’T need right now in this reform. Read and listen more here.

Heads up! Someone’s against healthcare reform…

Posted in Uncategorized by raisingwomensvoices on May 27, 2009

Conservatives for Patients’ Rights CEO Rick Scott is coming out with a “documentary” in protest to the Obama Administration’s proposed ideas about health care reform. This video will be aired in Washington, DC on May 30th after Meet the Press. Check out the advertisement here. Fear mongering at its best.

Benefit standards and finances

Posted in Uncategorized by raisingwomensvoices on May 27, 2009

Benefit standards are outlined in an article from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities from last Thursday. Benefit standards are summarized, and the needs of the legislation are addressed. Sarah Lueck makes the case that particulars can be charged to an organization and don’t need to be specifically outlined in the actual law.

The purpose of an effective insurance exchange is “to ensure that an exchange provides affordable, comprehensive coverage to all enrollees” and that it “enables people to make informed choices among competing health plans, and fosters competition based on price and quality”

In a related article, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ Judith Solomon outlines the role of subsidies and the more specific financial challenges faced by health care reform.

Health coverage for undocumented workers deemed too “politically explosive”

Posted in Uncategorized by raisingwomensvoices on May 26, 2009

Yet again undocumented workers have been left out to dry. On Thursday the 21st of this month, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D – Montana) dismissed the idea of including undocumented workers in federally-backed health coverage plans, citing the political sensitivity of the issue and the likelihood that any proposal with this inclusion would not become law. Read more here.

The president makes a statement

Posted in Uncategorized by raisingwomensvoices on May 26, 2009

On Saturday a C-Span interview with President Barack Obama was aired where he came out and said that he was “absolutely committed” to a new healthcare plan. Amidst questions about his family life and contact with former President George Bush, Obama made it clear that now is the time for an overhaul of the healthcare industry. The Los Angeles Times article from the 24th said he feels this way “because escalating costs had shifted the political climate”. We’re crossing our fingers that he’s right.

Senators introduce resolution calling for consumer choice in health care reform

Posted in Uncategorized by raisingwomensvoices on May 26, 2009

On May 21st, a resolution was made by almost a third of U.S. Senators calling for a federally-funded health care option in health care reform. An article describing the statement, and the statement itself.

Walk-in retail clinics not the solution

Posted in Uncategorized by raisingwomensvoices on May 26, 2009

Carla Johnson from the Associated Press reported yesterday on a study done by the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation regarding walk-in retail clinics and the effects they have on health care provision in poor areas of the United States. The study reports that these clinics are not in the poorest, neediest communities, but instead in communities that can afford health care of all different types.

“”Many people have promoted retail clinics as a cure for access to care for the underserved,” said Dr. Ateev Mehrotra of the University of Pittsburgh, who studies retail clinics but wasn’t involved in the new research. “These findings show that’s unlikely to happen.””

The study was based on 930 of these retail clinics, finding fewer than 15% of these clinics in medically underserved communities. Read the paper abstract here.