Health Care Issues
AAUW believes everyone deserves access to quality, affordable, and accessible health care.
For more information: AAUW Fact Sheets and Position Papers on Affirmative Action, Athletics, Education, Managed Care Reform, Reproductive Rights, and Social Security Reform.
Updated March 8, 2014
- In the News:
- AAUW OpEd: AAUW: Child care legislation passage praised (March 7, 2014)
- In the News: FDA, cosmetics industry remain at odds over outdated regulations - Concerned about generations-old regulations that have left it with little power to ensure the safety of thousands of consumer products from shampoo to shaving cream, the Food and Drug Administration launched talks with the cosmetics industry more than a year ago. The goal was to reach a deal on a regulatory regime that has not changed since 1938.
- In the News: New York Women’s Equality Coalition Applauds Assembly’s Passage of Child Care and Family Leave Legislation - Yesterday, the NYS Assembly passed legislation to improve child care access and establish paid sick leave. All of these vital measures for women will make critical upgrades to our laws and put our state back on the map as a leader for women's equality-where New York belongs.
- In the News: Consumers Allowed to Keep Health Plans for Two More Years - The action helps Democrats in tight midterm election races, because it avoids the cancellation of insurance policies at the height of the political campaign season.
- In the News: NYC Council OKs Bill Expanding Required Paid Sick Leave - It will give the right to have paid sick days to 355,000 workers.
- In the News: New CDC data shows 43 percent drop in obesity rates among children 2 to 5 - New federal data published Tuesday show a 43 percent drop in obesity rates among children ages 2 to 5 during the past decade, providing another encouraging sign in the fight against one of the country’s leading public health problems, officials said.
- In the News: Gillibrand visits Owego to tout proposed paid family leave
- In the News: Equally Insured? What You Need to Know About Women and Health Insurance Coverage - One in five of the women in the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 64 are uninsured, making concerns about where women can access health care a serious and urgent issue. Women are at higher risk of being uninsured or underinsured because they are more likely to be covered as dependents through working spouse’s employer-sponsored plans, are less likely to meet Medicaid qualifications, and may have more health concerns that result in pre-existing conditions.
- In the News: Eating Disorders Often Begin At Home: On The Eve Of The Eating Disorders Week - The National Eating Disorders Association estimates that nearly 80% of 10-year-olds are afraid of being overweight.
- In the News: NYC Paid Sick Days Bill Tweaked To Give Grace Period To Small Businesses - The City Council has changed the expanded paid sick days bill to make a small concession to small businesses - giving businesses with 5 to 19 workers a six month grace period to comply with the law.
- In the News: Gillibrand touts paid Family Medical Leave Act - Plan would provide up to 12 weeks of paid medical leave for care of a family member.
- In the News: Gillibrand pushes to expand Medical Leave Act - Gillibrand says under the new Family Act, workers could receive up to 66 percent of their wages for 12 weeks. She says a small tax on wages similar to those on Medicare and Social Security could pay for the program.
- In the News: U.S. Sen. Gillibrand Introduces Paid Family Leave Act - "This FAMILY Act will really provide my staff and employees everywhere with the ability to be great at both of these jobs: their day jobs as breadwinners and their care-giving roles at home,” said Jamie Basiliere, Executive Director of the Childcare Coordinating Council of the North Country.
- In the News: White House Delays Health Insurance Mandate for Medium-Sized Employers Until 2016 - Under new rules announced Monday by Treasury Department officials, employers with 50 to 99 workers will be given until 2016 - two years longer than originally envisioned under the Affordable Care Act - before they risk a federal penalty for not complying.
- In the News: They quit their jobs, thanks to health-care law - Count Polly Lower among those who quit their jobs because of the health-care law. It happened in September, when her boss abruptly changed her job description. She went from doing payroll, which she liked, to working on her boss’s schedule, which she loathed. At another time, she might have had to grit her teeth and accept the new position because she needed the health benefits.
- In the News: New Report: All But 5 States Taking Action to Implement ACA Insurance Reforms - The 10 states that have done the most to implement the health reform law's major components-California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, and Vermont-have set up their own insurance marketplaces, expanded eligibility for Medicaid coverage, and enacted all, or nearly all, of the insurance market reforms to ensure that consumers benefit from the law.
- In the News: Medical bills are a burden for more than 1 in 4 families, CDC says - A crushing medical bill can cause money problems not just for a cash-strapped patient but for his or her entire family. New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show more than one in four U.S.
- AAUW in the News: Gillibrand pitches paid family and medical leave in Watertown - Donna Seymour, of the American Association of University Women, praised Gillibrand's ideas, speaking from personal experience. "The fear of losing your job or your income at least comes off the table when you're sitting up all night with a two-year-old who's been throwing up five times since midnight, as my daughter did a week ago, or if you're trying to figure out how to write a paycheck for an employee who can't come into work because of complications from surgery," she said. (Jan 24, 2014)
- AAUW in the News: Sen. Gillibrand: Dems have good chance to keep congressional seat; paid leave would bring equality to workplace - Sen. Gillibrand was joined in her announcement by Donna E. Seymour, public policy vice president of the American Association of University Women for New York state; JCC Student Government representative Alyssa F. McKenzie-Chery, and Susan Rice, who spoke of the negative effect costly family medical emergencies have had on her career. (Jan 24, 2014)
- AAUW in the News: YNN News: Family Federal and Medical Insurance Leave Act - Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is pushing for a new bill that would allow people to get paid leave from their jobs to take care of sick family members. (Jan 23, 2014)
- In the News: Unhealthy America - A new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation examines the complex issues underlying profound differences in the health of Americans, and recommends that as a nation, we prioritize investment in America's youngest children, significantly shifting spending and major initiatives to ensure families and communities build a strong foundation in the early years.
- In the News: Why Changing the Definition of Full-Time Work Under the ACA Will Put More Workers at Risk and Increase Federal Spending - Starting next year, large employers must offer health insurance coverage to full-time employees or pay a penalty if their employees become eligible for the law’s insurance subsidies. Under the Affordable Care Act, large employers are defined as those with at least 50 full-time employees, and current regulations specify that full-time workers are those working 30 or more hours per week.
- In the News: Little-known aspect of Medicaid now causing people to avoid coverage - Add this to the scary but improbable things people are hearing could happen because of the new federal health-care law: After you die, the state could come after your house.
- In the News: Gender Rating in Long-Term Health Plans Prompts Formal Complaints - The National Women's Law Center has filed complaints against four of the country's largest insurers and various states, alleging that the companies' long-term health care plans discriminate against female beneficiaries. The complaints name four insurers -- Genworth Financial, John Hancock, Transamerica and Mutual of Omaha -- and states that have partnered with them to provide long-term care coverage through their Medicaid programs.
- In the News: Getting charged for ‘free’ preventive care - The new health-care law encourages people to get the preventive services they need by requiring that most health plans cover cancer screenings, contraceptives and vaccines, among other things, without charging patients anything out of pocket. Some patients, however, are running up against coverage exceptions and extra costs when they try to get those services.
- In the News: New York City to Expand Paid Sick Leave, De Blasio Says - The new version broadens the law passed last year to include employers with five or more workers, down from the current threshold of 20. Employees working 30 or more hours a week would be eligible to earn earn as many as five days a year, which they could use to care for themselves or dependents. Connecticut, Seattle and San Francisco have similar policies. HREF="http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dailypolitics/2014/01/health-department-says-new-york-on-track-to-meet-obamacare-enrollment-goal">Health Department Says New York On Track To Meet Obamacare Enrollment Goal - Nearly 330,000 people have signed up for health care coverage through New York’s Obamacare insurance marketplace, according to the latest update from the state Health Department. Health officials said the newest figures show that New York is on track to meet its goal of enrolling 1.1 million people by the end of 2016.
- In the News: HEALTH INSURANCE MARKETPLACE: JANUARY ENROLLMENT REPORT - The Department of Health and Human Services released a report showing that 54 percent of those who have selected an insurance plan through the Affordable Care Act exchanges are women.
- In the News: One in four Obamacare enrollees are young adults. That’s below the target - Even more important than these top-line numbers is what's happening in each state. Insurance rates are set on a state-by-state basis, so even if thousands of young people are signing up in California, it doesn't effect the premiums in neighboring Nevada. The new Health and Human Services report does show some variation by state, although most exchanges tend to hover somewhere in the 20-percent range.
- In the News: Older Pool of Health Care Enrollees Stirs Fears on Costs - People signing up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act’s federal and state marketplaces tend to be older and potentially less healthy, officials said Monday, a demographic mix that could threaten the law’s economic underpinnings and cause premiums to rise in the future if the pattern persists.
- In the News: Should staying home with a sick kid cause a working mom so much anxiety? - This time of year, many parents — particularly those who don’t get a lot of sick leave or haven’t accrued enough — anxiously do the math on how much sick leave they can afford to take.
- In the News: Clinton, de Blasio, Speak Out for Paid Sick Days - 2014 promises another string of wins for policies like paid sick days that boost the economic security of women, families and the economy overall. Recently two political leaders reminded us of the urgency of our task.
- In the News: Oops, So Much for the Right-Wing Arguments Against Paid Sick Leave - In 2011, Connecticut became the first state to require employers to provide paid sick days for workers, including part-time employees. At the time, extreme pro-business interests in the state ran through the common, yet tired, arguments about paid sick leave in efforts to stop the law from passing. After 18 months of the law being in effect, researchers Eileen Appelbaum, of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), and Ruth Milkman, a professor at CUNY, surveyed more than 250 employers in the state to determine the effects of the law. The results of the study pretty soundly reject the conservative arguments against paid sick leave.
- In the News: 20,000 Tipped Workers in D.C. Gain the Right to Earn Paid Sick Days - “In a major victory for D.C. workers, the public health and the local economy, Mayor Gray has signed the Earned Sick and Safe Leave Amendment Act passed unanimously by the City Council last month. The law will ensure that an additional 20,000 tipped restaurant and bar workers can earn the paid sick days they need. The District will be stronger and healthier as a result.
- In the News: Promising Momentum Points to Paid Sick Leave Spreading Widely - Big money opposes any increase in workers rights, but some of the signs are good.
- In the News: Obamacare: Catholic Groups Get Temporary Reprieve on Contraception - The US supreme court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Tuesday night granted Roman Catholic-affiliated groups a temporary exemption from a part of the Obamacare healthcare law that requires employers to provide insurance policies covering contraception.
- In the News: Health Care's Road to Ruin - With half a billion dollars spent by medical lobbyists each year, according to the Washington-based Center for Responsive Politics, our fragmented profit-driven system is effectively insulated from many of the forces that control spending elsewhere. Even Medicare is not allowed to negotiate drug prices for its tens of millions of beneficiaries, and Americans are forbidden by law to re-import medicines made domestically and sold more cheaply abroad.
- In the News: More than 100,000 New Yorkers enrolled in Obamacare - New York State has now enrolled 100,881 people through its health insurance exchange, putting the state on track to meet its own goal of 1.1 million by the end of 2016.
- In the News: Vermont Approves Single-Payer Health Care: "Everybody In, Nobody Out" - The program will be fully operational by 2017, and will be funded through Medicare, Medicaid, federal money for the ACA given to Vermont, and a slight increase in taxes. In exchange, there will be no more premiums, deductibles, copay’s, hospital bills or anything else aimed at making insurance companies a profit. Further, all hospitals and healthcare providers will now be nonprofit.
- In the News: Two Events on U.S. Maternity Care Suggest a Trend - Years’ of complacency about the worsening rates at which U.S. women are dying or being injured during childbirth might be ending.
- AAUW OpEd: Much is at stake in challenges to ACA contraceptive coverage
- In the News: Lack of Doctors May Worsen as Millions Join Medicaid Rolls - Under the health care law, a flood of new patients will soon be covered by Medicaid, a program that has struggled for years with a shortage of doctors willing to accept its red tape and low reimbursement rates.
- In the News: Infant-Formula Companies Milk U.S. Food Program - The U.S. is joining a global consensus about the public-health importance of breast milk. But a federal agency with huge sway over infant nutrition still distributes more than half the infant formula sold in the nation. A special investigation of infant formula and WIC.
- In the News: Big jump in enrollment on state's Obamacare website - In just under two weeks, the number of New Yorkers who have enrolled in health insurance plans through the state's online market, NY State of Health, jumped 58 percent, to 76,177. Of that number, 41,021 have enrolled in private insurance plans and 35,156 in Medicaid, according to the state Health Department.
- In the News: New Pitch for Health Initiative: Mind Your Mom. Get Insured. - Insurers and advocacy groups are pursuing a new strategy in the quest to get millions of young people to sign up for health insurance: They're appealing to their mothers. Recruiting enough young people is a major goal of the Obama administration because insurers need healthy customers to offset the cost of caring for those with expensive medical needs.
- In the News: Medicaid Expansion Faces Major Logistical Challenges Among the Homeless - Housing advocates say they believe that the Medicaid expansion has the potential to reduce rates of homelessness significantly, both by preventing low-income Americans from becoming homeless as a result of illness or medical debt and by helping homeless people become eligible for and remain in housing.
- In the News: Domestic Violence Is Devastating, and Causes Serious, Chronic Health Problems - A new study shows abused women are most likely to suffer from prolonged physical and mental issues.
- In the News: Grassroots 1960s Push Reformed Women's Health Care - The women's health movement of the 1960s and 1970s transformed the doctor-patient relationship and yielded the novel concept that women can take control of their own health, says Laurie Edwards in this excerpt from "In the Kingdom of the Sick."
- In the News: Title X Needed Now More Than Ever Under Obamacare - The only federal program dedicated to family planning will be critical to the job of providing and expanding women's health care under the Affordable Care Act. But several states are attempting to restrict Title X at the very time it is needed most.
- In the News: Obamacare signup delayed -- for 2015 - After the many bumps, ruts and roadblocks the Affordable Care Act has run into, health officials in Washington have decided to delay open enrollment in Obamacare -- not this year, but a year down the road. The Department of Health and Human Services wants to give insurers, consumers and engineers more time to avoid the first go-round's site crashes, coverage train wrecks and cost surprises.
- In the News: Name-brand drug prescriptions are costing you big, report says - Your tax dollars that fund Medicare may be going toward excessive amounts of - name-brand drugs when cheaper generics could be prescribed instead, a new report suggests.
- In the News: Hospital delays are killing America's war veterans - Military veterans are dying needlessly because of long waits and delayed care at U.S
- In the News: Four NY Dems break ranks to support a Republican Obamacare fix - Four New York Democrats broke ranks with the White House this afternoon to support a Republican-led measure that would allow Americans to keep their current health care plans. The measure passed the House by a vote of 261 to 157. Reps. Tim Bishop, Dan Maffei, Sean Patrick Maloney and Bill Owens were among 39 Democrats who voted in favor of the measure.
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