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 December 8, 2013
- 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.
- In the News: With a functioning exchange, New York advances on Obamacare sign-ups - The state Health Department announced that nearly 50,000 New Yorkers have enrolled in health insurance plans since Oct. 1, and nearly half signed up for Medicaid.
- In the News: New York tops nation for most enrolled in state health exchange - New York leads the nation in enrolling people in state-run health exchanges, according to a report by Bloomberg. Through Nov. 10, a total of 49,100 people had enrolled in one of a dozen state-run exchange programs across the country. New York's program had enrolled 13,300, according to the report.
- In the News: DEMOCRATS LOSING PATIENCE WITH OBAMACARE - Congressional Democrats are upping the pressure on President Barack Obama to fix what's ailing his signature health care initiative with some in the party warning they may be forced to back a House Republican proposal if the White House doesn't offer an alternative by week's end.
- In the News: Politicization of US Health Care Preventing Real Changes to Out-Of-Control System, Researchers Suggest -
Over the last decade, the biggest driver of the high health care costs in the United States has been neither the aging of the population nor the large numbers of tests and treatments being prescribed.
Instead, new Johns Hopkins-led analysis suggests it has been the increasing prices of drugs, medical devices and hospital costs -- prices that doctors, patients and insurers rarely know until the money has been spent. The administrative costs alone -- the costs associated with physicians and hospitals procuring payment from health insurers and individuals -- are rising by 6 percent a year.
- In the News: Trio of young coders build health-care website in days
Spurred by the problems that have surrounded the rollout of the official HeathCare.gov site, the trio created an alternative, Health Sherpa, quickly and cheaply.
- In the News: Nearly 800,000 New Yorkers qualify for health insurance subsidy, study shows - New York, with about 2.7 million uninsured, projects enrolling 1.1 million through its state exchange. The online marketplace lists insurers and coverage plans, allowing individuals and small businesses to shop and enroll.
- In the News: Report: Those in New York State who buy their own health insurance will see average of 40 percent premium cut under Obamacare - New York is one of eight states that will see reductions. The policy group's study says premiums will increase in all other states and Washington, D.C. The average state will see an increase of 41 percent.
- In the News: White House relying more on insurance carriers to help fix HealthCare.gov - The White House is increasing its reliance on insurers by accepting their technical help in efforts to repair the problem-ridden online health insurance marketplace and prioritizing consumers’ ability to buy plans directly from the carriers. The Obama administration’s broader cooperation with insurers is a tacit acknowledgment that the federal insurance exchange — fraught with software and hardware flaws that have frustrated many Americans trying to buy coverage — might not be working smoothly by the target date of Nov. 30, according to several health experts familiar with the administration’s thinking.
- In the News: Girls Beginning Puberty at Younger Ages, Study Finds — Girls are developing breasts at younger ages than before, which could lead to negative health consequences, according to a study published on Monday in Pediatrics.
- In the News: Yes, men should pay for pregnancy coverage, and here's why - Let's examine why maternity care is written into all insurance policies under the Affordable Care Act. Society has a vested interest in healthy babies and mothers.
- In the News: Under Health Care Act, Millions Eligible for Free Policies - Three independent estimates by Wall Street analysts and a consulting firm say up to seven million people could qualify for the plans, but federal officials and insurers are reluctant to push them too hard because they are concerned about encouraging people to sign up for something that might ultimately not fit their needs.
- In the News: How Internet Affects Young People at Risk of Self-Harm, Suicide - Oxford researchers have found internet forums provide a support network for socially isolated young people. However, they also conclude that the internet is linked to an increased risk of suicide and self-harm among vulnerable adolescents.
- In the News: U.S.'s Report Card on Premature Births: An "A" for Effort, but "C" Overall - For six consecutive years, the U.S. has successfully lowered the rate of preterm births, to 11.5%. But that still falls short of the March of Dimes goal. The nonprofit organization, which leads the Prematurity Campaign to improve the health of mothers and babies by educating women about the risk factors for preterm birth, hopes to lower the premature birth rate in the U.S. to at least 9.6% by 2020.
- In the News: Silent Victims -- An Epidemic of Childhood Exposure to Domestic Violence - Over 15 million children are exposed to intimate partner violence (IPV) each year, and the health consequences of this exposure are well-documented. The Institute of Medicine and the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommend routine screening for intimate partner violence (IPV) in women of childbearing age. These recommendations represent an important step forward in improving the health of women affected by IPV.
- In the News: New York City Raising Age to Buy Cigarettes to 21 - Buying cigarettes in New York City is about to become a lot harder for young people, as lawmakers on Wednesday adopted the strictest limits on tobacco purchases of any major American city. The legal age for buying tobacco, including cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, cigars and cigarillos will rise to 21, from 18, under a bill adopted by the City Council and which Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has said he would sign. The new minimum age will take effect six months after signing.
- In the News: Feds post food allergy guidelines for schools - The federal government is issuing its first guidelines to schools on how to protect children with food allergies. The voluntary guidelines call on schools to take such steps as restricting nuts, shellfish or other foods that can cause allergic reactions, and make sure emergency allergy medicine - like EpiPens - are available.
- In the News: Report calls for action on concussions among kids - If you're a parent worried about concussions in youth sports – and not just football – you've got reason for concern, according to a 306-page report issued Wednesday that urged more research on younger athletes and establishment of a national system to monitor how often they are getting concussed.
- In the News: N.Y. exchange targets young or struggling older workers - There are 1.2 million New Yorkers ages 25-44 without health insurance, mainly people who are single and earn less than $45,960 a year. As the state seeks to enroll 1 million uninsured over the next three years, it looks to grow the insured ranks through young, single people and older workers who either work part-time or have been laid off.
- In the News: Jersey City mayor signs paid sick time bill into Jersey City mayor signs paid sick time bill into law - Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop (D-NJ) signed a paid sick days law on Monday, making Jersey City the sixth city to allow workers to earn paid sick leave. When the law goes into effect in January 2014, employees of businesses with 10 or more workers will begin earning paid sick leave based on number of hours worked. Nearly half of all private-sector workers in this country – millions of Americans – don't have the right to earn paid sick days. We commend progress at the state- and city-level, but what we need is a federal law guaranteeing workers the right to earn paid sick days.
- In the News: NPR Examines Controversial Decision To Define Premenstrual Condition as Mental Disorder - Neill Epperson, director of the Penn Center for Women's Behavior Wellness, noted, "I think any time a disorder occurs more frequently in women or only in women, there's going to be a group of individuals who have concern that this will diminish women's role in society." The decision to classify PMDD as a mental disorder stemmed from the fact women experience "symptoms under a certain hormonal state that are not there under another hormonal state," Epperson said.
- In the News: Americans will have an extra six weeks to buy health coverage before facing penalty - The Obama administration said Wednesday night that it will give Americans who buy health insurance through the new online marketplaces an extra six weeks to obtain coverage before they incur a penalty.
- In the News: NNY youth promoting conversation with adults about personal issues - “Here’s the thing: it’s hard for people to hear ‘teen sex,’” said Jacki C. Coe, ACR Health development associate. “The thing much worse than that is teen HIV. Kids put more protection on their phones than themselves. I think that can change with more education for teens and adults.”
- In the News: Paid Family Leave a Critical Need - The proposed law would cover all employees regardless of company size. Benefits would be paid out through a self-sustaining national insurance fund that the employee would contribute to through payroll contributions of two-tenths of one percent – which works out to 2 cents for every $10!
- In the News: DENTAL CRISIS COULD CREATE 'STATE OF DECAY' - Obamacare expands access to health insurance for tens of millions of people come January 1. Dental care for adults, however, is not included, and experts say we've got a potential oral health care crisis coming.
- In the News: The Affordable Care Act: Student Discussion Guide
- In the News: DOCTOR SHORTAGE, INCREASED DEMAND COULD CRASH HEALTH CARE SYSTEM - Obamacare is expected to increase patient demand for medical services. Combine that with a worsening shortage of doctors, and next year you may have to wait a little longer to get a doctor's appointment. And the crowded emergency room may become even more so.
- In the News: Breast-Feeding Services Lag the Law - Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies are required to pay for breast pumps and counseling for new mothers to address breast-feeding problems. The aim is to encourage more women to breast-feed so their infants can reap the health benefits, including reduced risks of asthma, leukemia and Type 2 diabetes. Despite the law, many new mothers have found it nearly impossible to get timely help for breast-feeding problems since Jan. 1, when health insurers began updating their coverage.
- In the News: NY Health Exchange has discounts for uninsured - The New York Health Exchange set to open online Tuesday will offer insurance plans with premiums as low as $134 a month for the most limited coverage in the Rochester area to nearly $900 for platinum coverage on Long Island. The marketplace lists plans by 16 nonprofit and commercial insurers as the state moves to extend regular health care to 2.7 million uninsured New Yorkers under the federal Affordable Care Act.
- What does the Affordable Care Act mean for the North Country?
- In the News: Will young people pay a lot more under Obamacare? There are many assumptions about what the effects of Obamacare will be. This series aims to separate myths from realities and answer questions surrounding the Affordable Care Act.
- In the News: Paid Sick Days: Cities and states across the country are catching paid sick days "fever" and taking important steps to make our nation more family friendly. The city council in Jersey City, NJ, passed a paid sick days bill championed by Mayor Fulop. Last week, a bill was introduced in Washington, D.C., that would expand and strengthen its existing law. This month, Seattle celebrated its one-year anniversary of a successful paid sick days law. And we continue to support other paid sick days campaigns across the United States.
- In the News: Study Examines Impact of Intimate Partner Violence Counseling in Primary Care Setting
- In the News: Dr. Jennifer Shu - Why you shouldn't go to work sick
- In the News: How Low-Income Americans Experience Health Care: Ranking the States -
The first-ever health system performance scorecard focusing on low-income Americans has one overriding message: where you live matters. The new Commonwealth Fund report Health Care in the Two Americas, along with the accompanying interactive map, provides the first state-by-state comparison of the health care experiences of the 39 percent of Americans earning less than twice the federal poverty level ($47,000 a year for a family of four or $23,000 for an individual).
- In the News: The Complete Guide To College Students & Healthcare Reform - It is a good primer to help college students understand what healthcare reform is and what it means for them. on the topic, easy to understand, and particularly useful right now as we get close to the Oct. 1 deadline with the Affordable Care Act media information and disinformation ad wars in full force.
- In the News: CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden: A disease outbreak anywhere is a risk everywhere - The world faces a perfect storm of vulnerability. On average, we identify one previously unknown microbe each year. We're also finding that more and more infections are showing resistance to all available drugs. And the threat exists that sometime, somewhere, someone will unleash a deadly, genetically modified microbe for which we may have no warning and little preparation.
- In the News: Anti-Quinn vote in New York City raises hopes for paid family leave in Albany - "The governor has indicated he’s very interested in family leave insurance," said Donna Dolan, chair of the New York State Paid Family Leave Coalition, last Friday. "He indicated it through his lieutenants that we have been talking to for the past year and a half."
- In the News: Cuomo Says Washington Gridlock Won't Effect Obamacare in NY
- In the News: Americans Are 110 Times More Likely to Die from Contaminated Food Than Terrorism - In 2011, the year of Osama bin Laden's death, the State Department reported that 17 Americans were killed in all terrorist incidents worldwide. The same year, a single outbreak of listeriosis from tainted cantaloupe killed 33 people in the United States. Foodborne pathogens also sickened 48.7 million, hospitalized 127,839 and caused a total of 3,037 deaths. This is a typical year, not an aberration.
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