Roundup: National Day of Action for Women's Healthcare Reform, Anti-Abortion Dems Stall Reform?
Posted Nov 04 2009 10:00pm
I Am Not A Pre-Existing Condition
Today a broad coalition of progressive organizations are unifying to address the inequities in health insurance, through health care reform. The Women's Day of Action includes a 12 hour vigil on Dupont Circle in Washington DC where women will read their personal health care stories. But there are rallies, events, house parties and other actions happening around the country. In a statement released today, The National Women's Law Center's Marcia Greenburger says,
"We want women to know that health care reform isn't something that shoudl be debated only in Washington - because it affects women everywhere...That's why we’re
taking our campaign outside the Beltway and bringing it to the women and
families whose lives are affected the most. Women need to make their voices
heard and speak out to demand health care reform that works for women.”
Lucinda Marshall of the Feminist Peace Network says the conversation needs to be about health as a human right,
The conversation we need to be having right now is not about how to ‘reform’ health care but about reclaiming our health as a human right.
Marshall writes passionately about the benefit, not just to women, but to society overall when we deal with the disrimination against women in health care,
When a woman decides to have a child, it should be the standard of society that she receive the best prenatal care possible so that she and her baby are healthy. When she goes to a hospital to deliver the baby, there should never be a question of whether she has enough money to do so. If a rape or domestic assault victim seeks medical care, she should never be penalized for doing so. And if she or her children are sick, she should be able to stay home from work without fear of losing her job. And women should NEVER be charged more than men for access to health care as many are now. The benefits of such a re-statement of health and care as a right would be significant.
Some of the organizations involved in this national day of action include Momsrising.org, Americans for Democratic Action, Raising Women's Voices, Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health, and PHI Health Care for Health Care Workers.
And here's more information on the day of action and the NWLC's "I Am Not A Pre-Existing Condition" campaign.
The Great American Abortion Access Stall in Health Care Reform
As Rachel Maddow repeatedly reminded us last night, President Obama has said over and over and over again that Americans would see final health care reform bills before Congress' August recess. Of course that didn't happen. And, as Maddow reported, yesterday, "Just moments after announcing that the Republican strategy with health care reform was to delay, Senator Reid announced - yes - further delays. He says he doesn't even know if they will pass reform this year. 'We won't be bound by any time lines.'"
Maddow goes on to say, "That sound you hear in the distance is Republican cheering."
And, of course, one of the biggest obstacles in the House, it seems, is anti-choice opposition to including legal abortion access in the bill.
Anti-choice Democrat, Bart Stupak, is doing eveything he can to rally Democrats to fight even private insurance coverage of abortion in the House health bill. It certainly may not be what he's saying outright but how else to interpret his leadership on this issue? Stupak's struggle to ensure that those Americans who, under health care reform, maintain a combination of private insurance and public assistance, are barred from abortion access is a fight to roll back abortion rights, plain and simple.
Pro-choice legislators want to include an amendment called The Capps Amendment in the House health care bill. The amendment would ensure that, according to the Christian Science Monitor, "private healthcare plans included in a new
insurance marketplace...would cover abortion, as long as the funds were
segregated. In other words, an individual’s private funds would be used
for abortion coverage, not federal monies."
The Hyde Amendment bars federal funds from being used to pay for abortions. It's been in place for almost 40 years, since 1976. Private insurance companies, for the most part, cover abortion services because abortion is legal. So, what is the problem?