Additionally, Mr. Corlett was (and continues to be) a champion for the expansion of Medicaid eligibility for reproductive health services through a family planning waiver. The waiver application, expected to be filed with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) by the end of this year, seeks to increase eligibility for family planning and preconception care services to individuals at 200 percent of the federal poverty level. If approved, it would extend eligibility for these services to over half a million Ohioans.
Here's to a class Ohioan...job well done, John!
Fabricating Myths About Abortion and Health Care Reform
The truth is that the public health insurance plan would operate like any private insurance plan would. The public option would be funded and paid for by private individual premiums, in the same way private insurance plans currently operate. Only private individual premiums would fund abortions, just like they do now. In fact, up to 86% of employment-based health insurance plans currently pay for abortions (Guttmacher study).
Singling out abortion for exclusion from plans in a health insurance exchange is both discriminatory and harmful to women's health. With the majority of private insurance plans covering abortion today, any attempt to restrict this coverage in the health insurance exchange would constitute an unprecedented restriction on women -- taking benefits away that they currently have today. Read more...
Thursday, August 27, 2009 | | 0 Comments
Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Connie Schultz appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show with guest host Alison Stewart to comment on the lies and contradictory statements being made by opponents of Health Care Reform in Congress. Tackling a video from a Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) Town Hall, she points out that by Senator Coburn offering to assist a constituent who is requesting help, the senator's office is providing a tax-payer funded solution at the same time as he says that government is not the solution to our problems. Senator Coburn is the government!
Ms. Schultz also dissects a concept that has been pushed by churches and small-government advocates for some time. Senator Coburn suggests that what this constituent needs is assistance from her neighbors. The woman has asked him to help her husband who has a brain injury, has been dropped by his insurance, and has been kicked out of a nursing home. She is asking him for help because her husband cannot eat or drink on his own. She is asking him for help because her cannot speak and has a feeding tube. They need professional medical assistance.
Says Schultz, "What is this neighbors helping neighbors? What are they supposed to do, throw bake sales to help raise this money for health care?"
-Gabriel Read more...
The following was published on Thursday, Aug 13, 2009 in the Akron Beacon Journal.
By Tara Broderick
Town-hall meetings across our country are being disrupted by rowdy protesters who are hijacking health-care reform. The stakes are too high to allow opposition tactics to scare us into losing the opportunity for real change in our country's health-care system.
Reproductive health care is often treated like the ''third rail'' of women's health. For many politicians and citizens, ''reproductive health care'' is synonymous with ''abortion.'' The reality is that reproductive health care is much broader and includes preventive services such as contraception, cancer screening, breast exams, immunizations and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections.
Abortion is being used as a wedge to deflect attention from the unique opportunity we have to achieve access to quality, affordable health care. If these divisive tactics succeed, women could end up worse off after health-care reform by losing benefits or providers of their choice.
First, let's set the record straight about abortion and health-care reform. There is no mandate to cover abortion care in any health-care reform legislation, and there is no plan to use taxpayer money to pay for abortions.
The public option that has been proposed is not a government-funded health plan. And in fact, 86 percent of employer-based insurance plans currently cover abortion care. Stripping that coverage from insured women is the real agenda.
Second, let's talk about prevention. On average, American women wish to become pregnant during a five-year period of their reproductive years. For the other 35-plus years, they are trying to prevent pregnancy. Virtually all sexually active women (98 percent, according to the Guttmacher Institute) use at least one contraceptive method at some point in their lives. Although contraception is a routine part of life for women, right-wing politicians and their town-hall protesters, continue to marginalize women's need for reproductive health care.
Unfortunately, our current health system is not oriented toward prevention. As President Obama has pointed out, it can be easier to get health-care coverage to have a foot amputated than to prevent the underlying diabetes. In the reproductive health realm, there are still insurance providers that will pay for an abortion but won't cover all the FDA-approved contraceptives that could prevent the need for an abortion in the first place.
Of course, what a health plan does or doesn't cover is moot to someone who doesn't even have insurance. An estimated 30 percent of U.S. women age 20 to 24 have no health insurance. For many of these young women, seeking contraception is the first point of entry into the health-care delivery system. In fact, according to the Guttmacher Institute, more than 60 percent of family planning clients consider their family planning provider their only primary care provider.
As an essential community provider, Planned Parenthood knows first-hand that any health-care reform plan must give women the ability to access reproductive health care. Because of the recession, women are deferring childbearing; yet sadly, many are also deferring preventive care that could save their lives and protect their health.
Now is the time for women to stand up to these protesters to ensure that women's health is not put on the chopping block. Members of Congress need to hear that women support health-care reform and that we deserve to be better off after health-care reform — not worse.
Broderick is the president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of Northeast Ohio.
Planned Parenthood Affiliates of Ohio released their monthly Thanks and Spanks last week. The organization's cheers and jeers go to two groups or individuals who have made a difference in reproductive rights, either good or bad.
Gov. Strickland vetoed a budget provision, inserted by the Ohio Senate, that would have required the Ohio Department of Health to apply for federal abstinence-only funds.
According to a Columbus Dispatch editorial:
Studies show that teens in abstinence-only programs are no more likely to refrain from sex than are other teens. And some studies suggest abstinence-only curricula can be harmful because teens don't learn alternatives that can help protect them from pregnancy and diseases if they don't abstain from sex.Also...
The governor also took a leadership position in support of the Medicaid Family Planning State Option. Fifteen governors joined him in signing a letter to the Congressional leadership as part of a campaign to include the State Option as part of health care reform. The Medicaid Family Planning State Option is a proven-effective approach to expanding coverage for basic, primary health care services, while at the same time generating significant cost savings for states and the federal government.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and the National Women's Law Center (NWLC) applauded Gov. Strickland for submitting the letter. This critical provision provides basic preventive health care, including breast and cervical cancer screenings and contraception, to millions of women and is currently in President Obama's fiscal year 2010 budget.
“We applaud Governor Ted Strickland for championing this letter and the governors who joined him in expressing support for the Medicaid Family Planning State Option,” said Cecile Richards, PPFA president. “We know firsthand the lifesaving care these programs provide to women and families across the country. And governors recognize that ensuring the expansion of Medicaid family planning is vital to any comprehensive health care reform effort.”
These proposals are serious, and every legislator owes their constituents serious answers about what they are doing to improve health care in America. As a key health care provider, Planned Parenthood wants to make sure women, men, and teens have access to comprehensive reproductive health care services under any reform package that Congress passes. Women must not be worse off after health care reform than they are today.
When asked by CNBC how much of the GOP's opposition to health care reform proposals backed by President Obama is driven by a desire to "declaw" the president politically, Senator George Voinovich (R-Ohio) said, "I think it's probably 50/50."(Click here for video)
The U.S. Senate voted 68-31 to approve the appointment of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court today. Both Ohio senators voted Yes.
"I believe the factors to be examined in determining whether a Supreme Court nominee is qualified include her education, prior legal and judicial experience, judicial temperament, and commitment to the rule of law. Based on my review of her record, and using these factors, I have determined that Judge Sotomayor meets the criteria to become a Justice on the Supreme Court. I did not come to this determination lightly, and Judge Sotomayor has made statements that give me pause. However, after reviewing her judicial record and the comments made during the Judiciary Committee hearings, on balance, I believe she is fit to serve on our Nation’s highest court."
--Prepared remarks of Sen. Voinovich
"I applaud President Obama’s decision to nominate Judge Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court. The daughter of hard-working parents, Judge Sotomayor rose from New York public housing to become one of the most well-respected judges in the nation. Judge Sotomayor will be a tough, fair, and thoughtful addition to our nation’s highest court."
--Sen. Sherrod Brown in May, '09.
The weather was nothing less than ominous as we drove to Shaker Heights, but with rain gear in tow we took to the streets with other activists who we soon found out were not advocating the same views. Within minutes of claiming a spot on the street and holding up our pink “Protect Women’s Health” signs a group of people with “abortion is not health care” signs took up next to us, but thankfully just stood there silently. However the experience only strengthened my resolve to make the point that the reproductive health care women receive now, must be part of future health care plans.
As a college student struggling to pay bills I know first-hand the importance of Planned Parenthood clinics. I have used their services for years. I am friends with countless women who get their birth control, yearly cancer screenings, STD testing and on occasion Plan B, exclusively from Planned Parenthood. But my girl friends are not the only people in need of Planned Parenthood, every gay man I know gets HIV testing done there.
As I stood in the rain, I thought of all this, of all the people close to me, and people I have never met who would suffer if we lost the option to go to Planned Parenthood. I shudder to think of the consequences of losing Planned Parenthood. And I realized it all comes down to us, the volunteers and advocates who are willing to stand in the rain and get yelled at, we are the ones making Planned Parenthood’s voice heard to communities and lawmakers. We could have gone back to the car and got some coffee and chalked the afternoon up as a waste of time, but we stuck it out and the day ended up being a success.
Planned Parenthood of Northeast Ohio's Elizabeth Bowen gave a radio interview and answered questions for a TV station blog, and Tiffany Holbrook and I forced our way into the background of a TV spot with our Planned Parenthood signs held high.
There will always be opposition, there will always be taunts and jeers. So it is up to us to make sure that we will always be there to respond, to stand for what Planned Parenthood works so hard for. It’s not always a glamorous job, but we have to do it.
Tuesday, August 04, 2009 | | 0 Comments
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