Universal Theme Park Will Drop Coverage To Avoid Obamacare
Universal Orlando, a Florida based theme park based on Universal Studios films, will not offer health benefits to part time employees beginning next year, citing provisions in Obamacare.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Universal Orlando currently offers part-time employees limited insurance benefits that feature a cap on payouts. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), insurance plans can no longer place a monetary limit on necessary health benefits. As a result, Universal Studios will be terminating coverage for employees effective January 1, 2014, instead of extending benefits.
Universal Studios is not the only company that has announced they will not provide health insurance coverage to part-time employees, despite pulling in over $1 billion in revenue last year. Wal-Mart stopped providing coverage for part-time employees two years ago. According to ThinkProgress, food service companies Applebees, Olive Garden, Wendy's and Denny's have all announced they will not be able to provide part-time insurance coverage because of Obamacare. The governor of Virginia is also considering cutting the amount of available hours to wage employees to avoid paying for health care under the ACA.
Media Resources: ThinkProgress 2/21/2013; Orlando Sentinel 2/19/2013; Feminist Newswire 2/11/2013
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .