Yesterday the devastating Ryan Budget for 2014 was passed on a party line vote of 221-207 in the House of Representatives. Later that day it was solidly defeated in the Senate in a vote of 40-59. The Ryan budget would repeal the 2010 Affordable Care Act, which prohibits insurance companies from classifying being a woman as a pre-existing medical condition and eliminates co-pays for birth control. The Ryan budget would also turn Medicare into a voucher system that would leave seniors, particularly women, struggling to get coverage, and authorize the Keystone XL Pipeline. In addition, the proposed budget would restructure the way Social Security Living Adjustments are determined, threatening the stability of seniors nationwide. Paul Ryan also seeks to undo sequester cuts to the Pentagon by instead transferring the cuts to already severely impacted domestic programs.
After passage in the House, no Senate Republican offered the Ryan Budget as an amendment to the Senate Democratic proposal by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA). Senator Murray, as chair of the Senate Budget Committee, introduced the Ryan Budget where she and her fellow democrats were joined by five Republicans in voting against it. The Senate is anticipated to vote on the Murray budget on Friday.
Media Resources: Associated Press 3/21/2013; House of Representatives Office of the Clerk 3/21/2013; Politico 3/21/2013; Feminist Newswire 3/21/2013
11/20/2014 Federal Appeals Court Rejects Priests for Life Challenge to Birth Control Coverage Rule - In a victory for women's health, a unanimous panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit on Friday rejected a challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive coverage benefit brought by Priests for Life, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington and other religiously affiliated non-profit organizations.
Judge Nina Pillard, a former law professor who was nominated to the DC Circuit by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate in December, wrote the opinion for the Court, which found that the ACA birth control benefit did not substantially burden or violate non-profits' religious freedom.
Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies must cover the full cost of all FDA-approved contraceptives - including the pill, IUDs, and emergency contraception - without requiring co-pays or cost-sharing. . . .