House Votes to Delay Key Obamacare Provisions
The US House of Representatives voted yesterday to delay two key provisions of the Affordable Care Act -- marking the 38th and 39th times the House has voted to repeal or amend all or some of President Obama’s landmark legislation.
Wednesday, the House voted for a one-year delay on the requirement that most Americans insurance by 2014.
Legislators also voted to delay the requirement that employers with 50 employees or more to provide health coverage, even though Obama already announced that implementation of this provision will be delayed one year.
The senate does not plan to vote on either piece of legislation. Democrats are calling the votes another attempt by Republicans to weaken the Affordable Care Act and waste time.
Today, Obama will discuss the health care law in a speech at the White House, focusing specifically on a provision that will require insurance providers to refund customers when they spend less than 80% of premiums on medical care. Obama said the provision will result in 8.5 million Americans receiving $500 million in refunds this summer.
Media Resources: Bloomberg, 7/18/2013; New York Times, 7/17/2013; USA Today, 7/18/2013; Washington Post, 7/17/2013
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. . . .