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Women’s Health Policy

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A Guide to the Supreme Court’s Review of the Contraceptive Coverage Requirement

This issue brief dissects the issues raised by the legal challenges to the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that private insurance plans include contraception as part of their coverage of preventive services for women. Over 40 for-profit corporations and over 40 nonprofit corporations have filed lawsuits claiming that the requirement to provide their employees with contraceptives violates their religious rights. On November 26, 2013, the Supreme Court agreed to hear two cases filed by for-profit corporations, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, that claim that this requirement violates their religious rights. At the crux of these cases is a question that the Supreme Court has not previously addressed: Do for-profit corporations have religious protections under the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment? The brief provides background on how the ACA’s contraceptive requirement works, summarizes some of the legal challenges brought by for-profit and non-profit organizations and discusses the implications of potential rulings by the Supreme Court.

We Are Empowered: Alicia Keys Wants To Change the Way Women Think About HIV

  Fourteen-time Grammy Award-winning artist and HIV advocate Alicia Keys has teamed up with Greater Than AIDS to launch EMPOWERED, a new public information campaign to reach women in the U.S. about HIV/AIDS. Being released in the lead-up to National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (March 10), the ongoing…

Abortion Policy and Politics

This issue update reviews abortion since the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade legalized it in 1973. Every state has laws regulating some aspect of the provision of abortion, and many have passed restrictions that are now in effect, such as parental consent or notification requirements; mandated counseling…

Access to Care and Use of Health Services by Low-Income Women

This article, by Ruth Almeida and Lisa Dubay of the Urban Institute and Grace Ko of Brown University, examines the effect of insurance on low-income women’s access to care and use of health services. Using the 1997 National Survey of America’s Families, it examines access to health care for three…

Access to Care for Low-Income Women: The Impact of Medicaid

Health coverage is of critical importance to low-income women. This study was undertaken to assess how low-income women with Medicaid, private insurance, or no insurance vary with regard to personal characteristics, health status, and health utilization. Data are from a telephone interview survey of a representative cross-sectional sample of 5,200…

All Eyes on the Supreme Court: More than Birth Control at Stake

On March 25th, the Supreme Court will hear two cases brought by for-profit corporations challenging the ACA’s contraceptive coverage rule on religious grounds. These two corporations are Hobby Lobby, a national chain of craft stores owned by a Christian family and Conestoga Wood Specialties, a cabinet manufacturer, owned by a Mennonite family. Beyond the impact on the ACA and contraceptive coverage, the Court’s decision may have implications for religious rights of employers and employees, as well as corporate and civil rights laws. This brief examines three fundamental questions raised by some of the 84 amicus briefs that have been submitted to the Court.

The Supreme Court and Contraceptive Coverage: Legal and Policy Implications – Briefing and Panel Discussion

On Tuesday, March 11, two weeks before the hearings, Kaiser Family Foundation hosted a public briefing and panel discussion to discuss two upcoming Supreme Court cases brought forth by for-profit corporations that challenge the Affordable Care Act’s requirement to cover contraceptives, and the implications these rulings have for the ACA, corporate and individual religious protections, and civil rights.

Visualizing Health Policy: The Role of Medicaid and Medicare in Women’s Health Care

This month’s Visualizing Health Policy infographic provides information about the role of Medicaid and Medicare in women’s health care: the proportion of US women who are covered by Medicaid and Medicare; how women comprise the majority of those covered by the Medicaid and Medicare programs and the majority of those receiving long-term services and supports (such as home health care); how women on Medicaid are poorer and sicker than women with private coverage; how Medicaid is a primary payer for women’s reproductive health services; and how women on Medicare spend more than their male counterparts on medical care and also have higher rates of health problems and social challenges.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.