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Women’s Health Policy

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Health Reform: Implications for Women’s Access to Coverage and Care

This issue brief, Health Reform: Implications for Women’s Access to Coverage and Care, reviews how the Affordable Care Act is expected to affect access to care and affordability of health coverage for women. It also explains the provisions in the health reform law related to preventive screening services, reproductive health, maternity care and women on Medicare. The brief includes national and state-level estimates of the percentage of uninsured women ages 18-64 who are likely to qualify for federal help under the law and a summary of key coverage and benefits provisions in the health reform law that affect women.

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.

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…

Putting Men’s Health Care Disparities On The Map: Examining Racial and Ethnic Disparities at the State Level

This report documents the persistence of disparities between white men and men of color — and among different groups within men of color — on 22 indicators of health and well-being, including rates of diseases such as AIDS, cancer, heart disease and diabetes, as well as insurance coverage and health screenings. It also catalogues disparities in factors that influence health and access to care such as income and education, and other social determinants of health.

Health Coverage and Expenses: Impact on Older Women’s Economic Well-Being

In this article in the Journal of Women, Politics & Policy, researchers from the Kaiser Family Foundation examine how health issues that women face over the course of their lives, as well as policies that shape Medicare, Medicaid and other supplemental coverage, can affect retired women’s economic well-being. They found that…

1 Year Later: Medical Abortion After FDA Approval

On September 28, 2000, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved mifepristone (RU486), the first dedicated medical abortion pill regimen. Many advocates on both sides of the abortion debate predicted that arrival of this new option would transform the abortion landscape – for women, for doctors, and for politicians. So,…

Women at Risk: A View from the Safety Net

This video provides a snapshot of the Arlington (Va.) Free Clinic where, four times a month, medical personnel provide care and screenings exclusively to women. The video explores the hurdles that uninsured women face in accessing health care and the social issues, including work and family responsibilities, that create challenges…