For months, we have been writing about contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act. It has been a long rulemaking process, but it looks as though today is finally the day. According to President Obama’s website, “starting August 1st, many insurance plans will be required to fully cover birth control without co-pays or deductibles as part of women’s preventive care.” As we wrote in our press statement following the Administration’s announcement of the final rule,
I hope you’ve enjoyed a celebratory Canada Day or Independence Day, whichever side of the border you live on. Many of the RAC staff took in the Capitol fireworks, along with the usual array of barbeques and ball games.
We had a short workweek, since the URJ closed its offices (the RAC included) yesterday and today, giving everyone an extra long summer weekend. Nonetheless, we managed to pack the week full as always.
What a week! We’re all still on a high from Wednesday’s Supreme Court marriage equality victory. A bunch of RAC staff, myself included, were outside the Court among hundreds of others anticipating the ruling. Despite the 90+ degree weather, it was a (mostly) euphoric crowd, happy with the demise of a key part of DOMA and the Prop 8 decision likely to result in reinstating marriage equality in California.
I hope you’ll join us for our Monday, July 1 webinar at 12 p.m. ET for a debrief on what the Supreme Court decisions mean and how we can take action to ensure the protection of civil and voting rights and marriage equality going forward. Several of us from the RAC (including Rabbi David Saperstein) will be speaking, along with the Human Rights Campaign’s Brian Moulton and other D.C. policy experts. Register here and share with friends!
The Community First Choice option expands access to home- and community-based care in your state, leading to better health outcomes for older adults and individuals with disabilities. We are taught in Pirkei Avot to not separate ourselves from our community, but too often people with disabilities are forced to do just that. Urge your governor and state legislators to implement this option, allowing increased matching funds for more services to more people.
While the new Senate comprehensive immigration reform bill takes many strides toward improving our immigration system, it also includes some significant steps backward. Our Jewish tradition not only teaches us, but commands us to treat the foreigner living in our country with the same laws as our own.
Welcome the stranger, care for the sick, just don’t do both! No, the last part is not part of Jewish tradition, but it is part of the new immigration reform proposal. While the new Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill includes a number of laudable improvements like creating a pathway to citizenship for DREAMers and other undocumented immigrants, it also excludes them from social services like healthcare.
Even though the Affordable Care Act became law last year, the battle for comprehensive healthcare reform is not over! Last year the Supreme Court made the primary mechanism for covering low-income individuals functionally optional, which has left each and every state the opportunity to refuse to provide comprehensive healthcare to their most needy constituents.
Jewish law established that health care coverage is one of the services that every community must provide. As Jews, our tradition requires that we care about the health of our fellow human beings. In accordance with that sacred obligation, we need to make our voices heard on issues of healthcare coverage and urge our state governments to implement the expansion.
There are significant political obstacles even in states that looked like they may participate. This past week the state legislature in Florida blocked the Governor’s proposal to fully implement the expansion. In the last month 4 more states have joined the list refusing to expand their programs!
This is our chance to make a difference and fight for healthcare coverage for millions of low-income families. Take action today and let your state officials know that we need comprehensive healthcare coverage for everyone now!
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