For rural America, Medicare for All is a matter of life or death | Barb Kalbach

Insurance firms are gobbling up airtime in Iowa to attack Medicare for All. They claim it would hurt the very same hospitals their business model has spent years bleeding dry

Rural hospitals are often the economic heart of a community. Worse, when minutes mean the difference between life and death, every hospital that closes leaves patients in danger. Since 2010, 113 rural hospitals have closed their doors, leaving more than 30 million Americans an hour or more away from critical car...

Why Planned Parenthood was right to refuse federal funding | Moira Donegan

The Trump administration put Planned Parenthood in an untenable position – and the organization made the moral choice to walk away

The Trump administration expanded its assault on women’s rights this week, engineering the loss of birth control and other reproductive healthcare coverage for millions of low income women.

On Monday, the administration’s Title X gag rule went into effect, barring any provider who performs abortions or even provides referrals for them from receiving...

Victorian MPs to debate bill to let transgender people change birth certificate without surgery

Despite vocal opposition from the Coalition and a new women’s group, Labor bill looks set to pass parliament

The Victorian parliament is gearing up for a debate over the rights of transgender and non-binary people to be able to choose the gender listed on their birth certificates.

Under current law in Victoria, in order for transgender people to have their birth certificate changed to affirm their gender, they have to have undergone sex affirming surgery, often at great cost. It is something many transgender people do not wish to undertake, it is not covered by Medicare, and often the surgery is not available in Australia.

Continue reading...

Biden’s health care plan reveals the divide among Democrats

Presidential candidate Joe Biden released his health care plan on Monday, formally entering the Democratic debate about how to solve the country’s health care crisis, in which 26% of Americans struggle to afford services even with insurance and out-of-pocket medical costs outpace wage growth.

The Biden plan, expands upon the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by adding a government-run public option to compete alongside private insurers and making existing subsidies for private plans m...

Alaska’s legislature fails to stop a major attack on its judicial independence

Alaska’s legislature has until Friday at midnight to override the governor’s attack on the state’s judicial system. No vote has yet been scheduled, and one-third of the legislators are in Wasilla, 800 miles away from the state capital.

Using a line-item veto, Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R) recently slashed the budget of the state’s Supreme Court, due to its repeated protection of abortion rights. Dunleavy cut the budget of the Alaska Supreme Court and the court of appeals by 5%, as part of ...

California becomes first state to give young undocumented adults health care. But is that enough?

The health care system failed Ana because of her immigration status: she’s undocumented.

Ana’s last two pregnancies were riddled with complications. But her lack of insurance exacerbated her health problems. She didn’t qualify for full-scope Medicaid, even though she was eligible by income, but the state did offer her pregnancy-related Medicaid, a public plan that covers every pregnant resident regardless of immigration status, but comes with an expiration...

Senate votes to confirm man with anti-LGBTQ rights record for lifetime federal judgeship

On Wednesday, the Senate voted 52-46 to confirm as federal judge a man with a record opposing LGBTQ rights and reproductive rights. Matthew Kacsmaryk will sit on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. It is a lifetime federal judgeship.

Before his confirmation, 75 LGBTQ and allied groups signed a letter addressed to Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), ranking member of the committee, in opposition...