“I can’t believe we still have to protest this crap”
This protest sign slogan perfectly captures how I’ve been feeling this month watching the national debate over contraception. Almost all Americans use contraception at one time in their lives; for women the number is greater than 99 percent. In addition to preventing pregnancy, contraception has many health-related benefits.
Yet for weeks we have revisited the question of whether or not this money-saving, health-promoting item should be covered for women by our insurance. At the same time, state legislatures have been pushing bills that would require women to undergo invasive, medically unnecessary procedures to convince them not to go ahead with a safe, legal procedure to end their pregnancy.
All of this is a mere prologue to the big health care fight. Legal challenges to the Affordable Care Act (the 2010 health care law) have made their way to the Supreme Court. Arguments will begin on Monday, March 26 and last three days - unprecedented.
I hope you will join us at 4pm on March 28 for a call with White House representatives Nancy-Ann DeParle, Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff and Jon Carson, Director, Office of Public Engagement about this critical Supreme Court case. I will send another email as we get closer with full details and to invite your questions.
The persistence of those who oppose quality health care for all, or contraception, or other fundamental equity issues, provides an important lesson. Winning is not always enough. If you want your victories to stick, you need something more transformative.
The Nathan Cummings Foundation (NCF) has always supported organizations working for high quality, affordable, and universal health care. Even after President Obama signed the most significant piece of health care legislation since President Lyndon Johnson created Medicare and Medicaid almost a half a century ago, we have continued to make those important grants.
By a quirk of fate, the President signed the ACA two years ago this week. To celebrate its passage, many supporters of the law, including NCF grantees, are holding events and actions all week.
If you are a fan of Martha Stewart’s television show, you can see the National Physicians Alliance President Dr. Valerie Arkoosh discussing the merits of the ACA on March 19th.
Young Invincibles is leading a major youth mobilization effort with events, panels, and rallies designed to highlight the ACA's benefits for young adults, including more than 2.5 million who have already gained coverage, new benefits around free preventive care and birth control, and improvements to college health plans.
The National Women’s Law Center is launching “I Will Not Be Denied: Protect Women’s Health Care,” a campaign to highlight the benefits of the health care law for women.
The outcome at the Supreme Court is by no means clear. But even if the ACA is upheld, the struggle for quality affordable healthcare for all will not be over. There will still be times when we must raise our voices to keep our country from sliding backwards.