Friday, February 26, 2010

URGENT: Stand up for Women, Immigrants, Puerto Rico in Health Care Reform

We've called, we've lobbied, and we've rallied, but it's not over yet - now we must demand that the health of women, immigrants and Puerto Ricans residing on the island are not put on the line for politics.

Some of items that stay the same in the President's recently released plan include the Senate's recommendations regarding immigrants, Puerto Rico and abortion coverage.  The Senate version of the health care reform legislation includes the problematic Nelson-Casey provision that would place tremendous bureaucratic obstacles for abortion to be included in insurance offered in the new health care marketplace. In addition, undocumented immigrants and U.S. citizens who live in Puerto Rico would not be able to use their own money to buy a plan in the new health insurance marketplace.

This is an historic moment  make sure that health care reform includes all of us!

Don't be silent your representatives need to hear from you!

What We're Asking For

1. To return to the Capps provision that preserves the ban on the use of federal funds for abortion coverage, but does not exclude abortion from private insurance policies in the exchange that is paid for with private funds. If either Stupak's or Nelson's provisions are included in the final bill, health care reform will enact some of the most egregious and detrimental setbacks to abortion rights since the seventies. 

2. Retain both the House provision allowing undocumented immigrants to buy health insurance in the exchange, and incorporate Senator Menendez' amendment (no. 2991) allowing states to provide optional Medicaid coverage of lawfully residing residents without a five-year waiting period. If the final bill doesn't recognize and appreciate the changing face of American demographics, it will be outdated before the President's ink even dries.

3. We must not to forget about the U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico and the other territories.  The final bill should provide funding to establish an Exchange in the territories, and address federal funding limitations facing Puerto Rico and other territories under Medicaid by including $9.1 billion in Medicaid funds over the next nine years.  Moreover, it is also crucial that the final bill contains the House language granting the territories full parity in Medicaid by 2020.

What Can You Do?

Take action today to urge your Senators and Representatives not to leave out immigrant women and families. You have two options:

1.Contact the Capital Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask the Operator to connect you to your Senator and/or Representative.

here to send an email to your Senator now. 

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