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Monthly Archives: January 2018

Trump Administration Moves To Roll Back Birth Control Coverage

WASHINGTON ? The Trump administration is on the verge of rolling back a federal rule that requires most employers to cover birth control in their health insurance plans at no cost to women. 

The White House Office of Management and Budget posted on its website that it is reviewing an interim final rule that would allow religious employers to deny contraception coverage to their female employees. The details of the rule have not been announced, but Gretchen Borchelt, the vice president of the National Women?s Law Center, said it is certain that ?some women will lose birth control coverage.? 

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called the move ?sickening.?

?The draft rule announced today attempts to tear away women?s control over their own private health decisions and put that control in the hands of employers and politicians,? she said. 

The contraception mandate, enacted under President Barack Obama in 2012, for the first time in U.S. history deemed birth control an essential preventative health service that should be fully covered alongside well-woman visits, mammograms and sexually transmitted infection screenings. It guarantees coverage to more than 55 million women, saved women $1.4 billion on birth control pills in the first year it went into effect, and has contributed to the lowest U.S. abortion rate since the procedure became legal in 1973. 

Some religious employers have been fighting the mandate since it was announced. The Supreme Court ruled in 2014 that closely held corporations like Hobby Lobby, a Christian-owned craft supply chain, cannot be required to provide contraception coverage for their employees. The Obama administration tried to accommodate those employers by directing them to state their religious objections to the government, which would then direct a third-party insurer to provide the coverage to the organization?s female employees.

Some groups, like an organization of nuns called Little Sisters of the Poor, have continued to challenge the rule. President Donald Trump signed an executive order in March directing the Department of Health and Human Services to re-examine the birth control coverage rule, promising the Little Sisters at the time that their ?long ordeal will soon be over.?

HHS Secretary Tom Price, a vocal opponent of reproductive rights, commended Trump for ?taking a strong stand for religious liberty.? He had told ThinkProgress in 2012 that no woman has trouble affording her monthly birth control prescriptions

?Bring me one woman who has been left behind,? he said at the time. ?Bring me one. There?s not one. The fact of the matter is, this is a trampling of religious freedom and religious liberty in this country.? 

The Center for Reproductive Rights, a legal advocacy group, said it plans to challenge the new rule. 

?Without health coverage of contraception under the [Affordable Care Act], countless women will lose their basic right to prevent pregnancy and plan when they have children,? said Nancy Northup, president and chief executive officer of the Center for Reproductive Rights. ?Plain and simple: President Trump?s executive order will hurt women. And the Center for Reproductive Rights is ready to fight back in court.? 

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Hold The Phone. Trump Tweets He Now Wants More Money For Health Care

President Donald Trump had concerned Americans scratching their heads Sunday night after he tweeted that he now wants to pour more money into health care.

?I suggest that we add more dollars to Healthcare and make it the best anywhere,? he wrote.

That was strange because Trump?s budget plan submitted just days ago called for cutting at least $610 billion from Medicaid and slicing an additional $250 billion from health care by repealing Obamacare. The White House plan also calls for cuts in future spending on health care for children from low-income households. There is no additional spending for any health care in the plan.

The weird disconnect on health care wasn?t a first for the president. When Trump met with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in New York City in early May, the president praised that nation?s health care system. ?You have better health care than we do,? Trump said.

He was perhaps unaware that Australia has a government-run, publicly funded universal health care system ? and at a fraction of the cost of American health care. It?s a system Trump would be more likely to denigrate as socialist and even worse than Obamacare. The Congressional Budget Office estimated last week that Trump?s health care proposal would leave an additional 23 million Americans with no health care coverage by 2026.

The White House later said that Trump was just being nice and not pushing for the Australian system in America.

In another puzzling tweet on Sunday, Trump boasted that his tax reform package was moving along ?ahead of schedule.?

In fact neither Trump nor Congress has yet proposed a comprehensive tax plan. The White House has released a single page of bullet points in search of a plan that leaves many details unaddressed and questions unanswered. 

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Burger King’s ‘Who Is The King?’ Vote Reportedly Angers Belgian Royal

Burger King appears to be eyeing more than just business expansion this summer.

The fast-food giant has launched a mock, online vote titled ?Who Is The King?? that pits its fictional, royal brand name against Belgium?s King Philippe ahead of the company?s first Burger King restaurant in the Western Europe country.

?Two kings, one single crown, who shall reign?? it asks.

Unfortunately for the advertising campaign ? as playful as it may be ? it?s reportedly broiled more than just burgers.

A spokesman for Belgium?s royal family told the BBC that they have reached out to Burger King to express their disapproval of the advertisement, which features a cartoon image of King Philippe.

?Since it is for commercial purposes, we would not have given our authorisation,? royal spokesman Pierre Emmanuel de Bauw told the British news network.

As of Sunday, the online election appears to remain underway. Participants are encouraged to select a king, though measures are in place to sway users to select Burger King.

Votes can be cast until June 19, according to the website.

A Burger King spokesperson, reached by news agency EFE, said they have not received any communication from the royal family.

A request for comment from Burger King by HuffPost was not immediately returned on Sunday.

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