Today marks the first of three days that the Supreme Court will hear arguments concerning whether the mandated minimum coverage provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), which requires that a person purchase minimum health coverage or face a modest monetary penalty beginning in 2014, is constitutional under the Commerce clause of the US Constitution. Both supporters and opponents of the ACA are gathered outside of the Supreme Court.
Before the Justices hear the case, they must first determine whether they are permitted to hear the case under the 1867 Anti-Injunction Act, which states that "no suit for the purpose of restraining the assessment or collection of any tax shall be maintained in any court by any person." In other words, the Act requires that a tax first be paid before it can be challenged in court. The first taxes associated with the ACA would not be due until April 2015.
Currently under the ACA, daughters and sons under 26 years of age can receive insurance through their parents' coverage, the donut hole for seniors is closing, and certain preventive procedures, such as mammograms, colonoscopies, and pap smears, no longer require a co-payment or other direct costs. President Obama signed the final version of the Affordable Care Act in March. The final law will eventually add coverage for 32 million people, increasing access to family planning and preventive care.
Media Resources: New York Times 3/26/12; Huffington Post 3/26/12; Washington Post 3/26/12
10/21/2014 Afghanistan's New First Lady Advances Women's Issues - Just a few days after moving to the presidential palace, Afghanistan's new First Lady Rula Ghani said that she hopes to encourage greater respect for women.
Rula Ghani already broke tradition by participating in her husband, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai's, campaign for President. . . .
10/21/2014 Hulu Silences Rape Survivor Speaking Out Against Anti-Abortion Amendment 67 in Colorado - Hulu, an online, ad-supported streaming service, has refused to run an advertisement from the "No on 67" campaign in Colorado, citing the company's policy regarding "controversial" political positions on issues like abortion.
In a letter to the CEO of Hulu, dated October 10, the Vote No on 67 Campaign, which is supported by the Feminist Majority Foundation, asked the company to reconsider its unwillingness to air a 35-second spot featuring a rape survivor's testimony about the far-reaching impact of Colorado's proposed Amendment 67. . . .