Valuing Families

CA: San Francisco Proposes Universal Health Care

The City of San Francisco is taking steps to provide health care to all of its 82,000 uninsured residents, paid for by a combination of public money and assessments on employers that do not provide health care for their employees:
Residents would pay both monthly fees and service co-payments on a sliding scale depending on income.

FL: Rightwing Mayor Say Affordable Housing is "Communist"

Down in Ft. Lauderdale, community members have been organizing for a new affordable housing law that would require developers to contribute to a fund to held middle income families afford to live in the community. But rightwing Mayor Jim Naugle said people mistakenly think they're entitled to an affordable single-family house on a 40-hour work routine.

VT: Maybe Universal Health Care

Vermont cut a deal today for a plan promising universal health coverage, although the deal still leaves a few potential details up in the air for the future. The basic deal is this: a new "Catamount Health" plan should be offered by private insurers within two years, with the state subsidizing coverage for lower-income families.

MA: Paid Family Leave Moving Forward

State Senate leaders will introduce legislation this week to provide 12 weeks of paid time off at full pay to care for newborn and adopted children or sick family members-- paid for by a weekly payroll tax of $1.50 to $2.50 per week. The proposal is more generous than the only existing paid leave program in the country in California, which provides six weeks of maternity leave at 55% of pay.

More on Mass Health Bill-- The "Free Rider" Surcharge

Here's one interesting part of the Mass. health law that has largely been undiscussed in the media: the Free Rider Surcharge detailed in the the legislative summary, which is an additional incentive for employers to provide health care for their employees:
The Free Rider surcharge will be imposed on employers who do not provide health insurance and whose employees use free care.

MA: Landmark Health Care Bill Going to Vote

Every Massachusetts resident will be required to have health insurance by July 2007-- with a combination of governments subsidies, employer assessments and individual fines used to achieve that result under legislation which was approved by the state House and Senate today. The broad-based Affordable Care Today! (ACT!) coalition endorsed the bill, although with reservations.

NY: Limiting Hospital Charges for Uninsured

It's bad enough that tens of millions of Americans have no health insurance; adding insult to injury is the fact that the uninsured, often the poorest folks showing up for treatment, are charged many times more than private insurers for the same medical treatments.

MT: AG Opinion Ensures Contraceptive Equity

The Montana Attorney General, following court decisions in Montana and similar opinions from across the country, issued an opinion yesterday mandating contraception coverage.

CO: Business Community Considers Family Leave to be a Slap in the Face

Colorado's progressive legislature charge forward on family leave has been altered due to concerns that family time was bad for employers.

MO: Rightwing Votes Against Contraception

If you want to make abortion less common, making contraception available is one of the first places to start. Yet the Missouri House voted to eliminate funding for contraception provided through public health clinics. "It's going to have the opposite effect of what the intention is, which will be more unwanted pregnancies and more abortions," said Rep.