Health Care, Reproductive Rights & Disability Rights
We track legislation, budgets, policies, events, and other issues related to health care, reproductive rights & disability rights at the state and federal levels with the aid of our Health Care Working Group. Each week, this team of volunteers shares news stories, research, and other information on a range of health issues, discusses which items are ripe for action, and writes calls to action (C2As) that inform others and propose actions. Members volunteer about an hour a week—a little more if they are writing that week’s call to action—and conduct their business via a closed Facebook page. Our C2As are distributed to 15,000-20,000 Mainers each week via our email list, our member forum, and our partnerships with other regional and state groups. You can read some of our most recent health care C2As below.
If health care, reproductive rights, or disability rights are important to you, and you have an hour or two to spare over an entire week, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org about joining our Health Care Working Group!
The Trump administration wants to block all federal family planning funding to health centers that provide abortions or abortion referrals, which would eliminate contraceptive and preventive care for millions of women.
QUICK ACTION: Learn about the proposed rule, offer a public comment, and demand that state and federal legislators halt their attack on women’s rights.
Medicaid expansion becomes the law of the land July 2, expanding critical health care to 70,000 Mainers. But Gov. LePage has stalled on funding the state’s share of expansion. UPDATE 4/19: Republicans chose to leave Augusta before their work was done. A special session may be called by House and Senate leadership. QUICK ACTION: Contact your legislators and tell them you expect them to finish the work we sent them to Augusta to do, including voting YES on LD 837.read more
Paul LePage has instructed DHHS to end funding for the Community Partnership for Protecting Children at a time when child abuse rates in Maine are on the rise.
QUICK ACTION: Contact your local reps and urge them to continue funding the program and to address the lack of funding and resources within DHHS.
A bill that would roll back accessibility rules required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) passed the House last week–with Rep. Poliquin voting YES–and is headed to the Senate.
QUICK ACTION: Call Poliquin to protest his vote and call Sens. Collins and King and tell them to oppose any attempt to bring the bill for a vote.
The reauthorization of CHIP is now being used as a bargaining tactic in the debate over the government shutdown. A vote is expected on Jan. 22 that may resolve the issue.
UPDATE: As part of a bipartisan deal, CHIP has been reauthorized for six years.
To pay for tax cuts for corporations and the rich, the Senate tax plan will slash Medicaid and Medicare funding and repeal the ACA individual mandate, likely leading to a collapse of the health care markets. Call Sen. Collins (202-224-2523) and tell her to vote NO on any tax bill that cuts health care to fund tax cuts to the rich.read more
Trump’s ACA sabotage tactics include halving the open enrollment period, and slashing the marketing and outreach budget. Help Mainers know that the new enrollment period is open NOW, and will end on Dec. 15.read more
Trump’s new “religious freedom” executive order allows employers to deny contraception coverage if the employer claims a moral or religious objection, opening the floodgates to discrimination in the name of religion. Submit a public comment to HHS through the ACLU, and send a message to health insurers through Ultraviolet’s petition.read more
The Senate GOP is once again threatening to take health coverage away from millions of Americans, gut Medicaid and end guaranteed protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Call, fax, email, Tweet, share Suit Up Maine graphics and show up until Sens. King and Collins issue statements opposing Graham-Cassidy.read more
The House Appropriations Bill eliminates the Title X program, which provides basic healthcare such as contraception and cancer screenings to nearly 4 million low-income people, including 20,000 Mainers. Urge Representatives Pingree and Poliquin to support this program that provides vital health services and prevented nearly 300,000 abortions in 2015 alone.read more